I may be a little late to the chia pudding scene, but I’m going to do my best to keep this party going.
Breakfast has always been the most vexing meal of my day. I wake up famished, usually craving sugar, and unwilling to spend too much time in the kitchen.
I know I shouldn’t start my day eating sugary cereals or processed meals, so those quick and easy ’solutions’ are out the window. Eggs just don’t thrill me. And, you can only eat toast so many times before feeling like your life is as bland as, well, toast.
Then I discovered coconut chia pudding. It’s easy, it’s yummy, it’s good for you, and it’s pretty. Really, what more could you want?
Chia seeds are a vegetarian’s best friend. Totally satiating (they are almost 20% protein by weight) and full of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, they’re also a great source of antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and other vital nutrients.
When added to liquid and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, their outer layer absorbs the liquid to form a gel (like magic!). This same reaction also happens inside your stomach, which slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars.
When combined with coconut milk (iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus), this is a seriously delicious powerhouse of a meal.
I love having this in the winter months because one of the benefits of coconut milk is it contains lauric acid, which your body converts into an antiviral and antibacterial compound called monolaurin. Don’t be silly — of course get your flu shot if you need to — but treat yourself and have some coconut chia pudding, too.
This pudding base is a great starting point for many easy to-go breakfasts or desserts and you’re only limited by what’s in your fridge. The natural sweetness of the coconut milk reduces the need for additional sugar, but I love topping it with seasonal fruit for varied texture and color and a few drops of vanilla extract to enhance the flavors.
CHIA & COCONUT PUDDING
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups coconut milk (not coconut cream)
- Pour the coconut milk into a large container
- Sprinkle in the chia seeds, stirring as you go to avoid clumps.
- Pour the mixture into smaller vessels for individualized portions, or refrigerate the entire container and serve spoonfuls from it later.
- Set overnight (or at least four hours) and then top with fruit and a little extra almond milk (or milk of your choice) in the morning.
- This will make at least 6 servings and will last about five days in the fridge.
Fuyu persimmons & fresh grated ginger
Bananas & cinnamon
Shredded coconut and diced mango
Have you ever tried chia pudding? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for creative toppings. Share your own recipes and tips below!
Photos by Michelle Mishina