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Chia Pudding Packs a Nutritional Punch

If you grew up in the 80’s you are sure to remember the Chia Pet and admit it, you probably had one. But did you ever consider eating those seeds?

As it turns out Chia seeds are quite a nutritional powerhouse. They contain superfood level nutrients such as Omega 3, calcium, magnesium, and fiber plus a bunch more such as B vitamins, iron, zinc and copper. The fiber content (10 grams per ounce of seeds) makes them a good low carb choice in my mind since you get to subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrate content to get the “net carbs“.

I was re-introduced to Chia seeds a few years ago by a friend who knew I was a nutritionist and into kitchen experimentation. At first I would add them to foods such as on top of yogurt or in hot cereal as well as in water to drink as a hydration “gel”. Then I discovered Chia pudding and never looked back. From there I have experimented with multiple consistencies and flavors. The easiest way to combine the ingredients is in a covered jar so you can shake it up to combine because the seeds like to clump as they swell. Chia seeds can absorb about 10 times their weight in liquid. This also makes them a very hydrating food and make a good snack for athletes.

Here is the simplest “recipe” to start:

In a small (8 or 16 oz) mason jar place:

1/4 cup Chia seeds

1 cup liquid (almond milk, coconut milk or other creamy liquid)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp-2 Tbs sweetener as desired (maple syrup, Agave, honey, stevia, erythritol)

other flavorings and spices as desired (cocoa, cinnamon, cardamon, extracts, frieze dried coffee)

Then SHAKE vigorously. Let sit about 30 seconds and shake again. This will help disperse the seeds and prevent clumping.

Making Chia Pudding Packs Chia Pudding Packs Chia Pudding Packs to go

Refrigerate for about an hour if you can wait that long and enjoy. You can consume it sooner but the seeds will be a little crunchier.

You can add chopped fruit and even make a “parfait”.

Personally, I like my chia unsweetened and like to mix half almond milk and half coconut milk along with 1/4 tsp vanilla and a dash of each cinnamon and cardamon. I will even eat some for breakfast. For my kids I usually add a dash of maple syrup because honey is too thick and sticky to mix well. If I have the extra time I will even make my own homemade almond or coconut milk. There is nothing like fresh nut milk and you can avoid additives. I tend to mix up the pudding in 8oz mason jars so I can customize each one and leave a few labeled jars in the fridge. Chia seeds are now available at most markets and certainly on Amazon and you can buy the mason jars by the case at most hardware stores or also on Amazon.

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