The first time I heard about chia was from those annoying ch-ch-ch-chia adverts – arggh! Searching for that link just now, reminds me why we don’t have TV, ha.
You can in fact eat chia seeds – they’re tiny nutritional powerhouses. Chia (salvia hispanica) belongs to the mint family and is commercially grown for its seed. The seed’s extractable oil is highly concentrated with omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a high proportion of protein, dietary fiber and significant levels of antioxidants.
When the chia seeds are mixed with a liquid and allowed to stand for a few minutes, a gelatinous mass, known as a chia gel results. The longer you leave the mixture, the gummier and more gelatinous it gets. Chia gel is similar to tapioca pudding, only you don’t have to cook it.
The seeds themselves do not have or take on any flavor, they simply add texture. You can add any liquid to the gel you wish – examples include, water, fruit juice, milk, coconut milk and/or coconut water. If you’d like the chia gel to be sweet, feel free to add agave, sugar, honey or even blitzed dates – it’s entirely up to you.
This pudding tastes a little like a chewy chocolate mousse. It’s richly chocolaty and totally moreish.
CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING
- 40 g (4 T) chia seeds
- 240 ml (1 c) milk substitute/milk*
- 60 g (3 T) raw agave nectar/honey, to taste
- 25 g (4 T) unsweetened cocoa powder, or to taste, depending how chocolaty you like it
- 1 T vanilla
* The chia seeds can absorb up to nine times its weight in liquid, so if you’d like the pudding to be a bit thinner, simply add more liquid. Likewise if you like your pudding thicker, add less.
1. Place all the ingredients into a small bowl. Mix the ingredients together until everything is evenly combined.
2. Cover the bowl with cling-film (plastic wrap) and place in the refrigerator for at least 20-30 minutes or overnight.
3. Just before serving, stir. Enjoy!