Chocolate Chia Pudding

2 March 2015

This yummy 'pudding' is great anytime, I've been enjoying it for breakfast.  Packing a great nutritional punch of high value proteins and minerals, high quality source of vital Omega 3 fats, and antioxidants and its tastes divine!  There are lots of variations on this, so feel free to experiment with flavours, and toppings to create your own version to suit your tastes.

Chia seeds have become known recently as the Miracle Seed! The name chia comes from the Aztec word for 'oily', which is 'chian', and this explains well what one of the main benefits of chia is; it is very high in omega-3 acids, which are a type of unsaturated fat.

It's easy to get mixed up between omega-3 and omega-6; basically, omega-3 acids are the fats which are not so easy to come by. They're in fish oils, flax seeds, kiwi seeds, and chia seeds, amongst other things. Omega-6, on the other hand, is found almost everywhere you look: nuts, vegetable oils, avocadoes, etc. As important as omega-6 oils are to our health, the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 is equally important. As it is so easy to consume plenty of omega-6, it is very easy to end up with an unbalanced consumption of the two types of oils, which are also known as essential oils. When it comes to the amount of omega-3 oil in various seed oils, the chia seed has the highest content, just above kiwi seeds, perilla and flax.

Most health conscious people will be more familiar with linseeds than they will be with chia seeds. So, if you've ever put a spoon of linseed into some water and left it for thirty minutes, you would have returned to find a kind of glutinous solution, kind of like a gel consistency. Well, the same thing happens with chia seeds, which is another reason that they are so good for you; they act the same way in your gut. This means that they are really good for your digestive system, providing both a high amount of fiber, and also this action of forming a gel like solution moves through your body and cleans up as it goes. It's also thought that this gel physically prevents the fast breaking down of carbohydrates in the body, by slowing down the action of the enzymes on the carbs.

Here are some other great chia facts!

  • Chia contains five times more calcium than milk
  • Chia contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges
  • It contains three times more iron than spinach
  • It contains twice the potassium content of banana
  • It is food for healthy skin, hair and nails
  • It has a positive impact balancing blood glucose levels (making it awesome for diabetics)
  • Chia makes a great egg replacement. Just combine with water to form a gel, and add it to recipes that call for egg.

There are so many ways you can add chia seeds to your diet - you can ground them and add to smoothies, or sprinkle on cereals, salads etc, or make lovely puddings like this one!

Ingredients

1 cup non-dairy milk (for this pudding I like Organic Rice Dream Vanilla flavour)

1/4 cup chia seeds

4 teaspoons raw cacao powder

4 teaspoons of a low gi nautral sweetener such as rice syrup (feel free to substitute honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar etc, and adjust amount according to your tastes)

Method

Whizz everything together in a blender.

Pour into a couple of pudding dishes / glasses.  Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally overnight.

Play around with toppings - I've used fruit juice sweetened cranberries and raw cacao nibs - delish!