Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chia Seed Pudding

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with a mild gluten allergy a month ago which has changed up my breakfasts. I no longer eat my Overnight Oats as oats tend to be commonly cross contaminated with wheat. I know they have GF versions and what not, but I’ve been trying to be a purist about this GF lifestyle. As a result of this, I’ve had to venture out and find other ways of getting a similar fix, if you will. I’ve seen people talk about Chia Seed Pudding in addition to seeing pictures on Instagram and Pinterest. Finally I decided to see what all of the hype was about and actually try it out myself.

So what is a chia seed? The first thing I thought of was those plants from back in the early 80s…the Chia plants. Remember those guys? Cha-cha-cha-chia! Well low and behold after some research, chia seeds do actually come from those little chia plants! Whaaaaaaaat?! Well….not really.
Duck Dynasty Willie Robertson Chia Pet
Duck Dynasty chia pets!
According to Wikipedia they actually come from a flowering plant in the mint family and can be used whole or ground up in drinks or foods. The chia plants didn’t actually bloom with the flowers. They are mainly grown in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Australia. The largest producer of them is the great country of Australia. The seed is high in omega-3 fatty acids and a-linolenic acid (ALA) similar to flax or sesame seeds. They are anti-inflammatory and don’t have any disease risk factors. So one could say that chia seeds are in fact another super food that should be consumed on a regular basis for good health. One word of caution – they are full of fiber, so proceed with caution if you know what I mean.

What do they taste like? What’s the texture like? In my opinion, chia seeds don’t really have a flavor. They just take on the flavor of whatever you’re mixing it with which makes them extremely versatile. The texture is similar to tapioca when you let them soak and bloat up for about 20 minutes or more. So if you don’t like tapioca pudding, then you might not want to soak them in anything because the texture will turn you off or give you the jeebs. I personally like the texture of tapioca so it really doesn’t bother me.
The recipe options are endless for these little guys. I’m going to share a couple that I’ve tried and really enjoyed. I will forewarn you though. The chocolate banana chia pudding isn’t pretty but it’s sure mighty tasty!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon (more or less depending on how much you like it)

1/2 cup almond milk (or any type of “milk” you prefer)
1/2 of a banana
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
Put the dry ingredients into a bowl or Tupperware container first and then pour in the liquids. I usually use a whisk to mix up the ingredients due to the cocoa. Not sure why, but it takes FOREVER to mix and dissolve. Once mixed together, pop the bowl into the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. I will leave mine in the fridge overnight and eat for breakfast.

Strawberry Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
Strawberries cut up
Mix dry ingredients and then add in the wet ingredients until mixed thoroughly. Pop in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. Easy peasy.

I will admit...I'm not the greatest photographer and I take pictures of my food in tupperware containers while using plastic utensils at my desk at work. I try to keep it real yo!