Today I'm excited to share a few of the magical secrets (sort of) of chia seeds! Of all the "superfood" "health craze" foods out there, chia seeds are by far the one I can get behind in the biggest way. They are SO much fun to create dishes with, and packed with omega 3's, which just about everyone could use more of.
While I love to toss chia seeds into all sorts of dishes, their ability to make this crazy easy pudding is what truly classifies them as magic in my world. I'll include some more notes about how many things you can do with this basic recipe, but for the sake of simplicity today I'm sharing a straight up hazelnut chia pudding as well as one packed with some dark chocolate powder for a nutella-esque yet totally healthy treat.
Chia seeds' magic comes in the way they interact with liquid when soaked. The outer shell absorbs some of the liquid to create a gel-like texture. So when you mix together enough chia seeds with any liquid, you end up with a pudding-like texture of delicious. All it requires is a minute or two of whisking, and a few hours in the fridge. MAGIC!
I'll be honest, the first time I stumbled across a reference to chia pudding, I didn't waste much time at all whipping up my first batch... and I was immediately hooked. If chia seeds weren't so darn expensive, I'd probably still be eating chia pudding every morning of the week for breakfast. It's not only totally delicious, but it's so packed with nutrients that it's a great start to the day and keeps you full for hours!
The best part? This pudding is incredibly flexible, and easy to experiment with. The constant you need to keep an eye on is your balance of chia seeds to liquid, but as long as you maintain that balance - the options are endless! Use any type of dairy/nut-milk you want, or coconut milk! Mix in some pureed fruit to make a fruity version, change up the sweetener or sweetness level, add whatever flavor you like! Or... pack that pudding full of chocolate for a totally healthy dessert : )
For the sake of these photos, I kept things simple... but this pudding can also be topped with anything you like. I love having it for breakfast with a little granola and fruit sprinkled on top!
This chia pudding will be on the thick side, and can easily be made thinner by decreasing the amount of chia seeds added to the mixture!
Hazelnut Chia Pudding
2 cups hazelnut milk
2/3 cup chia seeds
4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional, for chocolate version)
- Combine all ingredients in bowl or jar, and whisk together for about a minute until the chia seeds remain suspended in the liquid.
- Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight, until a pudding texture has formed.
1 cup hazelnuts
2 cups water
- Optionally soak hazelnuts over night or for a few hours in water. This allows for a better extraction of all that hazelnutty goodness, but the milk can be made just as easily without this step!
- In a blender, blend the nuts and water together (use the soaking water if you soaked the nuts!) on high power for about a minute. You want the nuts to be very broken down and the liquid to look super milky!
- Using a nut milk bag, cheese cloth, or a fine mesh sieve, strain the milk into a container. Be sure to squeeze all the liquid you can out of the nuts!
- Store any extra nut milk in the fridge for later use!