I had been reading about Chia Seed Pudding on several blogs lately, and have been meaning to try it but never seemed to get around to buying the seeds. Last week, on a rare major shopping excursion, fate intervened. I stopped by the brand new Marshalls in nearby Athens, GA, and, believe it or not, found some organic black chia seeds there. I tried out a recipe for a single serving of the pudding, and I am now an enthusiastic convert! I think it tastes like tapioca (which I love) with some crunch added. Many people eat this pudding for breakfast, but it also makes a great dessert. In fact, I almost feel guilty about eating Chia Seed Pudding for breakfast because it seems so decadent!
While some may find the taste rather bland, I happen to like bland. It is a bit like oatmeal in that you can add whatever flavorings you like. Sweetened berries are a favorite topping, as are chopped toasted nuts or shredded coconut, and spices like cinnamon and/or nutmeg can be stirred in. Try stirring in a pinch of salt when blending the seeds and liquid, just as you would do with oatmeal, if you need a flavor enhancer (salt can bring out the sweet flavor in foods). I can't wait to start experimenting with more flavor variations!
Chia Seed Pudding
3 T. chia seeds
1 C. liquid of choice*
1/2 T. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in a container that can hold about 2 cups (I used a 500-ml French jelly jar glass with a lid). Let sit for a minute, and stir again. Wait a few more minutes and then stir once more. (The multiple stirrings ensure that the seeds stay evenly distributed in the liquid rather than clumping at the bottom of the container.) Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or ideally overnight, stirring occasionally if you remember. Stir once more and serve, adding a spoonful or two of liquid if the pudding is too thick. Makes one generous breakfast serving or two reasonable dessert servings.
*I used rice milk, but almond milk or coconut water are popular choices. Regular milk is another option, of course, and yogurt can be substituted for half of the liquid.