You can have your decadence and chia seeds too!

My first foray into the world of chia seed pudding was a touch to ambitious, like attempting a swan dive when all I had done was a splash inducing cannon ball. Despite my seemingly crunchy food habits, I had not yet acclimated my taste buds to the slightly nutty essence of chia seeds, nor their inherent sliminess; the raspberry chocolate pudding was a throw away disaster. For months the package of chia seeds sat untouched, until I got the courage to try them again by adding them to green smoothies.  Soon I was finding excuses to add a pinch here and there, when last week I decided it was time to try out the pudding again. You know, get back on the horse. It needed to be the healthy, but still naughty tasting, a pudding that felt like a decadent dessert, but could also be eaten in the morning, for it’s never too early for sweets.

First I needed a good base: something thick and substantial. I set about making chia gel which consists of 1/3 a cup of chia seeds and 2 cups of water. Chia seeds like liquid. Once submerged the seeds bulk up and slowly start excreting a gel. If you are on the fly you can make chia gel in 15 minutes, but it’s best to let it sit for at least two hours. The cool thing about chia gel is that you can keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks—no rush to use it! It also starts to lose the nutty flavor (which is great for me) and starts to smell slightly sweet.

After I had my gelatinous base, I started to think of all the great things that go into a pudding. There is the richness, but also the creaminess. A duh: bananas and peanut butter. My secretly healthy, but delicious tasting pudding baby was conceived.

PB & Banana Chia Pudding (2 hearty batches)

½ cup of Chia Gel

2 Tbs of Peanut Butter

1 Sliced Banana

1 Small Capful of Vanilla Extract

A Couple Dashes of Cinnamon

Place all the ingredients into a food processor. Checking every so often on the banana slices, blend until you’ve reached a smooth consistency. Let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour to allow the flavors to incorporate and settle.

Filled with healthy fats (peanut butter), fiber and potassium (banana), and omegas (chia seeds), this treat is also the gift that keeps on giving. Much like flax seeds, chia seeds encourage (no, practically enforce) you to drink water, which in turn keeps you even more dehydrated and less bloated. I finished up the pudding before I went to work and easily drank a 32 ounce bottle of water. Honestly, how could it get any better?

Peel Away ❤ Jocellyn

Chia Take Two

Several months ago I did a video about my obsession with trying new things. I enthusiastically jumped on the Chia Seed bus and got off a stop later. Ugh. The taste was so unsavory. So nutty. Which, I admit, was what the packaging said, but I didn’t expect it to be that bad. Fast forward to now, and with moving in and buying a new bed I haven’t had the money to buy an abundance of fruits and veggies for juicing, and I didn’t have any spinach to make a nutritious green smoothie—bananas, water, and raspberries seemed a little lackluster.

Hankering for something to kick start my system, (I’m still feeling like I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me since the dairy incident) I unearthed the bag of chia from the dark confines of the cupboard. “You better be worth it, Chia seeds, because this is the last banana,” I’m pretty sure I said out loud. I blended together a banana, water, handful of berries, and a tablespoon (the recommended dosage) of chia seeds. Chia seeds expand in liquid, so I let my drink settle in the refrigerator for 15 minutes while I went about making dinner.

It didn’t smell nutty, so I took a tentative sip. Deliciousness from the Aztec running gods.  Chia, I guess you weren’t so bad after all…in small tablespoon doses. What else could I do with these delicious, tiny seeds? I decided I was going to make some chia pudding—a popular way to consume chia—but my way, not using the directions that had let me astray months back. The outcome was delicious, so I bring you the recipe. As usual, I sort of throw things together depending on how much flavor I want, so besides a few measured out ingredients, feel free to guesstimate depending on your taste buds (and how much nutrition you are going for!)

Jocellyn’s Snappy Chia Pudding

(or)

(Insert your name) Snappy Chia Pudding.

Chia Seeds

Water

Vanilla extract

Raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon (Whenever I use cinnamon I think of that Apple Jack’s commercial with the Rastafarian cinnamon stick that skateboards and says “here I come I am cinn-a-mon”)

In a small bowl put in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Add in 3 tablespoons of water and swirl together. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. The longer you leave it the more water will be absorbed, but for this treat 15 minutes is just fine.

While this is going on grab a handful of raspberries. If you are new to chia seeds, and not sure how you’ll like the flavor, add in a few more raspberries for good measure. If they are fresh, awesome. If you be a broke person like me then microwave some frozen ones for 1 minute.  Sprinkle some cocoa powder over the raspberries. I didn’t use a measuring device for this. In fact, I couldn’t even give you a ball park estimate of how much (or little) I used. Let your at-the-moment taste buds be your guide. Set aside.

After 15 minutes, take the chia gel out of the refrigerator and add in a small amount of vanilla extract. Mine comes in a tiny jar, so I used one capful of the equally tiny top. Don’t go to crazy with this stuff.

Combine the forces into one bowl and mix together, ensuring you don’t get a huge chunk of chia. Add a little sprinkle of cinnamon and voila! You now have a seemingly indulgent, but healthy treat.

Peel Away & Enjoy ❤

Jocellyn