Thursday, 20 June 2013

a superfood chia seed pudding

Somewhere in the world right now, the weather is warm.

Maybe even hot.

Somewhere in the world right now, the sun is shining high in a bright blue sky. The people there are probably craving foods that are refreshing and cold.

Wherever that may be, it certainly isn't here in Melbourne.

It's been so cold that, every morning, when my significant other wakes up, all I can hear (all the way from the bathroom to the bedroom) is him exclaiming, "Holy macaroni! I'm freezing! I'm frozen! Holy macaroni!" (he tries not to swear in front of me).

Even now, I am sitting beside my heater, under a blanket, typing away whilst wearing a singlet, two jumpers, pyjama pants, socks, slippers and a beanie. I've got my AFL scarf wrapped around my neck (Go the Dons!) (please don't judge me), and I'm taking regular breaks from typing - just to wrap my hands around my hot mug of tea to prevent my fingers from freezing over.

But funnily enough, even though the weather has been frosty, I have been craving this refreshingly cold superfood chia seed pudding all week. I've had one every single day! Sometimes, it's breakfast. Other times, it's lunch. A few times, I've even thrown it together in a glass jar and taken it to work for dinner. But always, I feel better after having it.

Perhaps it's because constant exposure to heating is somewhat dehydrating (and the chia seeds in this pudding are so rehydrating).
Maybe it's because this pudding (and its multitude of toppings) are so nutritious and nourishing.
Maybe it's because the recipe is easy- peasy, super quick and requires no cooking.
Or maybe, it's just because it tastes so darn good.

Chia seeds are little powerhouses of nutrition - my next blog post will discuss them in greater detail. But today, because my fingers are busy thawing, I will simply leave you with this recipe. Now it's time to put the kettle on for another mug of tea. My fingers are beginning to stiffen again from the cold..

a superfood chia seed pudding
serves 1

the pudding prior to mixing -

 and after mixing -

for the pudding
  • 1/4 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 cup liquid (see notes below)
  • 1 tsp organic raw maca powder
  • 1 tsp organic raw mesquite powder
  • 3 heaped tsp plant protein powder, e.g. rice or pea protein powder (see recipe below)
  • flavourings (see recipe below)
  • organic rice malt syrup, agave syrup, raw honey, coconut nectar, maple syrup or other sweetener - only if desired (see notes below)

for the topping

combine a small handful each of these ingredients -
  • dried goji berries
  • organic raw mulberries
  • organic raw incan berries
  • organic raw cacao nibs
  • organic (dried, unsweetened) shredded coconut
  • organic activated buckwheat groats
  • bee pollen
  • organic pumpkin seeds
  • organic sunflower seeds
  • or use any combination of (preferably organic and unsweetened) nuts, seeds, coconut and berries

In a bowl, combine the chia seeds, liquid, maca, mesquite and pea protein powders and sweetener (if using) and whisk well to remove any lumps. Now is also the time to add any flavourings -
  • for a berry flavoured pudding, use a berry- flavoured protein powder and add 1 tbsp organic macqui (or acai) powder
  • for a chocolate flavoured pudding, use a chocolate- flavoured protein powder and add 1 tbsp organic raw cacao powder
  • for a vanilla spiced pudding, use a vanilla- flavoured protein powder and add 1 tsp organic vanilla extract (or powder), 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. As the chia seeds start to absorb the liquid, they will swell up and create a gel- like pudding.

To serve, remove the pudding from the refrigerator. Combine all of the topping ingredients and scatter over the pudding. Done!


For the liquid, you can use-
  • filtered water
  • coconut water
  • organic coconut or almond milk (or any other mylk you wish to use)
  • or any combination of these
For a runnier pudding, I recommend using water or coconut water. For a creamier pudding (which I prefer for the vanilla and chocolate flavours), I recommend using mylk (or a 1:1 combination of coconut water and mylk).

I find that the coconut water and dried berries provide enough sweetness without necessitating the addition of natural sweetener, but you may add some (to taste) if you desire.

Maca, mesquite, macqui, cacao and plant protein powders are available at most health food stores. They are superfoods and contain a wealth of nutrients and health benefits (which I will discuss in greater detail at a later date).

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