All About Chia
It’s been quite a few years already that Chia (salvia hispanica) seeds, native to Central America became so popular throughout the world and I’m sure you have either at least heard of it or even have some in your pantry. Chia seeds, chia pudding in particular is amongst the most instagrammable meals on social media these days (including me, obvs), especially within the vegan/vegetarian community. There are hundreds if not thousands of articles about the nutritional benefits of chia, which you probably have also read, so I’ll get straight to the point, mentioning only the most important key points or why I love chia so much, too.
Nutritional Benefits of Chia:
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, B vitamins
Rich in fiber
Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid, which is how a chia pudding is born. The seeds develop a gel-like coating that gives chia pudding the famous creamy pudding-like texture. Chia seeds are neutral in taste, that’s why they make a great flavouring base.
Some of the classic chia pudding variations are: coconut, chocolate (with dark cocoa powder mixed in), fruit flavoured (mixed with superfood powders like acai or berry puree).
My favourite is coconut chia and I like to upgrade it with a few tablespoons of thick coconut yogurt, which gives it a hint of tanginess and makes it extra creamy. I love pairing it with silky banana and I love the contrast of creamy pudding with zingy passion fruit.
Serves 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 2 hours or overnight
- 6 tbsp (67g) of chia
- 6 tbsp (90g) of creamy full fat coconut milk + a bit more to serve
- 1 & 1/4 cup (325g or more if needed) of oat/rice/almond or other plant based milk
- a few tbsp of quality thick coconut yogurt
- 1 larger ripe banana
- 2-4 passion fruit
- blackberries or other berries
- toasted coconut flakes (I like to use the salted & sweetened coconut crisps)
- maple syrup to sweeten (optional)
Prepare The Chia Pudding
In a medium bowl mix chia seeds with the creamy coconut milk until evenly incorporated. In a few minutes, stir in the other plant based milk. Stir well again to combine in about 5 minutes as the chia seeds will already be expanding. Place in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight, stirring well in 30 minutes time to make sure chia seeds are soaking up the liquid evenly.
Dress It Up
Stir in a few tablespoons of the tangy & thick coconut yogurt then divide the pudding between two bowls. Top with banana slices, fresh blackberries, passion fruit, coconut crisps and pour a tablespoon of coconut milk on top. Drizzle some maple syrup if you like it a little sweeter or if you’re serving this dish as a dessert. Maple syrup goes really well with the coconut flavour.
Chia Pudding will keep for a few days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge so you can make ahead to enjoy it tomorrow or at least the day after.