Chia seeds are a super food (high nutrients, low calories) high in omega3-fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, protein, and calcium. Chia seeds absorb to 10x their original size and mixed with almond milk create a thick almost tapioca like pudding. It is super healthy and pairs wonderfully with fresh fruit.
You can make almond milk at home, it’s worth it because it is amazing, (but if this just made you roll your eyes, The Gem sells homemade almond and cashew milk) and since it is already sweetened with maple syrup the pudding does not need extra sweetener. Be sure to use ripe pineapple and the pudding will be plenty sweet.
For a more pronounced coconut flavor, you may substitute one cup of the almond milk for one cup of Thai coconut milk. This will increase the fat and calories, but will also increase the decadence, so if you love coconut and want a splurge (or just have extra coconut milk lying around) give that option a try.
You can also fold in a can of coconut whipped cream to make it more sumptuous and mousse-like. I would definitely use coconut whipped cream if making this into a dessert. Stir the whipped cream in right before you are going to serve.
I’m not certain what the daily recommended dose of chia seeds are, but I am certain that I surpass it. Cold, creamy, citrusy, and sweet, this chia seed pudding is all I want to eat.
Chia Seed Pudding
2 1/2 cups almond milk (or 1 1/2 cups almond milk + 1 cup Thai canned coconut milk for more coconut flavor)
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons agave, honey, or liquid sweetener of choice (optional)
zest from 1 orange
1 cup chopped orange segments, from about 3 juicy oranges (can also use canned mandarin oranges)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh ripe pineapple
1/2 cup toasted large flake coconut, garnish
1/4 cup chopped pistachios, garnish
honey for garnish (optional)
Place almond milk (coconut milk if using), chia seeds, (liquid sweetener if using) and zest from one orange in a large glass jar or glass bowl. If using a jar, fit it with a lid, shake to combine, then refrigerate. If using a bowl, mix together with a spoon, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
Allow to chill for a few hours, shaking the jar or stirring occasionally, until chia seeds are plump and soft. Mixture should not be too thick.
If you’re using it as a breakfast treat, mix orange and pineapple to combine then refrigerate again until you’re ready to eat. Garnish with coconut and pistachios before serving. If making dessert, fold coconut whipped cream into plumped chia seeds then add fruit. This will last a day or two tightly covered and refrigerated.
I like to store in small jam jars in the fridge, otherwise I’ll eat a whole batch in one sitting. :)