Chia pudding – the new black

17 Jan

chia puddingYou know when you stumble across something that is new and interesting and then it comes up over and over again? Last week I saw a recipe for chia pudding online and I was intrigued, so I made it and now I’m seeing chia pudding everywhere I look! I just realised what a fashionable menu item it is right now. I’d be interested to hear if it is hitting menus in places other than Vancouver.

Chia seeds, according to the interwebs, are seeds from an ancient Central American plant that is related to mint. They’re high in anti-oxidants (aren’t all trendy ingredients though?) and omega 3 fatty acids. You can use them in all sorts of ways, but when you soak them they become a bit like a gelatinous sago pudding. They don’t really taste like anything, raw or cooked, so they are a good platform for whatever flavour is put with them.

The first version I made was with soy milk, blueberries, maple syrup and ground cardamom and cinnamon, and the flavours were a bit much, even for a spice lover like me. Since then I have seen it pop up on breakfast menus, and it does feel like quite a breakfasty pudding. Then I went to a vegetarian restaurant last week and there it was on the dessert menu, so of course I had to order it. They made it with vanilla, pomegranate molasses, bee pollen and dates – it was interesting, but swee-eet. We shared it 3 ways, which was just as well because I don’t think one person could have eaten the dish alone.

After that I was newly inspired to make a new batch with different flavours, aiming for dessert. There are lots of recipes for chocolate chia pudding around so I thought that would be a good place to start. Then I decided to layer it with a vanilla-coconut version. It looked pretty in the glass, but I think I was so scared of making it overly sweet that it fell a little too far in the other direction!

Round 3 – back to breakfast chia pudding, which is where I think it probably belongs. What better liquid to mix with the chia than coffee for a breakfast treat? But it needed something more, something sweet and a bit decadent, so I added caramel sauce and coconut. Uh oh – suddenly it looks like dessert again. Add a little more breakfast to it…banana, ok, I think we have it: breakfast coffee chia pudding with banana and caramel sauce.

PS. The amount of caramel produced with this scaled back recipe will allow a little left over for dessert over icecream and the other half of your banana!

Ingredients

Pudding

2 tbsp chia seeds (1/8 cup)

150ml freshly brewed coffee – I like my coffee white, so that’s what I used. (I wonder what it would be like with black coffee?)

1 heaped tsp sugar

1 heaped tsp shredded coconut (flaked would probably be better, but I couldn’t find it anywhere)

½ banana sliced

Quick Caramel Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup cream

Method

The night before:

Dissolve sugar in coffee.

Pour over seeds in a small bowl and stir.

Stir again 10 mins later and place in fridge overnight.

Make the caramel:

Stir cream, butter and sugar over medium-low heat for 10 mins until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and cool, then place in fridge overnight.

In the morning:

Stir chia again in the morning.

Top with caramel, coconut and sliced banana.

Serves one

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4 Responses to “Chia pudding – the new black”

  1. Lisa January 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    It’s staring to pop here in Brisbane. I really should be more adventurous with Chia. So far i’ve only been adding it to smoothies and choc/ nut/ coconut balls. If you’re looking for more Chia inspiration check out this blog… http://ohsheglows.com/recipage/?search_term=Chia&ui=133 .

  2. Lisa January 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    No, I don’t have a blog of my own. I leave it up to more motivated people than myself. 🙂

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