Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Pudding

10 Jul

Remember Chia pets?  I never owned one but the commercials always gave me a little chuckle. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here to take a peek)

The seeds used to grow the Chia pet’s “fur” are– you guessed it– chia seeds, and they just so happen to be a nutritional powerhouse.  One serving (2 tablespoons) contains 5 grams of fibre and 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (approximately double the recommended minimum intake).  In addition, chia seeds are a source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and selenium.

Chia Seeds

How to eat chia seeds, you ask?  They are neutral in flavour and can be eaten raw so the sky’s the limit.  The brilliant thing about them is that they absorb liquid readily, forming an interesting gel-like consistency.  For this reason, they’ve become popular as a thickening agent in smoothies and as an egg substitute in vegan baked goods.

I tried eating them raw but I wasn’t thrilled with their crunchy texture (it was like eating a mouthful of poppy seeds), not to mention the fact that I ended up with most of the seeds lodged between my teeth.  Unwilling to give up, I did some Googling and stumbled across my new favourite (healthy) dessert: chia pudding.

The concept sounds odd, the pudding itself looks even more bizarre (check out the photo below), but there’s something about this chia pudding that has me hooked!  It perfectly satisfies my post-dinner chocolate craving and the fibre makes it rather filling.

Note: Chia seeds can be purchased at bulk food stores.  There are two varieties: black chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) and white chia seeds (Salba), with both varieties considered to be equally nutritious.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding
(adapted from

2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water + 3/4 cup cold or room temperature water
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups soy milk (or cow’s milk, or almond milk, etc.)
2 tbsp maple syrup/honey/sweetener of your choice

  1. Mix cocoa powder with hot water in a large bowl.  Stir with a fork until cocoa clumps disappear.  Add cold water and stir.
  2. Add chia seeds and soy milk.  Stir continuously for 1 minute, ensuring that all seeds have come into contact with the liquid.
  3. Add sweetener of your choice.  Stir pudding every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes.  Serve immediately, if desired, or divide pudding into 4 bowls and refrigerate.  Note: Pudding will thicken as it sits.  For best results, let sit overnight.  This gives you an extra-thick pudding.   

Makes 4 servings, approximately 1 cup each.  Per serving: 130 kcal, 6 g fat, 6 g fibre

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