Chia seed pudding is possible one of the easiest things to make. Never the less, it's possibly one of the most unconvincing and unappetising things to eat. There's nothing very appealing about the idea of seeds that swell and develop a gel. It's kind of weird. But if done right, it's kind of amazing.
The secret to a good chia seed pudding is using as creamy a liquid as possible, in order for the seeds to develop a rich, creamy gel, rather than a tasteless, watery one. Mostly, I use homemade nut creams - basically just a thicker version of nut milk - and this works well, but for people with nut allergies, or for people who always cook too much quinoa and have endless leftovers, the recipe below is a must. The addition of quinoa to the liquid component of this recipe not only makes the result creamier, it also means you get even more protein and fibre from each mouthful. Enjoy!
150ml Plant Based Milk (I use oat, almond or cashew)
5g Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Bean Paste, Vanilla Seeds or Vanilla Powder
80g Cooked Quinoa, rinsed and cooled
1 Teaspoon Maca
30g Coconut Milk (the more solid part) (you can also experiment with 15g Avocado Flesh or Banana instead of Coconut Milk)
10g Sunflower Seeds
10g Coconut Syrup, Date Syrup, Honey or other Natural Sweetener of Choice
Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
25g Chia seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon or Cardamom
10g Cooked Quinoa (to stir through before serving)
Simply measure out all of the ingredients, apart from the chia seeds, into a blender and blend on the highest speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Add a little more salt or sweetener (and maca and any spices you are using) to suit your taste and blend again to combine. Once smooth, pour the mixture into a bowl, jar or tuppaware and weigh out the chia seeds into the same bowl. Stir or whisk with a fork to fully combine the seeds, and leave to absorb for 5 minutes. Stir again to ensure the seeds are fully coated in order to absorb the liquid evenly, and then set in the fridge for 10-20 minutes. Stir again (at this point, if you want to, add some leftover cooked quinoa if you want to bulk the pudding out a little more) and then leave in the fridge until ready to serve. Leaving overnight will make the seeds the perfect softness and plumpness, but you can enjoy after as little as half an hour.
Top with your choice of fruit, nut butter, tahini, extra spices and superfood powders, granola, qnola, nuts and seeds. Enjoy for breakfast, as a snack, stirred through smoothies, stirred through porridge or served alongside desserts.