Yes, I have hopped on the Chia bandwagon and I really love it. One scroll through Pinterest and you’ll see everyone’s eating Chia now. I’ve been mixing both Chia and Flax into my yogurt and hot cereal for years (with nuts, fruit and granola too!), but now Chia has gone rogue and you can eat it on its own! It’s not just a mix-in! Who knew? Only a million other people, apparently!
For chia neophytes such as myself, I searched for recipes and variations to get some inspiration. There are so many pretty pictures of brightly colored chia puddings out there! I learned that chia is pretty adaptable and can mix with any kind of liquid to create a pudding or mousse like texture. Have some fruit juice? No problem, stir in the right amount of chia and leave it for an hour or two and you’ll have a fruit flavored pudding. Blend up a smoothie and add chia and you’ll have a thick enough beverage to eat with a spoon. Mix it with milks, soy, rice, almond or regular and voilà! It’s so easy!
I am not usually one for “trends”. I ate ramps and loved Sriracha long before it became trendy to do so. You’ll never catch me going gluten free or dairy free, unless a team of Dr’s. tells me I have to. (Give up bread and cheese? Not without a fight!) But this is one trend I can get behind.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with Superfood powders, because we could all use some extra vegetables and fruits in our diets. Not only can you mix them in smoothies, but you can sprinkle them on salads, or just drink them with water or juice. Most taste terrible. And don’t try to smell them. Trust me on this. But if you hide them in something, you can learn to tolerate them. And some, a rare few, actually taste good. Like this one that I spotted at Whole Foods. I bought a single serve packet of Amazing Grass® Green SuperFood® Berry Flavor Drink Powder and it actually tastes like berry. It was a pleasant surprise after seeing the color- sort of a dull camo green. Looks can be deceiving. So I mixed it up with my half of my Chia pudding breakfast bowl. And yum! This one I will buy again.
The key for me is the fresh fruit and the addition of granola- which is really quick to make at the last minute in the toaster oven. Of course you can make it in the real oven and on a much larger scale too. If I haven’t made a batch and I want some granola for my yogurt or cereal, then last minute in the toaster oven will have to do.
As I try more recipes, I’ll share them. But here is the basic recipe for starters. To this you can add 1-2 tsp of any superfood powder.
Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding
1 cup Almond Milk (I used the Vanilla flavored)
¼ cup Chia Seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp agave nectar
Mix together in a large bowl and cover and let sit in the fridge for an hour or overnight. If your pudding is too thick, just add more almond milk a tsp at a time to thin it out to a consistency you prefer.
Top with sliced fruit and/or berries and granola or anything you would like.
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 tbs Chopped Pecans (or any other nut)
1tbs Shredded Coconut
1 tsp Maple Syrup
2 tsp Vegetable Oil
Pinch of Salt
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Line your toaster oven tray with foil and spread mixture evenly on top of the foil. Toast until lightly golden browned, keeping a close eye on it because it may burn quickly depending on how well your toaster oven “toasts”.
Remove from oven and cool until you can touch it.
Once cool, add some dried gogi berries or other dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, currants, apricots, etc.) to your liking.
Use to top yogurt or a chia breakfast bowl.
Store unused portions in air tight containers for freshness. Will last up to a week.