As I have started to explore new vegan food options and was craving something sweet last night, I came across some leftover chia seeds in my roommates cabinet and decided to do some recipe research. I knew that a gel could be formed by adding liquid to chia seeds and came across a chocolate chia pudding recipe, both simple and satisfying.
Chia seeds are packed with nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids (responsible for reducing inflammation and high cholesterol), fiber (good for the digestive tract and also reducing inflammation), antioxidants (protective against cancer and also contributes to increased shelf life of the seeds), as well as carbohydrates, protein and various other minerals. The gel-like substance formed by chia seeds can induce the feeling of satiety, which is why there are some claims for weight-loss, although this claim has not been validated. Due to the gel-like substance formed by chia seeds in water, chia seeds are also a good egg replacer in baked dishes, especially when ground up into powder.
After my experience with this pudding recipe, I definitely want to continue to experiment more with chia seeds, especially in baked goods, and will be sure to document my successes and failures in future posts. The pudding came out think and rich, and not very seedy-tasting as I had expected; the consistency of the pudding was almost mousse-like, rich and velvety. I do want to sample other flavors/different quantities and ratios of flavors to make the pudding fit my exact chocoholic needs.
Recipe for Chocolate Chia Pudding (Recipe from the Minimalist Baker):
- 1.5 cups of non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 1/3 cup of chia seeds
- 1/4 cup of cocoa (unsweetened preferably)
- 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Optional ingredients to incorporate in the mix or to top the pudding: coconut flakes, peanut butter, berries (strawberries, blackberries), chocolate chips, etc.
- Add all main ingredients to a bowl, besides the maple syrup, and set a side for at least 3 hours until a thick pudding consistency forms.
- Add maple syrup to mixture and mix in blender until consistency is smooth, creamy and less seedy in appearance.
- Add toppings!!