I have been a long time fan of chia seed pudding and it’s become a simple dish that I recommend often as an egg-free, dairy-free snack, breakfast or dessert option to my nutritional clients, especially those I recommend blood sugar control diets or sugar detoxes to. Without sweetener (or sweetened very lightly) chia pudding can be a great, nutrient-dense alternative to the more standard grain and carb-forward breakfasts. It’s loaded with omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, protein, and various micronutrients and chia seeds are also high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Chia seeds absorb between 9 – 12 times their volume, becoming gelatinous and making a pudding-type consistency and they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is related to mint. This plant grows natively in South America. Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day. They prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy … in fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”
Despite their tiny size chia seeds pack a serious nutritional punch. A 1 ounce (28 grams) a serving of chia seeds contains:
- Fiber: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
- Calcium: 18 percent of the RDA.
- Manganese: 30 percent of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30 percent of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 27 percent of the RDA.
- They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
This is particularly impressive when you consider that this is just a single ounce, which supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate! For reference, 1 ounce equals 28 grams, or about 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.1http://www.ecowatch.com/11-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds-1881919712.html
How-to Make Chia Seed Pudding:
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- pinch sea salt
- optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey or other sweetener (or to taste)
Ratio Notes: I prefer a thicker pudding, so I prefer to go with 1 cup non-dairy milk (or any other liquid) to 1/4 cup chia seeds. For a slightly thinner consistency try 3 tablespoons of chia seeds instead. I suggest playing around with your own personal recipe until you find the perfect ratio for you!
1. Measure out the chia seeds, non-dairy milk, your sweetener, if using, a pinch of high quality sea salt and any additional flavors or ingredients you are including. Mix very well (or cover with a tight sealing lid and shake well) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or even overnight so the chia seeds absorb the moisture and become thick and gelatinous, like a pudding.
2. Spoon into a glass or parfait cup.
3. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Cashew milk
- Hemp milk
- Dairy milk (cow, goat or sheep’s milk, raw milk is a really great nutrient-dense option, as well)
- Other other nut milks you prefer
Sweetener Options (use as much or as little as you’d like):
- Maple syrup
- Coconut palm sugar or nectar
- Fruit juice
- Dates (blended with the milk, prior to adding the chia)
- Stevia, xylitol or any other natural alternative sweetener
Flavor Options (mixed in or as toppings):
- Fresh fruit: bananas, berries, apples, oranges, pomegranate, mango, pineapple, etc
- Chocolate (cocoa, cacao, chocolate chunks or chips)
- Coconut shredded, coconut butter or coconut whipped topping
- Vanilla extract or whole vanilla beans blended with the milk
- Fresh ginger or candied ginger
- Cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices
- Nuts and/or seeds, dried fruit
- Almond butter, peanut butter or other nut butters
- Coffee, chai or other tea
- Greens powder
- etc etc – the possibilities are endless
For a simple chocolate chia pudding, add 1 tablespoon of a high-quality raw cacao. To make a creamy raspberry pudding layer as seen in photos, I blend 1 avocado with 1 – 2 cups of fresh raspberries, sweeten to taste with dates, maple or honey, if you’d like.
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup chia seeds (3 tablespoons for a slightly thinner pudding)
- optional: 1 teaspoon sweetener, or to taste
- pinch sea salt
- Measure out the chia seeds, non-dairy milk, your sweetener, if using, a pinch of high quality sea salt and any additional flavors or ingredients you are including.
- Mix very well (or cover with a tight sealing lid and shake well) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or even overnight so the chia seeds absorb the moisture and become thick and gelatinous, like a pudding.
- Spoon into a glass or parfait cup.
- Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.
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