Making Chia Puddings
Puddings are a popular way to use chia — you can find recipes for chia puddings all over the Internet. Why are chia puddings so popular? Because chia seeds can absorb up to ten times their weight in water, so when they’re mixed with liquid, they form a gel that has a consistency like tapioca — perfect for puddings!
The first step to making a good chia pudding is to find good-quality chia seeds. Choose seeds that are either black or white in color — you should see very few brown seeds. (Brown seeds are immature or weed seeds with a lot less nutrients.)
When you have good-quality whole chia seeds, the next step is to choose what liquid will form the base for your pudding. Coconut milk is a great choice because it’s deliciously creamy. But if you want a super-healthy pudding, try coconut water — it has the added benefit of electrolytes. You could also choose 2 percent milk, soymilk, almond milk, or any liquid you enjoy.
The next step is to mix the seeds with the liquid and allow them time to absorb all the liquid to make a gel. A good rule of thumb is to use one part chia seeds to six parts liquid. Give it all a good stir and then leave it to sit for at least 20 minutes before stirring again and then leaving it a little longer.
This is your basic chia pudding, but it doesn’t end there. To flavor it, try adding vanilla extract, cinnamon, stevia, maple syrup, or honey. To add more depth to your pudding, try adding chopped fruits, such as mixed berries, peaches, or bananas. To really make your pudding into a filling treat, add nuts such as pecans, cashews, walnuts, or hazelnuts.
You can add any of the chunky ingredients like fruits and nuts after you make the basic chia pudding once the gel has formed. Or if you’re adding different liquids, add them before you leave the pudding to sit so that the liquids can be absorbed by the seeds.
Try different flavor combinations! Chia puddings can become a great addition to your daily diet. Try making up a batch of chia puddings at the start of the week. Keep them in sealed mason jars, and grab one every morning as you head out the door. That way you can start your day nutritiously, even when you’re in a rush.