The Healthiest Way to Indulge Your Chocolate Craving
ChaChaChaChia! Some Childhood Favorites Reinvented
Growing up mostly in the 80s, it is hard to forget the catchy jingle for America's favorite plant-pets. So as I started to add more chia into my diet, it is hard for me to not sing "ChaChaChaChia".... nearly every time these little seeds make their way into a dish. And, if I am to be honest, a small part of me still would like to have a Chia Pet.
Since I am about to embark upon a month long cross-country trip, transforming another childhood memory will have to do in the meantime. I suspect that most of us can agree that there is another childhood television memory that could use a little make-over, and that memory is chocolate pudding. Combining two obscure childhood memories into one delicious, inexpensive, and seriously nutritious snack is exactly the intention of this recipe.
It turns out that these little seeds, once apparently used by ancient Aztecs and Mayans, are not only good for growing "pets," chia seeds also appear to be full of health benefits. Some even suggest that it can help to improve weight loss and reverse diabetes. As usual, Dr. Axe did an excellent job of breaking down all of the health benefits, far better than I can in this blog. Here are just some of the highlights of chia seeds:
High in protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and magnesium
Elevated Vitamin E and other anti-oxidants
Full of fiber
There are a ton of claims out there about the benefits of chia seeds helping with weight loss, and there are others that say "no way". Some even suggest it as a possible sports-drink replacement. It seems to me that, as with most things, chia probably is not going to allow you to miraculously lose 30 pounds. It should probably still be a healthful addition to your diet. Unless you have an allergy to chia, difficulty swallowing, take blood thinners, or other condition that might cause concerns when eating chia seeds. Of course, it is always best to check with your licensed medical team before beginning any new diets or supplements.
This pudding can be topped with any of your favorites: berries, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, honey, nuts, coconut.... Enjoy this delicious snack knowing it is a treat that is good for you!
If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.
- William Shakespeare
Chocolate Chia Pudding
Yields: 6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
1/2c chia seeds
2c + 1/4c almond or other non-dairy milk
2-3 pitted dates
1/4c raw cacao powder
In a large bowl, mix together the whole chia seeds and 2c of non-dairy milk. Allow to sit on counter, covered.
Blend together 1/4c non-dairy milk, dates, and cacao powder. Add this mixture to the soaking chia seeds and stir well.
Cover pudding and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Can last for up to 2-3 days, if prepared in advance.)
Prepare the desert:
Remove chia pudding from refrigerator and stir well again.
Place 1/4-1/2 cup of chia pudding in each bowl and add your favorite toppings!
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Jonci Jensen , ND is a naturopathic doctor in Carlsbad, CA who shares