Chia Dessert or Breakfast Pudding: 4 Fast Fab Flavours
Chocolate; Apricot Coconut; Apple Cinnamon; Vanilla Fig
Serves 2; 5 minutes prep
Raw vegan and Paleo; no gluten, grain, dairy, egg, soy or cane sugar
Yes, it might seem incongruous, but this is thick, creamy and dreamy enough for dessert while having superfood nutrient levels to qualify as breakfast.
Chia looks like tiny dark sesame seeds. It is similar to linseed or flaxseed in its nutrition powerhouse properties such as soluble fibre, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. It has more antioxidants – including flavonoids, quercetin and phenolics – than many berries and other fruits. For digestibility, chia does not need to be ground or cooked like linseed does. Soaking though will maximise its high soluble fibre content, which is excellent for weight and blood sugar management, liver and bowel function.
Most chia seeds available are the dark variety. White chia seeds (so-called but more shades of tan in appearance) are less common, but are especially suitable for a creamier coloured look such as with the Apricot Coconut variation.
The concept couldn’t be easier; preparation is about 5 minutes. Children can be in charge of keeping the pudding on hand for snacks. Soak 1 part chia in 4 parts liquid such as coconut or almond milk. It will become prettily pale, thick, creamy and reminiscent of a delicate rice, tapioca or sago pudding. Mix, then soak for 4 hours, overnight or many days in the fridge and enjoy as a delicious breakfast, healthy snack or dessert. Serve as is or top with fresh fruit, coconut cream, lime juice or maple syrup. Make extra; the recipe can easily be multiplied.
¼ cup white or dark chia seeds
1 cup Milk Option* (almond, hazelnut, soy, oat, rice, or dilute coconut cream* – such as ¼ cup to ¾ cup water or juice)
1 Variation as below
a) ¼ cup chopped dried apricots + for Milk Option use ¼ cup coconut cream* and ¾ cup water or mango juice;
serve sprinkled with coconut
b) ¼ cup chopped dried apple + ¼ tsp cinnamon
c) ¼ cup chopped dried figs + ¼ tsp vanilla extract
d) ¼ cup dates + 2 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder + ½ tsp vanilla extract* + for Milk Option use ¼ cup coconut cream and
¾ cup water (nice served layered in glasses with sliced strawberries)
In a 500 ml (2 cup) glass jar combine all ingredients. Cover and chill for 4 hours, overnight or longer. Stir (the dried fruit tends to settle). Serve chilled or bring to room temperature. Can be served in a parfait or wine glass and layered with fresh or stewed fruit. If preferred top with fresh fruit, coconut cream, flaked almonds, lime juice or maple syrup.
Shopping and Preparation Tips*
• Coconut cream: tinned product from the South Pacific; found in most supermarkets; Ayam brand has no additives. Should have the consistency of pouring cream; contain no dairy, flour, added sugar. ‘Lite’ types are not necessary: they just have added water and more processing. Instead use the cream version, or thin with water, Milk Option or stock – depending on the recipe.
• Milk Options: organic cow, goat, soy, oat, almond or hazelnut milk is available in most supermarkets. Or use rice milk – to each cup 1 Tbsp coconut cream or mild cold-pressed oil can be added for more body. Use options in the same quantity as regular milk called for in recipes. Check packet milks for added sugar; ensure soy milk is made from the whole bean (less processed). Pure Harvest is a good brand with many varieties; whole, organic, no added sugar.
• Vanilla and other Extracts: use top quality vanilla without artificial additives; it and other real flavours such as almond are often termed extract (as opposed to faux essence, often labelled ‘vanillin’). Good brands available locally and overseas are: Heilala Vanilla and Equagold. These are in most supermarkets and health stores.