In all honesty, I haven’t been cooking many (any) epic meals the last couple weeks… although there’s nowhere I’d rather be than in the kitchen, it’s really only fun when I have time to leisurely chop and stir while chatting and sipping wine. And lately, that’s been nonexistent. During super busy seasons of life, meal planning, especially at breakfast, becomes more about what’s quick without sacrificing deliciousness, and will give us the energy needed to power through marathon days. Enter chia seeds. I’d been hearing tons about these nutritional powerhouses (they are most definitely “having a moment” in the culinary world) but hadn’t the slightest idea how to cook with them. I posted my query on twitter and was blown away by all the creative things you guys are doing with them! Adding them to overnight oats, green smoothies, greek yogurt & fruit parfaits, in flapjacks and of course, as the base to the totally bizarre yet increasingly popular chia seed pudding. When chia seeds soak in any kind of liquid, they actually absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, taking on a texture like gelatin. I started experimenting with different ingredients to upp the flavor and the nutrition, and settled on this almond milk, ginger and berry combo that I’ve been completely addicted to for breakfasts, snacks and dessert the past week. It’s vegan, gluten free and brimming with antioxidants, so it’s truly a guilt-free treat that gives me tons of energy and keeps me feeling light. Since I’ve been doing a lot of grab-and-go breakfasts lately, I’ve been making my pudding in mason jars, letting it gel overnight, then tossing it in my bag as I dash out of the house in the morning. My fave recipe is below, but first, a few things you need to know about chia seeds if you’re new to the game:
- One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 4 grams of protein and a whopping 11 grams of fiber.
- Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds can be absorbed by the body in their “whole seed” state, meaning they don’t need to be ground for us to process them.
- Chia seeds are an awesome vegetarian source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids (your skin and hair, not to mention your heart, will thank you.)
- Yes, these are the same seeds that sprout “fur” on the infamous chia pets. Crazy, huh?
I like to make these in single-serve portions in mason jars that I can just pop in the fridge, but feel free to double, triple or quadruple these measurements if you’re making pudding for a crowd.
Ginger-Berry Chia Pudding
*makes 1 serving
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk (or the milk of your choice… coconut, soy, or cow’s milk works great, too.)
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 6 – 8 raspberries, blackberries or blueberries, plus more for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- nuts or seeds for topping (I love a mixture of slivered almonds and hemp seeds.)
- In a mason jar or other container with tight fitting lid, combine almond milk and maple syrup. Shake to combine.
- To the jar, add next 6 ingredients. Shake well, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. During the first 2 hours of chilling, shake well every 30 minutes to evenly distribute the chia seeds. The pudding is ready when it’s very thick.
- Pudding keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge.