I’m a little behind on this chia seed thing. (It is still a thing right, I haven’t missed it altogether?)
I’m not good with trends, but in my defence I bought a pack of chia seeds around 6 months ago, had no clue what to do with them and was too lazy to find out. I may have intended to adapt this granola recipe to include them, who knows, but it didn’t happen. Until last night they were sitting, completely unloved, at the bottom of a drawer full of baking stuff.
For those of you out there who haven’t heard about these tiny, super-hyped seeds, they are apparently loaded with fibre, omega 3, calcium and protein along with lots of other nutrients and they also fight belly fat. I had to give them a go.
Despite all of their nutritional value, the property I care about here, is their ability to produce a super creamy and decadent pudding that’s healthy but definitely doesn’t feel like a chore to eat. When you soak the seeds in milk they become slightly jelly-like which makes for an amazing pudding. With the addition of chocolate, you’ve got yourself an amazing dessert or a cheeky little breakfast, and what’s more it’s gluten free and, if you so desire, vegan too!
And what’s more, there’s no actual cooking involved! All you have to do is mix up the ingredients, cover them and pop them in the fridge overnight (or for at least 6 hours) and the next morning you’ve got a serious pudding situation going on.
You may find, you’re not a fan of the texture of the soaked chia seeds, but don’t worry, when I was hunting for good recipes I came across this one from the gorgeous vegetarian food blog Oh My Veggies. Kiersten had the awesome, yet simple, idea to blend the pudding. She managed to get a supremely smooth texture in her blender, reminiscent of a chocolate mousse. I only have a stick blender, so couldn’t get it quite so perfect (mainly due to my own impatience, I suspect!) but the the picture below shows the difference in texture that you can achieve, even with a little blending.
All this pudding needed was a little crunch, a perfect topping to make it feel fancy. As I like to live dangerously and enjoy risking burning my skin off with hot sugar as frequently as possible, I opted for some pistachio praline and a few pomegranate seeds for colour (okay, so my pomegranate obsession may be getting out of control, see also exhibits A and B, but they’re just so darned pretty!)
Seriously guys, I promise people won’t know this stuff is doing them good, it’ll be our little secret.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Pistachio Praline
Adapted from Oh My Veggies
Makes 2 portions
For the pudding:
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 cup of the milk of your choice, I went with unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
Mix all of the pudding ingredients together in a cereal bowl. Ensure that the cocoa powder has been fully incorporated and isn’t in clumps. Cover the bowl with a small plate and pop it in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
The next morning, you can either give the pudding a good stir (it’ll be pretty thick) and serve it as is, or blend it using either a stick blender or a regular blender until smooth. Either way it tastes incredibly good.
For the praline:
50g caster sugar
25g pistachio nuts
Start by lightly greasing a piece of baking parchment and putting it on a baking tray.
Next heat the caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it has dissolved and turned a golden caramel colour. Remove it from the heat, quickly stir in the pistachios and spread it on the parchment to cool. Once cooled, chop it into pieces and store in a airtight container.
(Tip: you can clean the caramel pan and spoon using boiling water, straight from the kettle, just be careful not to burn yourself!)