Chia seed pudding is currently very trendy in vegan and raw food circles and is a frequent topic on health food blogs. I am most definitely not a vegan and besides the occasional begrudgingly eaten salad, I generally prefer my food cooked. That being said, I pride myself on being open to trying new things and have a certain penchant for slippery slimy foods, so I took the plunge, bought some of the seeds and followed one of the recipes I found online. Despite my misgivings, it turned out to be mostly un-horrible!

Not exactly a glowing recommendation, I know, but not to worry, I've managed to tweak the recipe into something that most will find thoroughly edible and even possibly delicious.

Almond Chia Pudding

Ingredients:
  • 3 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk (you can also use soy milk, hemp milk, or even regular old fashioned moo juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 - 2 Teaspoons agave nectar, to taste
  • Pinch of salt

Method

In a bowl or other small container, add all of the ingredients and stir well. Let the mixture sit for a minute, allowing the seeds to begin soaking up the liquid, then stir well again. Let it sit for another 2 or 3 minutes, then stir again. Wait 5 more minutes, stir well again, then cover and stash in the fridge for at least 3 hours. This will make a pretty thick pudding. If you prefer your pudding to be less thick, don't add the extra teaspoon of chia seeds. Do not leave out the pinch of salt as it really makes a big difference in the taste.

The reason for the repeated stirring and waiting is to prevent lumps from forming. As the seeds begin to soak up the up the milk, they form a sticky gel that will later set somewhat, so it's important to loosen them up before that occurs. To make things easier on myself, I normally just toss all of the ingredients into a small plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and shake it a vigorously every few minutes before putting it in the fridge to sit overnight. In the morning, I stir the mixture again and top it with banana slices and sometimes a little granola for texture.

Using this ratio of ingredients, you can come up with all sorts of interesting chia-snacks. Try replacing the milk with with fruit juice for a different taste, or swapping the whole seeds for milled seeds to get a smoother, more porridge-like consistency. Top it with anything you'd like. It's really quite a versatile, healthy and above all easy breakfast or treat.

Who says you can't eat pudding for breakfast?

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