I know, I know, chia puddings are all over the internet these days. But for good reason. The truth is, we need as many reminders as possible to amp up our Omega-3 consumption, and chia seeds are a great way to do it. Not to mention delicious. This essential fatty-acid is almost lost in the typical American diet, and our bodies truly suffer as a result. Omega-3's are pivotal in healthy brain function, growth and development, as well as our ability to fight inflammation and ward off chronic disease.
Here is the catch, there are a few forms of Omega-3's. DHA and EPA are found exclusively in cold water fish (anchovies, sardines, salmon, tuna etc.), while the form ALA is found in plant sources, such as flax, chia and hemp seeds, walnuts and leafy green vegetables. If consumed through plant sources (ALA), the body needs to convert the fatty acid to DHA and EPA, which most healthy bodies can do efficiently. However, if the systems are compromised or the resources are already being used to fight disease, it is often recommended to concentrate on the readily available forms found in fish sources.
As you all know, I love dishes that can pass as breakfast or dessert, and this is one of my favorites. The ample spice mix gives it an Indian twist, which adds flavor interest as well as digestive power. Additionally, using cinnamon and coconut give the illusion of sweetness while actually lowering blood sugar levels. Pretty nifty. Everything is super flexible in this recipe, so feel free to cater it to your taste and pantry. In the batch pictured above, I threw in some roasted butternut squash (think pumpkin pie) that was in the fridge, and left out the syrup, for a breakfast version. Definitely helps start the day off right.
Chai Chia Pudding
2 cups soy/almond/coconut milk
2/3 cups chia seds
3 pitted medjool dates
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cardamom
a dash of nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 inch piece of ginger
1-2 tbs. maple syrup (to taste)
dash of sea salt
2 tbs. toasted coconut flakes
Goji berries for garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and process until smooth. Taste, and adjust sweetness with more syrup if needed. If you would like a stronger chai flavor, add additional spices to taste. Garnish with goji berries if desired
Relax. Eat Well.