I've been hearing a lot about the benefits of chia seeds lately, one of the latest "superfoods", but until recently I had yet to try them although they have long been a traditional food in some cultures, so they might best be considered an ancient superfood.
My best friend Basil had a bag of them that was passed on by a co-worker and he thought that I might be interested in coming up with a recipe. Surely I was but, well, with my distracted attention span combined with Basil's, those little gems nearly went to the grave with us. We didn't forget about them, but Basil forgot to bring them to me when he visited and I forgot to remind him to send them home with me when I visited. Finally they arrived back in my kitchen and I went with a simple custard-like pudding that turned out even better than I imagined. I suppose you may describe the dish as tapioca-like. The chia seeds puff up into little pearls as they soak, contributing a pleasing texture to this vegetarian and vegan-friendly delight. It might not be the prettiest pudding you'll eat, but one of the most delicious I've had in a long time.
It makes for a fine breakfast because it's not too sweet, but it's also a lovely dessert to end any meal. If you are going to enjoy the pudding for breakfast, I would suggest getting the soaking process started before you go to bed — it won't take long.
The benefits of chia seeds are well known at this point, I suppose, although for many of us the once trendy chia pets might be the closest acquaintance with chia. It's all fun to grow a furry house plant but eating the seeds is even more enjoyable. Chia seeds fill you up without excess calories as they are digested slowly because of their glutinous gel-like consistency. Gluten-free, chia seeds interact with digestive enzymes helping to slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, helping to control blood sugar, while they are also apparently a good source of omega-3, fiber, iron, calcium, protein, vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants, to name just a few of the perceived benefits. If you are new to chia seeds, start with a few teaspoons and gradually increase your consumption. Like many other foods, the key is moderation though — you don't need to sprinkle them on everything you eat throughout the day.
Chia seeds are commonly used as an egg replacer and are an excellent and delicious addition to soaked breakfast grains, smoothies and puddings such as this.
|Chia Seed Pudding|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on April 2, 2013
Simple, tasty, nourishing and not-too-sweet, easy-to-digest vanilla chia seed pudding made with almond and coconut milk
More healthy breakfast ideas from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Anooshavoor (Turkish Barley and Apricot Porridge)
Oat Mango Smoothie with Blackberries
Breakfast Quinoa Porridge
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