Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chia Seed Pudding

If you've set any healthy resolutions for the new year, how are those going? I feel like I constantly need inspiration to stay on track when I'm trying to eat better, so I figured I'd share one of my favorite go-to breakfasts with you that's super healthy and easy: chia seed pudding!

First, if you don't know about chia seeds, let me fill you in. If you're an old pro with them, just skip ahead to the recipe. Chia, which means "strength" in Mayan, were once eaten by Aztec warriors who claimed that one teaspoon could give them huge bursts of energy and sustain them for a full day. These little seeds pack a big punch: they are chock full of antioxidants, protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids (more than salmon!). They absorb 10 times their weight in water, so a little bit goes a long way to feel full. And, they're easier to digest than flax seeds, so they don't need to be ground up for maximum absorption.

When mixed with milk, they form a sort of pudding which makes for a super easy make-ahead breakfast! I pretty much rotate chia seed pudding, plain Greek yogurt with fruit, and oatmeal for weekday breakfasts, and there is so much variety you can create among these, I never get bored.

I will say, the texture of the pudding is a bit slimy. Once you get over that though, you don't even think about it anymore. To me, the pudding kind of has a delicate earthy taste, almost like herbal tea, (others describe it as nut-like) but you can add toppings or add-ins like cocoa to give it any flavor you like.

Now that you're sold, let's get making some puddin', puddin'!

1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups almond milk (but soy, coconut, or dairy would also work fine)
1 T sweetener like coconut sugar*, agave, or honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(4 servings)

*I loooove coconut sugar; you have to try it if you haven't! It has a richness to it, almost like brown sugar, but is very low on the glycemic index (no sugar crash!), and is naturally filled with nutrients like magnesium, zinc, calcium and potassium. It's so good on oatmeal too!

To make:

Combine all ingredients in a plastic container or large mason jar, adding the chia seeds in last (to prevent clumping). I use Chinese takeout containers that egg drop soup or curry chicken come in. They are the perfect size!

Shake the ingredients well until there are no longer clumps of chia seeds. Refrigerate overnight and voila! You've got 4 breakfasts already made for the week. Top with dried or fresh fruit or granola and enjoy!

If you make some, be sure to let us know how it turns out!


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