Friday, February 17, 2012

Chia Pudding - Theme and Variation

Now that I'm at the "what on earth do I feed her" stage of Kate's development, compounded by complications of multiple allergens, I've been scouring the interwebs looking for dairy-, egg- and wheat-free food (preferably baking and desserts, I'm just that kinda gal).

Enter the idea of chia seed pudding: fits in with those of you raw and vegan (if you use a dairy-free option fot the liquid) foodies, fibre-full for those trying to "feel full", great source of calcium and omega-3s, plus endless opportunities to play with flavours.  Now, if you don't like gel-textured things (think: tapioca pudding), run, don't walk, away from this post.  You'll need to come up with some other way to eat your chia seeds.

photos source: blogilates

I started off with blogilates' chia seed pudding: 2 tbsp white chia seed plus 1 cup liquid (in my case, I tried it with rice milk first - this was before we were off rice...).  While it was tasty, it didn't gel at all like in her blog post.  Hmmm.  See how those are dark little bits floating around in the milk?  One of the staff at the Duncan Community Farm Market indicated there wasn't much difference between white and black chia, so I grabbed the least expensive available at the time, which was white.  I went back and picked up black, and it gels way better.

photo source: choosing raw

Next stop: leftover oven-roasted squash with smoked sea salt and rosemary.  That'd be neat, hey?  I used choosing raw's pumpkin chia pudding as a springboard, adding our own home-grown & pressed organic apple juice for the liquid.  Yum, yum.  Very nice use of leftover squash!

Now I have an opened jar of apple juice... let's add a banana, handful of frozen blueberries, and chia seed to the juice, plus a sprinkling of cardamom (a very under-utilized spice in my opinion), combine with stick-blender, and voila!  If you add a few more whole blueberries after the fact, it makes it even more appealing to blueberry-faced toddlers.

photo source: dinutrition

dinutrition decided to riff on this with her own take - I quite like the idea of adding some nut/seed butter to the mix; I will have to try tahini and almond milk next, I think, maybe with some vanilla and a little garam masala?  So many possibilities!

I also recently tried our own cranberry juice (read: extremely tart) with some of our apple juice for sweetness (about 3:1 cranberry to apple juice), some cardamom for spice, and it was really great.  Tangy, interesting, and the chia seemed to soak up the sour.  I wonder what pudding I'll try next...

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