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Chia seed pudding

By Jamie-Lynn Shaw, BHSc, CNP, PTS, NNCP

I love making chia pudding because there are so many varieties I can make, depending on what ingredients I have in the house and what I’m craving that week! Another bonus is that it only takes 5 minutes to prepare FOUR portions that you can store in the fridge and handy to grab and go -for those busy mornings. Chia pudding can be eaten as a breakfast, afternoon snack or as a healthy dessert option. I have included a few recipe varieties, one to satisfy those chocolate cravings, an anti-inflammatory option, a warming spice mix, and a protein-packed option for post workouts!

What are Chia Seeds? 

They are a naturally mild, nutty-flavoured edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. “Chia” means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). 

Benefits of chia seeds

  • Great source of fibre, beneficial for a healthy digestive tract – 11 grams per 2 tbsp Source of good fats and omega 3 Fatty acids – 9 grams per 2 tbsp
  • Good source of protein – 4 g per 2 tbsp
  • Loaded with nutrients and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese
  • Helps to create a slow-burn or timed-release of carbohydrate for sustainable energy
  • Satiating effects help control hunger

Whole vs. ground?

For the recipes I will be sharing below, it is recommended to leave the chia seeds whole as this allows the gel soluble properties to form when sitting overnight. It will become a mucilage texture which is what helps bind digestive waste together, aiding in expulsion.

However, you can also grind chia in a grinder for sprinkling onto your yogurt or adding it to your smoothies. Eating chia in this form can be beneficial for the optimal absorption of its nutrients.

Side note: there is no difference in nutritional value between white and black chia, so you can pick up either one. Just make sure they are organic since chia can be heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Apple Pie Chia Pudding

Servings 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of chia seeds
  • 1 ½ cup of almond milk – or nut milk of choice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Toppings: (optional)

  • 2 tbsp yogurt 
  • 1 tbsp granola
  • ½ of a sliced apple
  • Pinch of extra cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Prepare your small mason jars for filling, approx. 4 depending on the size of the jars.
  2. In a bowl mix chia seeds, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
  3. Pour mixture into 4 jars (leave a little bit of room in, close lid and let sit overnight in the fridge (at least 5 hours)
  4. In the morning, the consistency should be creamy. If it is too thick you can add a little more milk.  
  5. Now for the fun part, add your favourite toppings, take it on the go or sit and enjoy.

Cacao Chia Pudding

Servings 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of chia seeds
  • 1 ½ cup of coconut milk – or nut milk of choice
  • ¼ cup of cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Toppings:

  • 1 tbsp hazelnuts or hazelnut butter
  • ½ of a sliced banana
  • Cacao nibs or chocolate chips

Preparation

  1. Prepare your small mason jars for filling, approx. 4 depending on the size of the jars.
  2. In a bowl mix chia seeds, milk, cocoa powder, honey and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
  3. Pour mixture into 4 jars (leave a little bit of room in, close lid and let sit overnight in the fridge (at least 5 hours)
  4. In the morning, the consistency should be creamy. If it is too thick you can add a little more milk. 
  5. Now for the fun part, add your toppings, take it on the go or sit and enjoy 

Protein-Packed Chia Pudding

Servings 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of chia seeds
  • 1 ½ cup of hemp milk – or nut milk of choice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Toppings:

  • 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt 
  • Coconut flakes
  • Blackberries, raspberry or blueberries 

Preparation:

  1. Prepare your small mason jars for filling, approx. 4 depending on the size of the jars.
  2. In a bowl mix chia seeds, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add in protein powder and whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
  3. Pour mixture into 4 jars (leave a little bit of room in, close lid and let sit overnight in the fridge (at least 5 hours)
  4. In the morning, the consistency should be creamy. If it is too thick you can add a little more milk.  
  5. Now for the fun part, add your favourite toppings, take it on the go or sit and enjoy 

Some other fun topping ideas:

  • granola for crunch
  • any fruit – blueberries, strawberries, banana 
  • nuts and seeds
  • Yogurt 
  • Nut butter
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Honey
  • bee pollen
  • coconut flakes

Jamie-Lynn Shaw, BHSc, CNP, PTS, NNC , is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, based in the Ottawa area. For more recipes visit http://www.jamielynnshaw.com

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