Who says you can’t start your day with some chocolate? Chia seed pudding is a healthy staple in my kitchen and cocoa is always my go-to flavor. I started making chia seed puddings several years ago when they first came on the health scene. Before discovering their role in puddings, I was adding them to my smoothies and oatmeal for added texture, fiber and omega 3s. Discovering their hydrophilic properties opened a whole new avenue of uses and that’s how pudding came to be my morning staple.
Chia seeds are one of my favorite ingredients for so many reasons. For such tiny morsels, they deliver an exceptional nutritional profile and are one of the few plant-based sources of precious omega-3s. When mixed with liquid, chia seeds develop a gelatinous texture making them a great component for puddings and jellies.
The foundation of a chia pudding is simply chia seeds and a liquid of choice be that milk or water. Because of their hydrophilic properties, chia seeds can absorb about twelve times their weight in water. This property along with their ample fiber make them an incredibly satiating ingredient as well as nutrient-dense.
When I am looking for a quick and easy breakfast, chia pudding is typically my go-to. This recipe is rich in fiber, protein, omega-3s and antioxidants. Best of all, it is a nutrient-rich canvas for toppings like fresh raspberries in the summer.
Chia Seeds: 1 ounce provides 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 18% of your RDA for calcium along with omega-3s and antioxidants.
Cocoa: Cocoa is packed with polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that fight against free radicals to combat the aging process. The brain benefits from cocoa as well with research demonstrating its ability to elevate our feel-good hormones, dopamine and serotonin.