Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Favorite Chia Pudding.

Most likely you've seen and heard about all the hype surrounding chia seeds. And most likely you've seen a gazillion recipes for "chia pudding." And... if you're like me, you wrinkle your nose and think sarcastically "really, how can THAT be good?!" Well this food craze wasn't going away, and I decided to stop being a baby and to stop saying "eww" inside my head when I hadn't even tried it. (You know that if you're a foodie, that's rule #1: Don't knock it till you try it). So I sucked it up and haphazardly threw some chia seeds in my smoothie bottle, poured in some vanilla, some this and that, enough liquid that looked appropriate, shook shook shook shook, and left it in the fridge to do it's thing.

Now I can easily say that the jokes on me people. The next morning, as I pulled the chia goo out of the fridge, I was skeptical. But I dipped my spoon in anyways and took a bite. My brain exploded. Holy cow how is this good?! This tapioca-like substance is SOOO not tapioca-like at all. I think I proceeded to eat half the batch I made right then and there. But then I showed restraint, because I knew I'd want some more yumminess later.

Ever since that fateful day, where I felt both like a Queen (hey hey, this girl tried chia pudding and LIKED it) and like a fool (this idiot waited too long to make omg-delicious-pudding), I've been experimenting with my own chia recipes. It is a little bit of a science and an art. You have to combine the right ratio of liquid to chia in order to get the right consistency. The right consistency may be firm after it has set overnight, or it maybe slightly more runny after setting overnight. But the best thing is, you can choose the texture of your pudding! See my tips after the recipe for getting this part right.

I've made this stuff with herbal coffee and coconut milk (divine), with coconut milk and vanilla (divine divine), and also with raw milk and vanilla. I like this recipe because it's the easiest of all, and it literally takes 1 minute to make. Have your roommate/partner/spouse come into the kitchen and time you. Real food doesn't have to take forever to make.

A couple notes, the quality of the liquid which you use as the base of your pudding makes the biggest difference here. In all the test-runs in my kitchen I've always used black chia seeds from my local Whole Foods or other awesome grocery store here in Seattle, so I can't speak for the other varieties of chia. But I do know that whatever milk you use DOES make an incredible difference. The milk I used here is non-canned Arroy-D coconut milk which comes in tetra packs. You can use other alternative milks, but it may make slightly different pudding. For instance, raw grass-fed milk has a much higher fat content than say rice and almond milks, so the end result has slight creaminess to it, and therefore milk alternatives like almond and rice probably will not. But really, this recipe is so versatile, and sure to please anyone in your family.

Someone obviously ate some already ;)

Classic Vanilla Chia Pudding.
     makes one quart mason jar

    1 qt  organic coconut milk, tetra-pak Arroy-D is my fav
    1/2 cup  whole organic black chia seeds
    1/2 tsp  vanilla extract
    15 drops  stevia clear liquid

To make your pudding:
  1)  Grab a clean mason jar with a tight fitting lid.
  2)  Add milk; add vanilla, add stevia
  3)  Pour your chia seeds into the jar.
  4)  Screw on lid and shake shake shake.
  5)  Put jar in fridge and go do something for 5 minutes. Come back, shake shake shake. Return to  fridge, come back a few minutes later. Shake, shake, shake. Repeat.
  6)  Let puddin' do it's thing and get all yummy overnight.

Getting the texture right: Now I know that pudding is like brownies (cakey or fudgey?) and smoothies (thick or thin?), everyone has their own opinion about the perfect texture. This recipe features a pudding that holds together but is not either super firm or very runny. My advice? Start here. If you want the pudding a bit more thick, add a Tbsp of chia seeds and give it time to absorb into the liquid. After a few hours, if it's still too runny, add more, but please know that as this sits in the fridge it does get progressively (just slightly) less runny and a bit more firm as it continues to sit. If you like your puddings more runny, just add 1-2 Tbsp less chia, give it time to sit (4+ hours, overnight is best) and then see where you're at. Overall, very forgiving and you can adjust from there. But in general it's good to have a baseline recipe, and then you can easily switch up some of the ingredients to make it more interesting.

On a non-recipe note, I have been trying to enjoy my summer since it's post-basic science Boards! I am still in classes though, so even though I haven't been doing much studying (me need break) I haven't been sharing my new recipes with y'all. I've got a bunch of them on Notes on my iPhone, and I really need to get cracking, buckle down and make some of these babies and take photos of the yumminess and then share them with you!

Thanks for sticking around even though my posts are less regular as they used to be. Med school kind of re-prioritizes your life.

1 comment:

Kristina @ Love & Zest said...

Right there with you... I'm so that last person on the foodie train with chia pudding.