Continuing on my pudding stint (as well as my coconut stint) I was inspired to make this recipe by a little dessert trend my father brought my attention to – chia seed pudding. I have to confess that although I had heard of chia seeds I had never really given them much thought. I had these vague impressions of their being some sort of wonder health food – one of many you can find nowadays. But I had no real appreciation for them until now. I was pointed to a recipe for one chia seed pudding by my father and that piqued my curiosity. I did a little research on the internet and discovered that chia is actually a very big thing. It’s been made into several different types of puddings and desserts and is even used in baking and all sorts. It turns out that it acts a lot like tapioca pearls by soaking up liquid and becoming gelatinous. I didn’t see that affect so much with the coconut cream – perhaps because of the high fat content in the cream. But I still liked the silky texture the seeds took from being soaked in the mix overnight and I will definitely try it again with coconut milk to see if that improves the texture or flavour at all. In the meantime I thought that the coconut cream gave the whole pudding and incredibly smooth and rich flavour that was perfectly complimented by the maple syrup and vanilla. It’s also such a simple dessert that I knew I had to put it up here so you all could enjoy it as much as I did at breakfast – and as much as my father did for his midnight snack! But I really do recommend leaving it to soak overnight because I think that really enhanced the flavour.
Chia seeds as it turns out apparently have a lot of health benefits – although I would hardly call anything you add maple syrup or honey to overly healthy. I also find the distinction interesting that chia seeds have a very high calorie content but are very low in carbohydrates. It goes to show that you really can’t assume one thing from the other. In the case of chia seeds they apparently have plenty of good fats and proteins mixed in there – hence the high calorie content. But given that chia is popping up everywhere in cereals and breads as well as in other mediums, I thought it was worthwhile to trial it. I think that really they are much better the day after they have soaked in something with more flavour. I found their taste bland at first and their smell not overly appealing. But perhaps that’s because they are so well suited to soaking up flavour and liquids from other sources. I read on one blog that they work incredibly well with rice milk because they absorb that sweetness, which is why there’s no added sweetener needed in their opinion. But I have also seen chia seeds mixed with soy milk and regular milk. So it might be worth trialing the different combinations to see what you prefer. I am definitely a coconut fan – if the vast majority of my previous posts are anything to go by. Coconut is my milk-replacement of choice, where for some it’s soy or rice milk. I also use coconut oil as well as lard in place of butter, so it’s not only for liquid or cream replacements that I turn to coconut.
Chia Seed Pudding
Serves: up to 4, Prep: 5-10 mins, Chill: Overnight
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 400ml coconut cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3.5 tbsp maple syrup/warmed honey (I used walden farm’s low calorie, allergen friendly maple syrup)
- Place the chia seeds in the large bowl and combine with the coconut cream/milk. Add the maple syrup/honey and vanilla and stir until combined.
- Cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
- Serve hot or cold, topped with a little extra maple syrup/honey.
Approx. 272 calories and 9g of carbs per serving.