The Bob’s Red Mill Ancient Grains of Discovery continues, and this week we’re focusing on Chia. Today, I wanted to share with you a quick, and ultra healthy treat: chia pudding.
While I would not describe myself as someone who has a sweet tooth, I do find myself wanting a sweet little kick in the evening after dinner. It doesn’t have to be decadent or even complicated – just satisfying.
Enter chia pudding, a great way to get a dessert fix with very little effort, plus you get the health benefits of chia seed.
The health benefits of chia seed are undeniable:
- Chia seeds are one of the highest plant sources of omega-3 and omega-6
- Athletes are starting to embrace this super-food because of their ability to provide sustainable energy. Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested – the soluble fibre stabilizes blood glucose levels, resulting in steady, sustained energy.
- Because of the high concentration of omega-3, chia seeds have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Chia seeds provide bulk and nutrients with very few calories, so they are being promoted for weight loss.
- The gelling properties of chia seeds help to cleanse the colon and absorb toxins.
- Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, are high in antioxidants, fibre, and calcium.
Why chia in a pudding? The chia is mild-tasting, virtually flavourless, but when combined with fluid, it creates a gel (also making this a great, healthy ingredient for a quick, natural jam, or as a thickener in stews and stir-fries).
And for chia pudding, cooking is not required.
The black specs do not disappear, so you do see them. And you wind up with a texture similar to tapioca.
To make chia pudding, simply take some fruit, a milk product, vegan or not, optional sweetener (any type), and some chia seed. Mix it all up, and chill. And voila, you have a very satisfying dessert.
The longer it chills, the thicker it becomes. 4 – 24 hours is recommended.
This is also a treat that is healthy enough for breakfast. Or an after school snack. And this is a dessert that even young children can participate in helping to mix up and measure out.
First, I made a peaches and cream chia pudding.
I had a basket of peaches, and whipped up this one first. I made this one with coconut milk.
I set up the first serving in this ramekin to take the photo, then, I went to the mixing bowl and ate the rest of it.
For people with self control, this serves 6.
I also had a last run of Ontario strawberries, plus a cup of raspberries. For this version, I decided to use buttermilk because I was curious to see how it would turn out. It tasted like a strawberry yogurt smoothie.
I am still relatively new to chia, so I continue to experiment with flavours, and also with the thickness – which simply means adding a higher ratio of chia to the fruit and milk.
You can also thin it out with more milk, pour these into shot glasses and instead of setting them up in the fridge to thicken, enjoy them as smoothies, or divide them into shot or liqueur glasses as smoothie shooters.
A bag of chia seed goes a long way. Often, you only need 2-3 tablespoons to use in a pudding or as a thickening agent.
Tonight, I will be participating in another live Google Hangout broadcast, sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, where we will be focusing on – you guessed it – chia seed.
I’ll be posting the link to the hangout here right before we start at 8 pm EST, so you can watch it live. If you can’t attend, the recording will remain here indefinitely.
Here’s the link:
Here is an adaptable basic recipe to make your own chia pudding. Please let me know if you have your own version or recipe to share!