Friday, April 25, 2014
Chocolate Chia Pudding
Sometimes my kid's brilliance amazes me. Every once in a while they reach out of those teen moments and pull down something that leaves me wondering, "Why didn't I think of that??". They just as easily slip back into the "Do you seriously want me to empty the dishwasher?" moments, but those special occasions tend to leave my heart proud.
Such is the case with our most recent decadent chocolate dessert, the Chocolate Chia Pudding. Discovering Chia Pudding (did you know chia seed can swell up to 10 times it's weight in under 15 minutes) a few months ago, we've stuck mostly to vanilla versions made with almond milk. Then Liv, a girl after my own heart, suggested chocolate. Simply using chocolate almond milk and adding chia, we had our treat. And it was good.
One night, however, the chocolate almond milk was gone. I told Liv we would just go back to the vanilla version, but her suggestion of, "Why don't we just make it chocolate with cocoa powder like we do to our hot chocolate?" became a question of pure brilliance. Why not indeed??
A simple concoction of almond milk, cocoa, a little sugar and a few spoonfuls of chia, who had any idea this pudding would be so wonderful??
Rich in chocolate flavor, this dessert takes chia pudding to a whole new level. While my son doesn't care for the chia seed texture, I personally find the pudding somewhat irresistible.
Chia Seed, yes the seed of the the Chia Pet era, is making a come back in a big way. Once a staple in the Inca, Maya and Aztec cultures, chia is actually the Mayan word for "Strength". Filled with protein, calcium, potassium, iron, and Omega 3 and 6, chia takes on the title of a true super food and can help maintain energy and endurance.
Soaked in liquid, chia seeds (filled with soluble fiber) swell up to 10 times their weight and form a gel-like outer layer which, in the digestive system, actually slows down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar and in turn helps stabilize blood sugar. In addition, the seeds high soluble fiber content also helps to control cholesterol levels.
Adding these little power house seeds to liquid, in our case chocolate almond milk, the seeds swell giving the liquid a lovely pudding-like texture without whipping cream. Dairy-free and low in fat, this dessert brings doses of nutrition along with its decadent chocolate flavors. Well done, Liv... well done.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
While an easy version of Chocolate Chia Pudding has one simply adding chia to purchased chocolate milk, this version uses cocoa powder for a rich, luscious finish.
1 cup milk (we use non- dairy unsweetened almond milk, but any dairy or non-dairy milk will work)
3 Tbs Chia Seed
2 Tbs cocoa powder
2-3 Tbs sugar or maple syrup (Liv prefers sugar, I prefer the maple syrup... adjust to your sweet preference!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Stir, then spoon into serving bowls.