Absolutely delicious chia seed pudding is a great way to start the day. There is a reason the Aztec warriors ate these little seeds- not just a health craze but a real super food. Chia seeds have so many health benefits. They are full of protein, fibre, omega-3 fats (the good sort) and packed with vitamins and minerals such as copper, magnesium and phosphorus, zinc, calcium and potassium.

 

I was talking to my cousin the other day about all things healthy, including chia seed pudding. She said, “I’m not a wierd chia seed person like you.”Okay fair enough. Chia seeds are kind of weird. Some people say they don’t like how gritty they are, which is exactly why they need to be added to liquid. When they are they expand and turn gel-like, a property that makes them great for making quick natural jams, thick smoothies, desserts, gluten free baking. As they are nutrient and protein dense, they are also great for post work out or low sugar snacks such as chia seed pudding, bliss balls or bars, high in protein and fat but low in sugar. 

 

The most common objection is that they are not cheap. But, if you buy them in bulk you significantly lower the cost. The way I see it, the best gluten free muesli is getting pretty expensive and you only need about 1/3 C of chia to make a nutritious cereal alternative for two people. Furthermore, they are healthier than most cereals, because they don’t contain high levels of sulfates, salts and sugars in store bought cereals.

 

I have found many, many versions of chia seed pudding on Pinterest, ranging from the simple breakfast to the luxurious dessert. I have an example of my go-to favourite here. 

Banana and Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

1/3 C Chia seeds
1/4 C of natural, unflavoured yoghurt*
3/4 C of milk – 1 or a combination of cow’s, almond, rice, oat*
1/2 C water*
1 drop of vanilla essence
Sprinkle of sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
2 Tbsp dessicated coconut 
1 Tbsp honey, maple, agave or other natural sweetener
2 Tbsp of cranberries or sultanas (optional) 
1 banana, sliced for on top.

Prepare the night before for breakfast. Combine all ingredients and stir well, scraping any chia seeds off the side of the bowl. Top with banana slices. You could also use other fruit in season, I love raspberries, passion fruit, kiwi fruit too. Some recipes have fruit inside the pudding, such as grated apple or banana, but I find they oxidize and aren’t as fresh tasting.
*All of the liquids are interchangeable. I have some other  favourite combinations below: 
1/4 C coconut cream, 3/4 C almond milk, 1/4 C water
1/2 C Cow’s milk, 1/2 C coconut milk, 1/4 C water

chia seed pudding

Raw Berry & Chia Seed Jam

This recipe is courtesy of Elaenor Ozich’s “My Petite Kitchen Cookbook” – and she also has a posh version of chia seed pudding here. This jam is a wonderful addition to your recipe repertoire, the chia seeds imitate the gel like consistency of jams and burst in the mouth. Think with cream cheese on bagels, on scones, atop of your chia seed pudding, served with fruit crumbles, chocolate brownie and ice cream, and so much more! Just remember that due to not being a preserve, the fresh ingredients mean this lasts in the fridge for about two to three weeks.

250g frozen or chopped fresh fruit (I used frozen mixed berries)
2 Tbsp honey, maple or agave syrup
30 g (1/4 C) of chia seeds
Put the fruit in a processor or blender, add 60ml of water and honey. Pulse together until just blended. Transfer to sterilised glass jar, add chia seeds and mix well until they are well incorporated in the fruit. Place in the fridge to set for one hour at least.
 
Raw Chia Seed Jam
  Hope you enjoy it, I welcome any comments or feedback! 
  Ayles x