Chia seeds are a remarkable food. They swell in liquid, revealing a soft, slippery inside, chock full of impressive nutrition. The word “chia” is a Mayan word meaning “strength,” as this unassuming seed served as a superfood for the Mayans and Aztecs as far back as 3500 B.C. Members of the Tarahumara Mexican Indian tribe (popularized in the book Born To Run) use chia seeds to sustain them as they run up to fifty miles a day. For me, I enjoy these seeds for excellent nutrition and stamina to get me through my own version of ultra-marathon days. I notice that when I have chia pudding for breakfast, my blood sugar and energy stay remarkably stable for longer than usual.
People either really like chia seed pudding or really do not. It’s a consistency thing. This pudding is well worth the try to be able to enjoy such a dynamic super seed. (And if you don’t like your chia creation, add a few spoonfuls to smoothies where it will disappear.)
When mixed with a little milk and something sweet, chia seeds miraculously become a satisfying and fun food to eat. This pudding can be for breakfast, an afternoon energy recharge, or for dessert. You can adjust the level of sweetness and add dried or fresh fruit if you like, along with other mix-ins. We recently discovered we like chia seed pudding layered with applesauce and granola. One friend blends the milk portion with avocado and kale before mixing it with the chia seeds -- now that’s a superfood pudding!
This super simple recipe provides impressive nutrition! In just one serving of pudding, the chia seeds alone will impart 20% calcium, 30% magnesium and copper, 80% molybedenum, and 10 grams of fantastic omega-3 rich fat. Whoa!! And remember, you don’t always need to make pudding. Add chia seeds to cereals, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and drinks. Just take into account that as the seeds absorb moisture, they expand a lot and change the consistency.
Delicious Chia Pudding
Serves 3-4 (3.5 cups)
2 1/2 to 3 cups milk of choice (depending on desired consistency)
1/2 cup whole chia seeds (not ground!)
1 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey and/or or a few drops of stevia extract (sweeten to taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon orange or lemon zest, or 1 to 2 drops of essential oil or extract
Shredded unsweetened coconut
Couple shakes of ground cinnamon or cardamom
Nourish Me Superfood powder
Dried or fresh fruit before serving: goji berries, bananas, fresh berries
1 cup raw almonds (or substitute pecans, cashews, or walnuts, alone or in combination)
In a medium-sized bowl, add milk of choice.
Slowly add in chia seeds while whisking the milk to avoid clumping of the seeds.
Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until well incorporated.
Add optional fruit or other toppings right before serving.
Let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour so the chia seeds can absorb the milk and set.
Transfer to jar or glass container and keep covered in fridge up to 5 days.
Serve with fruit or coconut toppings, if desired.
Have extra? Mix into yogurt, smoothies and oatmeal.