Chia seeds make pudding a healthy, crunchy delight

Adriene Rathbun
The Wichita Eagle

You might wonder what in the world chia seeds are. They were originally grown in Mexico and known for their medicinal and nutritional value.

At one point, they were used for currency. Can you imagine walking into some place with your bag of chia seeds to pay for something? Sounds messy considering their size.

The reasons you should eat chia seeds are so plentiful, you’ll run out and purchase a bag. They’re packed with omega 3 fatty-acids, dietary fiber, calcium and protein. They’re said to reduce aging, are high in antioxidants, are great for your digestive health, are heart-healthy, help reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, help treat diabetes, boost energy and metabolism, strengthen bones, build muscle and help you lose weight. And they’re delicious, too.

You can add the seeds to yogurt or smoothies for breakfast. Another option is pudding. When it comes to chia seed pudding, think of tapioca pudding, except you can see the seeds, while tapioca hides in the opaque pudding.

For this recipe, if you prefer things a bit sweeter, you can add more maple syrup. You can also use liquid Stevia — only use five drops, though because it’s quite concentrated — instead of maple syrup if you are watching your sugar intake.

Also, feel free to use a different milk if you prefer one over coconut. I’m crazy about So Delicious brand unsweetened vanilla coconut milk. I use it in this pudding, smoothies and on my granola. When you’re serving this chia seed pudding, it makes a fantastic breakfast with sliced fresh mango, berries and a sprinkling of granola.

I also enjoy it for dessert because it’s slightly sweet and feels like a treat. When you’re making it, you can also add cinnamon.

Chia Seed Pudding

2 cups coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup chia seeds

In a blender, add coconut milk, vanilla and maple syrup and blend until mixed together. Pour into a bowl and whisk in chia seeds. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to gel.