Chia seeds have gotten a lot of buzz lately for their health benefits and ease of use. The tiny little seeds look a bit like exotic black and white swirled eggs from up close. They absorb lots of liquid and turn very gelatinous. They have a neutral flavor and while they cost a bit more than other seeds, it doesn’t take many to create an interesting effect.
Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA). They also contain protein, fiber and some antioxidants. Chia seeds don’t need to be ground up like flaxseeds in order for the body to absorb their nutrients. I couldn’t find any information about the smoking point of chia oil, but I don’t think I’ll use them to cook or bake with since I’m not sure if the oils would break down and oxidize like flaxseed oil when subjected to heat.
I played around with different measurements, and I prefer 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk to 1/3 cup chia seed. You can make this pudding with milk, cream, almond milk, honey instead of maple syrup, stevia, etc. There are lots of ways to play with these little gems!
This pudding has a mousse-like consistency and only takes a few minutes to mix together. I prefer to eat it at room temperature because when it’s chilled, the texture becomes a bit too gelatinous. If you refrigerate the pudding, make sure to leave it out for about 15 minutes to take the chill off. It’s great with berries, a little whipped cream or chocolate shavings.