Chia Seeds: Not Scary

I’m trying to eat healthier these days. 

I’ve looked into a lot of weird diets – paleo, keto, blahblah, eat less carbs, stop eating bread. In all my reading, I’ve come across some awesome recipes, some less than awesome recipes (avocados in breakfast shakes? HUGE no. Dat grease though. ugh) and a few new foods that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. In combination with exercise, I definitely FEEL better than I did a year ago, which is pretty important.

Regarding the new foods front. Maybe you, too, are trying to get healthier but you, like me, have the terrible affliction: a monster sweet tooth. My sweet tooth, particularly my affinity for chocolate, could probably fell a lesser human. It’s not good.

Enter the Chia seed.

These little bitty seedies look like this. You buy them in a bag at Whole Foods that looks like this. (You can probably buy them elsewhere, but Whole Foods is convenient for me, so…) They’re a bit on the pricey side – usually like $8 a bag or so – but that bag will last you for weeks, so it’s worth it. 

You can do stuff like toss them in smoothies or bake them into bread – they have a TON of fiber and healthy fat and don’t taste like much, but I feel like that doesn’t quite use them to their full potential. The cool thing about chia seeds is that they can absorb 12 TIMES THEIR WEIGHT IN LIQUID. They turn from these little black pellets into a cool gelly substance that’s reminiscent of pudding.

Hmmm….pudding?? We can work with this.

Chia seed breakfast chocolate pudding!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Chia seeds 
1 cup milk (almond/rice/soy/coconut milk work just as well. IN FACT! i recommend coconut milk.)
2 tablespoons cacao powder (or cocoa, but cacao is better)
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional, i used to use it to cut the bitterness of cacao but I don’t anymore)

Here’s how easy this recipe is. Get yourself a ziplock or tupperware container with a close-able lid, put all the ingredients in there, SHAKE THEM VIGOROUSLY (be sure the lid is on!) and toss it in the fridge. Wait about five hours (or make this before you go to bed and eat it the next morning.) 

It will look LIKE THIS

That’s it. That’s all there is.

The really cool thing about this recipe is that since the seeds take on the taste of literally whatever you soak them in, you can go a little crazy if you need variety. I’ve done horchata pudding with vanilla extract and cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar and rice milk. I’ve done spicy chocolate (no sugar, add cinnamon and cayenne pepper to taste…that’ll clear your sinuses early in the morning). 

The pudding will also keep for a few days. If you double or even triple the proportions, you can just store it in the fridge and eat spoons full of it out of the container while you rush around and get ready in the morning. It’s filling thanks to the fat level (doubly so if you use whole milk or fatty milk alternatives, making it a great breakfast food!) tasty as hell, and slightly weird-textured in a way that’s fun.

I haven’t been brave enough to mix the seeds with any sort of fruit juice yet but that might be the next step, here! Strawberry vanilla pudding, anyone? 

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