Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Have you tried chai seeds yet? They are becoming more popular daily it seems. Read this or this. Chia seeds are an ancient seed that was eaten by the Aztecs, Inca’s, etc. It is also the same seed that grows the popular Chia pets (I never had one of those did you?). Who knew the seeds for those plants are actually very healthy. They are very high in ALA omega-3’s and also are very high in fiber. They are comparable to flax seed in their nutrient composition actually. What is nice about chia though it that the whole seeds gel when immersed in liquid. The gel can then be used as a thickener in recipes (replacement for egg or fats). I have been grinding the seeds and putting it in yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies and baked goods (like this and this). However, my favorite way to eat them is this pudding. If you are a texture person and like tapioca pudding, you will love chia pudding. I have already made it twice this week it is so addicting and delicious. You can mix this recipe up multiple ways depending on the flavors that you enjoy. I happened to have some hazelnut flavored half & half at home so I used it up in this (It was an accidental purchase-I thought I was buying plain). Without it I would make this with milk or yogurt and then add some vanilla or almond extract. Rum flavoring or the real deal would also be a great to pair with the chocolate. Prefer vanilla pudding? Simply omit the chocolate and add vanilla extract. I mix this up in the morning before work so that it is all ready to go when I get home. Enjoy!

Chia Chocolate Pudding
Serves 2
½ cup hazelnut flavored half & half (or unflavored)
½ cup almond milk (or any type of milk)
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp agave syrup (or you could use honey or whatever type of
sweetener you prefer)
1.Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine until the cocoa powder is incorporated
2.Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Stir to combine if the seeds become separated from the liquid. 

Nutrient Analysis
With Half & Half:
207 calories, 13g fat, 22g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 6g protein
Using  1 cup of Almond milk:
143 calories, 6.5g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 4.5g protein
Using  1 cup of skim milk:
157 calories, 5.5g fat, 23.5g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 8g protein

I have been using Navitas Naturals brand of Chia and today I just found a whole slew of chia recipes if you want ideas of more ways to use it:

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