Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds. The new health food craze in the past year, and I must admit I've bought into the craze.  A decade or so ago the craze with chia was a cute little tune that went with a funny looking planter.  Now the seed has evolved and become a hit with health foodies all over. 

Did you know that chia seeds contain more omega-3's than any other plant food? These powerful seeds also contain high amounts of calicum, even more so than cow's milk (the saying should be "Got Chia?").  They also rank high in vitamin C, fiber, and iron.  Worth a try for sure! 

Chia seeds really don't have much of a taste.  The beauty of these little seeds is the thickening power they have.  Want to thicken a shake, ice cream, or pudding? Chia seeds could be your solution.  I use chia seeds as an egg replacer for baking.  1 TBS chia seeds to 3 TBS water.  Simply mix the previous ratio together to replace 1 egg.  Allow the mixture to set for a few minutes and then mix in like you would an egg.  Viola'. A vegan, power packed egg replacer.  I have used this in making pancakes, muffins, cupcakes,..... It works wonderfully and because they really don't have a strong flavor it doens't affect the taste of what you are baking. 

One of my favorite ways to use Chia Seeds is to make a Chia Seed Pudding.  It is a bit like the texture of tapioca pudding so for texture sensitive kiddos you might want to introduce this slowly or even blend part of it up.  There are lots of different ways to make Chia Seed pudding but I especially love a chocolate flavored pudding.  I often will do it carob flavored for my girls because they are so sensitive to chocolate (the caffeine keeps them wired for hours and this mama doesn't need her kiddos having any more energy than they already have!). 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

2 cups coconut milk beverage
1/2 cup chia seeds
6 pitted medjool dates
1-2 TBS cocoa or carob powder
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Soak dates in water for 2 hours or for a quicker version soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes. 

When dates are finished soaking, blend milk, dates, cocoa/carob powder in blender until smooth.    

Add blended mixture to chia seeds.  Stir in raspberries. 

Cover and refrigerate for several hours, until thickened. 
This is great to prepare at night and it will be ready for a super simple breakfast on hot summer morning. 

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