Chia seeds are a highly nutritious and versatile food. They absorb approximately 20 times their weight in liquid and create a pudding like texture when soaked. These seeds became popular about 5 years ago and for very good reason. They provide a broad spectrum of nutrients and are an excellent source of plant protein. In addition to protein they are high in magnesium, calcium, omega 3, linoleic acid, fibre and antioxidants. Because of this combination of nutrients, chia seeds are highly beneficial for the skin, bones, hair and digestive system. In addition, they have been found to boost the metabolism and energy levels. High levels of fibre in chia seeds act as a prebiotic, meaning they feed the good bacteria in the gut. Furthermore, they contain a food chemical called Mucin, which helps to protect and heal the mucous membrane of the digestion system.
Tips and Tricks
The trick to making good chia pudding is in getting the quantities right so you have just the right amount of wobble factor. In order for chia pudding to be filling and satisfying, different textures and flavours need to be added (enter: the crunch factor). Adding nuts and seeds to chia pudding make it a complete protein, meaning it provides all of the essential amino acids that our body needs.
When you add two of the three plant sources of protein together you get a complete protein. Ie, nuts or seeds + grains, nuts or seeds + legumes or legumes + grains.
Chia pudding on its own can be a little dull. BUT adding fruits, nuts and seeds takes it from dull to delicious in a matter of seconds. Add cacao powder or a superfood powder like pitaya for a truly luscious breakfast, snack or dessert.
- Vanilla (added to pudding) + Berries, Hazelnuts & Rose Petals
- Smashed raspberries (added to pudding) + Chocolate Coconut Yoghurt & Toasted Almonds
- Cacao or carob powder (added to pudding) + Sliced Banana, Cacao Nibs & Pepitas
- Cacao powder & mint leaves (added to pudding) + Vanilla Coconut Yoghurt & Pistachio
The best piece of advice I can offer you is this: don't be afraid to experiment! Chia pudding is extremely forgiving and so versatile. Have a play, have fun and make something delicious.
- ¼ cup chia seeds preferably organic
- 1 cup plant based milk eg. coconut, almond, macadamia, soy
- 1-2 tblsps maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tblsp coconut yoghurt (optional)
- nuts eg. almonds, macadamias, pistachio
- seeds eg. sesame seeds, pepitas, linseeds
- seasonal fruit eg. berries, mango, passionfruit
- In a small bowl, add plant based milk of choice, chia seeds and maple syrup (if using) and whisk straight away. Whisking straight away is important otherwise chia seeds will start to clump together.
- Cover bowl and place in refrigerator, returning to stir in about 5 minutes time.
- When pudding is set (not runny at all and slightly wobbly like jelly) remove from fridge and add coconut yoghurt.
- Divide between two jars or containers and add desired toppings. Either eat straight away or store in the fridge for future snacks. Chia pudding will keep for around 3-5 days in the fridge (depending on when milk was opened).