My love for chia seeds has been around for quite some time, but I never pulled the trigger on making chia pudding due to the fact that it didn't look all that appetizing. You have to get past how it looks, because chia pudding has become my all-time favorite breakfast, snack and dessert. This stuff rocks, and I'm sorry I judged chia pudding on its looks and not on its inner beauty!

First, I should tell you just a few of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds, which make a truly amazing superfood:
  • Good source omega fatty acids. Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more than flax seeds.
  • High in fiber. Chia seeds offer 11 grams of fiber per ounce. This is about 41 percent of the recommended daily value in just one serving.

  • Loaded with antioxidants. Chia seeds contain more antioxidants than blueberries!
  • A complete protein. Chia seeds contain balanced proportions of all essential amino acids needed to support your body. 

By adding just two tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet you get approximately seven grams of fiber, four grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, and a whopping five grams of omega-3!
You can easily sprinkle chia seeds on your yogurt, oatmeal and salads. I love to add them to my smoothies and use them in vegan baked goods by making chia "eggs." 1 tbsp of chia seeds to 3 tbsp of water creates a chia egg.

But what you really must try is Chia Pudding. You won’t regret it! Following is my super simple and delicious Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe that I make pretty much daily.

Simple Vanilla Chia Pudding

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2/3 cup chia seeds
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 drops vanilla stevia
1 tsp lemon zest
Banana, thinly sliced
Fresh Strawberries, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes


Directions:

Put chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla extract, stevia and lemon zest in a 1-quart glass jar with a lid. Tighten the lid and shake well to thoroughly combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. The mixture will become very thick and pudding-like. When ready to serve, give it one last good stir. Spoon into bowls and top with fresh strawberries, banana and coconut.

Enjoy!


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