almond milk chia pudding with cinnamon, blueberries, and toasted coconut

IMG_3194Ch-ch-ch-chia!

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If you were a child of the 80’s (or a parent or older sibling of said child) you surely remember the catchy jingle touting those weird green afro-plant “pets” that was broadcast between Saturday morning episodes of Fraggle Rock and Punky Brewster…and unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard that lately it’s become all the rage to eat those little seeds.

IMG_3222Yes – they are indeed the same thing; the same tiny black seeds that sprouted a furry green coat on a clay puppy (and recently and totally bizarrely on Obama‘s head) have become quite the darlings of the healthy-foods world, and I’ve jumped on the chia bandwagon and embraced them wholeheartedly. I love making quick jam with them, adding a few spoonfuls to freshly squeezed juice, and always include them in my granola and muesli mixes, and also really love them like this: puffed up into a breakfast “pudding” of sorts that is cool, creamy, and super simple to make.

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The night before I want my pudding I simply stir together some chia seeds with a bit of plant-based milk, a shake of spice, and dash of sweetener — and then the magic part comes in the waiting, where you do absolutely nothing. (Fistpump!) Overnight the mixture does its thing in the fridge, whereby the chia seeds puff up and soak up the milk and flavorings and become thick, luscious, and lovely. In this iteration I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, and a dash of pure maple syrup, which yielded a mildly flavored pudding that was perfectly suited for a scattering of fresh blueberries, a handful of toasted coconut shavings, and a dollop of rich coconut cream.

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I adore this stuff, but be forewarned — the texture could take some getting used to. James, who for the most part is typically totally game for any and all vegan, healthy, and “ultra-heady-crunchy” (his words, not mine) concoctions of mine is not a huge fan of chia pudding; he finds the texture to be too slimy and wiggly for his liking. Though it definitely has a bit of a gelled-goo consistency, it’s one that I happen to love and crave, so really you’ll just need to experiment and give it a whirl to see if it’s your bag or not.

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This pudding is vegan, gluten and dairy free, and a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber; it also takes all of 30 seconds to prepare the night before you want to eat it, making it a real and true healthy “fast food.” I like to make a big mason jar full of it at the start of the week and spoon it out each morning, changing up the toppings as I go; it’s great with nearly any sliced fruit (I’ve been using a lot of persimmons in mine lately as it’s the peak of their season), and if you don’t love coconut try adding some slivered toasted almonds or chopped pecans for crunch.

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Chia pudding is the perfect grab-and-go breakfast before teaching early Pure Barre classes, and leaves me energized, perfectly full, and fueled for the day without weighing me down.

almond milk chia pudding with cinnamon, blueberries, and toasted coconut
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A super healthy and energizing vegan and gluten free breakfast or snack filled with healthy fats and protein.
Author:
Serves: 1 large (or 2 half sized) breakfast servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
toppings
  • fresh blueberries
  • toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • full fat coconut milk, for drizzling.
Method
  1. The night before you'd like to eat your pudding (or at least 3 hours prior), place the chia seeds and milk together into a jar along with the cinnamon and maple syrup. (I do this step in a mason jar, and then shake it to combine....so easy!) Stir very well to combine, and place in the fridge. Now....do nothing!!
  2. In the morning, stir the mixture again - it will be very thick at this point. Top the pudding with the fresh blueberries and coconut flakes, and spoon a bit of coconut milk over the top; you can do this right in the jar you made the pudding in (less dishes!), or layer it (for aesthetics) into a clean jar or bowl. Enjoy!
Good to Know
Feel free to use any kind of milk you like for this - cow's milk, goat's milk, or another type of vegan milk (such as soy, rice, cashew, or hemp). Just make sure that you've tasted it and like the flavor of it, as the flavor will come through in the puffed up chia.

 

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