Enter the chia seed. It swells to over 6x its size once soaked in a liquid, contains the best balance of Omega 3s to 6s and has a lot of protein, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium.
I recently made a quick chia pudding for some friends with just coconut milk and chia seeds and I added the raw honey as a drizzle and included some fruit on top plus some pre-made granola and they were blown away. Amazing how something that took me literally 5 minutes or less to prepare and was super inexpensive could be such a healthy option and a crowd pleaser.
The best part? You can customize the flavor of your pudding. You can also include superfood powders as you would a smoothie. You can top it with anything from fresh berries to dried superfoods. You can choose your sweetener too. Typically my favorite sweeteners are bananas, dates, raw honey, coconut nectar, and maple syrup. I use raw honey the most since I have a good source with so many different types - Honey Pacifica. However, I find the flavor is best with date paste in this particular recipe. To make date paste or to use dates in any recipe, it is important to soak them so they are soft and will blend well. If you are using juicy juicy medjool dates fresh from the recent harvest like we have here in late summer from Bautista Farms from Indio, CA that bring them to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, then you can probably just chuck those in the blender as is.
In this recipe I included some maca powder and a little cinnamon for taste but these can be omitted. I made fresh coconut milk using the dried coconut mature meat (coconut flakes or shredded coconut will do). You can use any kind of nut milk you'd like. I like cashew milk a lot but more on that topic later. If you are new to using nut milk bags and making your own, check out this blog post here for a lot more information on the topic.
2 cups nut milk of choice
1/2 cup chia seeds
3 T raw cocao powder
1 T maca powder
pinch cinnamon or to taste
pinch sea salt
4-5 dates, pitted and soaked
Mix the nut milk, cacao powder, maca, cinnamon, dates and salt to taste in your high-speed blender. Then once the taste of the base if to your liking, add in 1/2 cup of chia seeds and mix on the LOWEST setting for about 90 seconds. It is important that you do not blend the seeds or break them. I find this to create a very consistent pudding texture where hand mixing in the chia seeds tends to lead to clumping. However, if you don't have a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, then you will need to shake the chia seeds in a jar or whisk them in for a few minutes. Leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning (or 30 minutes later) you can garnish and add all the toppings you'd like. I summer I like using banana on top as well as fresh blueberries. In this instance, I used pink pomegranates and mulberries since its fall and season for pomegranates. Enjoy!