The first time I saw chia pudding was a few years ago in San Francisco. My friend had ordered it at a brunch and when it arrived, it was as if a work of art had been presented in the middle of our farm table. The black and white chia pudding with apricot compote and rough chopped almonds looked like a mosaic masterpiece. Once I found out how simple it was to make, it’s been a staple in my refrigerator as a quick breakfast, an easy snack or a decadent dessert ever since.
Not only is chia pudding gluten-free and can be made vegan & sugar-free, it is packed full of anti-oxidants, fiber, protein and has more Omega-3s than eating salmon. Because this super food is just hitting the mainstream, so far it is a non-GMO, usually organic, whole grain that has calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B1, B2 & B3!
I love the versatility of chia. It soaks up the flavor of whatever you add to it.
My recipe for chia pudding is very basic~
- 1 cup almond milk
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Whisk ingredients together making sure all of the chia seeds are wet and getting rid of any clumps. Let it set overnight in your refrigerator or at least 3 hours. The consistency will be little bit like tapioca.
I personally don’t like anything too sweet, so I don’t add any sugar to the chia. I top the chia pudding with fresh fruit and a dollop of yogurt, as the toppings will naturally sweeten the pudding. If you have a big sweet tooth though, you can sweeten it to your preference by drizzling some honey or maple syrup on top or blending it in a blender with a raw date. Once the chia pudding has set, you can now let your foodie creativity run wild.
Here’s some fun, delicious ideas to dress it up as a dessert or alternative brunch offering at your next gathering!
***The easiest way to make your basic Chia Pudding decadent is to layer it like a parfait. Top it with with Greek Yogurt to add a bit of tartness or Coconut Whipped Cream for your sweet tooth.
Add Applesauce & Almond Butter in the layers and then top with coarse chopped almonds or freshen it up with Berries & Mint.
I experimented with steeping Earl Grey Tea in almond milk. Heat the almond milk on the stovetop for 1 minute and add 3 tea bags. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Add the milk to the chia seed with 1 tsp. of maple syrup and let it set in the refrigerator. I can tell you first hand, it is delicious!
Citrus is in season & lovely California weather has provided me with a blooming kumquat tree in my backyard. I love the sweet & sour bite of this candy fruit. Stir a few drops of lemon or orange juice into the chia pudding & sprinkle with Orange Zest for a flavor pop. Top it off with sliced Kumquats or Marmalade.
For Real Sweet Tooth Cravings~
Trader Joes makes things so simple with pre-made jarred lemon curd, chocolate spread, caramel sauce, nut butters…
Top with Lemon Curd & fresh Blueberries
Drizzle with Caramel & sprinkle with Sea Salt
Satiate your inner child with Peanut Butter & Jelly
For those who need a chocolate fix, you can make Chocolate Chia Pudding by substituting chocolate almond milk or adding 2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder, a dash of cinnamon and ½ tsp. of vanilla extract to regular almond milk. Whisk together before adding the chia seeds.
***You can substitute different milk options as well for the almond milk. Try using Coconut Milk for a rich, creamy texture.
Chocolate Parfait Ideas
Using the Chocolate Chia Pudding above, try adding these layers:
Chocolate Banana: Top it off with banana slices & roasted almonds
Chocolate Hazelnut: Top it off with Nutella & roasted hazelnuts
Coffee & Chocolate: Steep heated almond milk in coffee grounds in a French press & strain. Whisk in the cocoa powder & vanilla extract before adding your chia seeds. You can also substitute pre-bought coffee-flavored almond milk.
Chocolate & Mint: Add a few drops of peppermint oil. Top with minced mint leaves.
Chocolate Raspberry: Top with raspberries and dust with cocoa powder.
The possibilities are endless…! Let your mind & your taste buds play!
Bon Appétit!! ~ Have fun with it & let us know what your favorite flavor combination is!
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Words & Recipe by Sarah Prikryl // Photography by Sarah Prikryl
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