This is the part of the story where I tell you to make sweet, creamy pudding out of seeds, and you think to yourself, “She’s lost her rocker.”
Before you reach for that little “X” at the top right of your screen, I can explain.
Here’s how it goes:
Pudding – one of my favorite desserts – typically uses some sort of highly refined ingredient (like corn starch) to make it thick. Not so healthy.
Enter: chia. Chia has some super amazing qualities to it, one of which is its thickening ability. Just mix some chia with liquid, wait a few minutes, and it’s thick.
The happy part is that chia is a healthy, whole food – no modified whatchamastarch going on here. And, unlike most other thickeners, it’s very high in fiber (which is really helpful for weight loss).
Taste? Chia is very mild tasting, so you can incorporated it into just about any recipe and hardly notice.
8 Things You Should Know About Chia Seeds
1. The skinny chia
Chia seeds are loaded with fiber which has been shown to help with weight loss and diabetes.
Fiber also feeds the good microbes in your gut thereby improving digestion.
2. They’re naturally gluten-free
Chia seeds are naturally gluten free. If you are needing to avoid gluten, chia is a healthy option for you.
3. A chia mustache!
Chia offers more calcium than milk – about six times more!
4. I’m bananas for chia
Chia seeds have two times more potassium than bananas.
5. More omega-3 fats than fish.
Chia is an excellent source of omega-3 fats. In fact, these little seeds give you more omega-3s than fish!
And research shows that women who get their omega-3s from plant sources, like chia, have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood than those who get their omega-3s from fish or other animal products. Why? Omega-3s are found in a more stable form, ALA, in vegetables, fruits, and beans.
In addition to beating out fish as a source of omega-3’s, chia seeds contain less cholesterol than fish (chia contains zero), and are not tainted with mercury and other environmental toxins as is fish.
6. Chia up. Cholesterol down.
Speaking of cholesterol, research suggests that chia seeds may help increase HDL (good) cholesterol while reducing blood triglycerides.
7. Protein packed
One ounce of chia seeds delivers 4.4 grams protein.
8. Texture to order
Carob Chia Pudding
Carob Chia Pudding
Yield 4 1/2-cup servings
Both carob and chia are good sources of fiber and calcium.
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1/4 cup chia seed
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup raw sugar (such as turbinado sugar) scant - OR if you want this pudding to be sugar-free, you can use date puree to sweeten it
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Teeccino Vanilla Nut Naturally Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee - optional
- 2 tablespoons roasted carob powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix together almond milk and chia seed. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, mix together coconut milk, sugar, and salt (and Teeccino if using) and cook over high heat until sugar is dissolved. (About 2 minutes.) Remove from heat.
- Mix carob powder into chia and almond milk mixture. If your carob powder is clumpy, sift through a sieve first.
- Add vanilla and mix well.
- Add chia/carob mixture to coconut milk mixture in saucepan. Mix well.
- Place in refrigerator to chill overnight.
If you want your pudding to be super smooth, place ingredients in blender after they have all been combined (step 5) and blend well. Place in frig to chill.I found it interesting that the smooth, blended pudding didn't taste as sweet as the regular chia pudding. You may want a bit of extra sweetener if you blend it.
Health Benefits of Carob
Carob is a super healthy food! It’s a great source of antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, and calcium. Check out my recipes using carob. And here are some of my favorites:
Is chocolate a healthy food?
Chocolate does provide some antioxidants, but it also contains many harmful (and potentially addictive) chemicals, including phenylethylamine, theophylline, theobromine, and caffeine.
These chemicals have been shown to stress the kidneys, the adrenals, and the liver.
They also contribute to lower bone density; cause a loss of vitamin B and vitamin C in the body; increase the risk of diabetes; aggravate PMS; cause migraines and mood swings; and contribute to weight gain.
You can read more about chocolate’s unhealthy effects in a post I wrote here.