Healthy Obsession: Chia Pudding

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps rural Kentucky, you’ve heard the buzz around chia seeds. Yes, these are the same chia seeds popularized in the ’80s by Chia Pets (“watch them grow!”), now apparently the latest tool of Obama’s electoral campaign…but I digress.

These ancient Aztec nuggets have been given a new lease on life and a substantial share of the health food industry due to their impressive nutritional checklist: Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, protein, dietary fiber, antioxidants and the highest concentration of skin-perfecting Omega-3s found in any whole food. Like all A-list health foods these days, chia seeds are raw, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan. Tree-huggers worldwide, rejoice!

I am always skeptical of ‘superfoods’ that make lofty promises–e.g. açaí berries–but after trying these out in a number of recipes from homemade energy bars and smoothies to oatmeal and most recently PUDDING, I’m a believer. Plus, bonus (!!), anything with a few tablespoons of chia seeds in them make you feel full and satisfied. One reason for this is their fiber content (5g per tablespoon). The other reason is these little guys plump up in liquids, acting as a thickener and replacing the need for gelatin in the following recipe.

So, back to PUDDING. I recently made a really yummy batch of chia seed pudding and had to share. Life is about moderation and every now and again I’m sure as hell going to splurge on a red velvet cupcake or chocolate lava cake, but, come on now, who doesn’t love a guilt-free dessert? This recipe is so simple, so tasty and super healthy to boot.

Spiced Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

  • 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla coconut-almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup of agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder (if you like more kick like me, double)

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a tupperware then pour the wet ingredients on top, whisking vigorously. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Et voilà, 6-8 hours later your dessert is ready! The consistency is a little funky–think some combination of bubble tea tapioca balls and passion fruit seeds–but don’t knock it ’til you try it. Now go and enjoy your delicious, chocolate-y creation knowing it’s nutritious and delicious.

I’ve also made a vanilla version of this recipe, which I may or may not have eaten for breakfast this morning. Shh, don’t tell! Just remove the cocoa and chile powder and replace those flavors with the pulp of one vanilla bean.