Chia puddings have been all the rage for quite some time and I'm personally a big fan. A chia pudding is a simple, nutritious snack or breakfast substitute which offers a nice calcium boost, promotes a healthy bowel movement and also provides essential fatty acids to keep your cells, tissues and organs strong and healthy.
When you search chia pudding recipes you'll find lots of over-complicated, over-flavoured recipes that make it seem like something out of reach for the busy bee who's time poor.
However the base of any good chia pudding is very simple. Here's all you need:
Step 1: Chia seeds - obviously. Chia seeds provide the base which will thicken when you add liquid. They also offer protein, calcium and other minerals, plus healthy fibre and good fats. However they won't provide flavour, chia seeds are flavourless - bear this in mind when tailoring your recipe.
Step 2: Liquid - now here you'd choose a liquid to suit your preferences and tolerances. If you are eating dairy then soaking chia seeds in natural, unflavoured yoghurt is a great choice for extra protein, calcium and beneficial gut bugs. If not, consider one of the following:
Bon Soy milk - an organic soy milk with no nasties added, made with whole non-genetically modified soy beans and with added calcium. Bon Soy is also rich in protein to really give this recipe a good kick.
Almond milk - a good alternative for the dairy free or vegan who also needs to restrict soy. Consider the brands Inside Out or Nutty Bruce who offer activated almond milk with fewer contaminants. This is a lower protein option than dairy or soy - keep this in mind and maybe add an extra tablespoon or so of chia seeds.
Coconut milk - a delicious option, very healthy fats, however very little protein. This is a favourite of mine and I can definitely vouch for it's suitability to a chia pudding. However it does bump up the calories significantly so keep your serving size smaller. A good idea is to mix 2tbsp of coconut milk with water and using this as the base.
Water - this is a great option for those who want to keep it light. Water is usually my base and then I'll add some toppings to provide the creamy texture and sweetness.
Step 3: Flavour - Remember I said chia seeds have no flavour, so your chia pudding will need a little something. Here's where I often see people's recipes going all wrong. With a tablespoon of honey or rice malt syrup or whatever other sugar is in fashion at the time. My suggestion is to flavour your pudding naturally with fresh berries, banana, prunes, cinnamon, vanilla essence and/or cacao.
Now for my favourite simple chia pudding. This is delicious, easy to make and you can store most of the ingredients at work and prepare a simple, mid afternoon snack any time it takes your fancy.
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup water (or almond/coconut milk etc)
1 teaspoon cacao
1 Tablespoons coconut yoghurt
2 Tablespoons blueberries
Add chia seeds, cacao and water together in a bowl or cup. Mix well.
Allow to sit for 20 minutes or overnight.
Top with blueberries and coconut yoghurt prior to serving.
This recipe is simple, has a nice contrast of flavours with the chia pudding being quite like dark chocolate and the coconut yoghurt is very creamy, the berries are very sharp. When mixed together these contrasting flavours are delightful.
I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Until next time stay deliciously healthy.
Jennifer May Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.ATMS.MINDD