Monday, October 14, 2013

Raw Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding

insert chia pet commercial joke here...
Raw Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding. 

Raw coconut vanilla chia pudding served with walnuts, sliced peaches and hemp seeds.

Being a child of the 80s made coming to terms with the whole chia pudding concept rather difficult. Until recently I had only ever experienced chia in pet form, gooey little seeds slathered onto a terra cotta sheep for novelty sprouting. But, in spite of what TV infomercials would have us believe, there is much more to chia than giving fuzzy green fur/ hair to ceramic animals and Mr. T heads.
Chia seeds are nutritional rockstars, ridiculously full of fiber, protein and vitamins, and they happen to make an outstanding pudding. The seeds thicken when soaked in liquid, giving them a texture similar to that of tapioca. Add a little sweetener, a little vanilla, a pinch of salt and you've got a crazy good (and good for you) pudding that can be enjoyed guilt-free any damn time of day.
Pudding for breakfast?
Don't mind if I do.

Maple syrup measuring time. 

Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding
(serves 2-3)

 1c light coconut milk
3Tbsp raw chia seeds
1" of a vanilla bean, scraped
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp sea salt
1tbsp maple syrup
agave syrup

raw walnuts
coconut flakes
cacao nibs
sliced fruit
hemp seeds

In a medium bowl combine chia seeds, sea salt and maple syrup.
Split vanilla bean segment lengthwise and, using the backside of knife, scrape the seeds from inside the pod and
add to mixing bowl.
You can also drop the scraped pod into into the mix for a stronger vanilla flavor. Simply leave pod to soak with pudding then remove before eating.
Add coconut milk, whisk to combine.
Let sit for 5 minutes.
Whisk again, cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least three hours until thickened.
Serve with fresh fruit, nuts or seeds.

*Recipe Notes*

Read ingredients when shopping for coconut milk as many brands contain additives and thickeners. My favorite is Trader Joe's canned light coconut milk. It contains only coconut milk and water and is a great value at about $1 per 14oz can.
If you find that your pudding has become overly thick after setting,
add a bit more coconut milk and stir to combine.
Alternately, if it is too thin add a small amount of extra chia seeds to thicken it up.

More ways to eat chia pudding: with raw walnuts, hemp hearts and a sliced fresh fig.

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