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Chia Pudding: 3 Ways

Blog post by Chef Lisa Brown of Free Flowing Health


Chia seeds, tiny powerhouses of nutrition, are derived from the Salvia hispanica plant native to Central America. These seeds have been a dietary staple for centuries, known for their incredible health benefits. Chia pudding is an easy, delightful and nutritious recipe made by combining chia seeds with a plant-based milk and sweetener, then allowing it to thicken in the refrigerator. As it chills, the tiny chia seeds absorb the liquid, creating a creamy, pudding-like consistency. Chia pudding serves as a versatile canvas for a wide range of flavors and toppings, making it a popular choice for those seeking a healthy, customizable, and plant-powered breakfast, mid-day snack, or treat. Today, we'll explore three delicious ways to enjoy chia pudding: Vanilla Berry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Tropical Mango Coconut. Chia seeds, the star ingredient in this recipe, offer a multitude of health benefits. Let's dig in!


Cherry kiwi chia pudding
Chia pudding


Chia Pudding Three Ways:

Basic Chia Pudding Base:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any plant-based milk)

  • 1-2 tablespoons of a natural sweetener like maple syrup, agave nectar, or stevia (adjust to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • A pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine chia seeds, almond milk, your chosen sweetener (adjust to taste), vanilla extract, and a pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional).

  2. Whisk the mixture thoroughly, ensuring the chia seeds are evenly distributed.

  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.

Note: Chia pudding is incredibly versatile and offers room for creativity. Consider adding optional add-ins like raw nuts, hemp seeds, goji berries, flax seeds, coconut shreds, cacao nibs, or sliced bananas to elevate both the taste and nutritional value of your chia pudding. These additions bring a delightful blend of textures and flavors, making your chia pudding not only delicious but also packed with extra goodness. Feel free to experiment and tailor your chia pudding to your personal preferences and dietary needs.


Vanilla Berry Chia Pudding:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any plant-based milk)

  • 1-2 tablespoons of a natural sweetener like maple syrup, agave nectar, or stevia (adjust to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • A pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional)

  • Fresh mixed berries for topping

  • Optional add-ins for flavor, texture, and nutrition (see note)

Instructions:

  1. Start with the basic chia pudding base by combining chia seeds, almond milk, your chosen sweetener (adjust to taste), vanilla extract, and a pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional) in a mixing bowl.

  2. Whisk the mixture thoroughly, ensuring the chia seeds are evenly distributed.

  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.

  4. Once the chia pudding base has thickened, spoon half into a serving glass or bowl.

  5. Top with a medley of fresh mixed berries.

  6. For added texture and flavor, sprinkle with cacao nibs, hemp seeds, coconut shreds, chopped raw nuts, and a sprinkle of flax seeds. You can also consider adding a dollop of vegan coconut yogurt.

  7. Optional: Drizzle with a touch of your chosen sweetener for extra sweetness or use stevia for a sugar-free option.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any plant-based milk)

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

  • A pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional)

  • Optional add-ins for flavor, texture, and nutrition (see note)

Instructions:

  1. Start with the basic chia pudding base by combining chia seeds, almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, peanut butter, and a pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional) in a mixing bowl.

  2. Whisk the mixture thoroughly until well combined.

  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.

  4. Garnish with raw nuts, flax seeds, and a drizzle of peanut butter.

  5. For added flavor and nutrition, consider adding cacao nibs, hemp seeds, coconut shreds, and a dollop of vegan coconut yogurt.

  6. Optional: Drizzle with a touch of your chosen sweetener for extra sweetness or use stevia for a sugar-free option.


Tropical Mango Coconut Chia Pudding:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any plant-based milk)

  • 1-2 tablespoons of a natural sweetener like maple syrup, agave nectar, or stevia (adjust to taste)

  • 1/2 cup diced ripe mango

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

  • A pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional)

  • Optional add-ins for flavor, texture, and nutrition (see note)

Instructions:

  1. Start with the basic chia pudding base by combining chia seeds, almond milk, your chosen sweetener (adjust to taste), vanilla extract, and a pinch of high-quality sea salt (optional) in a mixing bowl.

  2. Whisk the mixture thoroughly, ensuring the chia seeds are evenly distributed.

  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.

  4. Blend 1/2 cup diced ripe mango with 1/4 cup coconut milk until smooth.

  5. Combine the mango-coconut puree with the remaining chia pudding base.

  6. Serve in a glass or bowl, topped with additional diced mango, coconut shreds, flax seeds, and any other optional add-ins of your choice.

  7. Optional: Drizzle with a touch of your chosen sweetener for added sweetness or use stevia for a sugar-free option.

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Chia seeds are a superb plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for heart health, cognitive function, and inflammation reduction.

  2. Fiber-Rich Goodness: Loaded with dietary fiber, chia seeds support digestive health, promote satiety, and help stabilize blood sugar levels.

  3. Plant Protein Power: Chia seeds are a stellar source of plant-based protein, aiding muscle maintenance and overall vitality.

  4. Antioxidant Arsenal: Chia seeds are brimming with antioxidants, defending your cells against oxidative stress and promoting overall well-being.

  5. Bone-Friendly Minerals: Packed with essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, chia seeds contribute to strong bones.

  6. Weight Management: High in fiber and protein, chia seeds help control appetite, making them a valuable ally in weight management.

  7. Blood Sugar Balance: The soluble fiber in chia seeds slows sugar absorption, supporting stable blood sugar levels, especially beneficial for those managing diabetes.

  8. Hydration Heroes: Chia seeds absorb water effectively, helping maintain hydration and a feeling of fullness.

  9. Versatile and Gluten-Free: Naturally gluten-free, chia seeds are adaptable and perfect for a wide range of recipes.

Embrace the versatility of chia seeds in your plant-based journey and enjoy the numerous health benefits they bring to your table. For personalized plant-based recipes and lifestyle guidance, connect with Lisa, your Personal Plant-based Chef and Lifestyle Coach, at www.freeflowinghealth.com. Discover the path to a healthier, happier you while enjoying these delicious chia pudding variations that harness the incredible health benefits of chia seeds.

Chia Pudding
Chia Pudding



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