Strawberries & Cream Chia Pudding
This pudding is going to have a texture similar to tapioca pudding rather than a more traditional "Jello" style pudding. For those with texture issues, this may cause a problem. I personally love the texture of tapioca pudding, but I realize it's a very particular texture.
Chia seeds are an edible seed from the mint family, and before they were used to grow hair on bizarre ceramic pets (cha-cha-cha-chia), ancient Mayans and Aztecs cultivated chia for food, medicine, and oil. The Aztecs knew it was a pretty special, using chia as the survival ration for warriors.
Here are some of the major health benefits of chia:
- Rich in omega-3s (even more than flaxseed). Omega-3s are one of the 2 essential fatty acids we need to get in our diet.
- Chia seeds provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin, and zinc.
- Fabulous for hydration and keeping you fuller longer because of the unique gelling action of the seed. When exposed to water, the seed absorbs 10 times its weight in water, forming a gel around the seed.
- Balances out blood sugar (especially great for diabetes) keeping your energy levels stable throughout the day. Chia seeds are packed with soluble and insoluble fibers--the soluble fibers are absorbed and used while the insoluble fibers are NOT absorbed and help your digestive tract keep moving right along--this combo (with the unique gelling action) also helps with converting carbs into sugar. It slows down this process, preventing blood sugar spikes. Chia seeds basically act as a digestive system traffic cop, keeping everything moving slowly and safely through your system.
- Chia seeds are a GREAT source of protein. Containing all 9 essential amino acids, chia is one of nature's few complete proteins. This means it's a great addition to a vegetarian diet. A chia smoothie is an awesome post workout snack, providing protein and extra hydration.
- Chock FULL of antioxidants, chia seeds will stay fresh for up to TWO YEARS at room temperature. The only preservatives are natural antioxidants, such as quercitin, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid. Antioxidants reduce the risks of certain cancers, keep you looking younger, naturally, and reduce the risk for heart disease by decreasing inflammation.
1/3 cup white chia seeds
1 1/2 cup non dairy milk of choice (I prefer almond or cashew for this recipe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup unsweetened dried strawberries soaked overnight in ½ cup water
- Mix everything together in a small mixing bowl, except for the strawberry puree.
- Pour chia mixture into a mason jar, shake to mix well, and put in the fridge for one hour. Shake again and then allow to rest over night. Mixture will thicken and become tapioca-like in texture.
- Pour re-hydrated strawberries along with soaking water into your food processor. Pulse until you have a smooth puree.
- In 2 small mason jars (16 oz should do it), layer the chia pudding mixture with your strawberry puree. First spoon in a layer of chia pudding (approx. 3 tbsp), followed by a small layer of strawberry puree (about 1 ½ tbsp.). Continue layering until pudding and puree are used up.
- Garnish with a fresh strawberry heart.
How To Make a Heart-Shaped Strawberry
- Cut strawberry in half (from the top where the green leaves are to the point)
- Cut the top part (where the leaves are) to V-shape—you want to make sure the greens are gone.
A little tip : if you want the V part of heart shape to be more noticeable, cut the “V” deeper