Chia Seed Pudding

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Recipe by Bhaeravii Devi

Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, native to southern Mexico and Guatemala. Thousands of years ago, chia seed was a staple in the diets of ancient Mayans and Aztecs. The word chia is derived from the Mayan language, meaning “strength,” and Aztec warriors relied on chia seed to boost energy and increase stamina.

The present Mexican state of Chiapas received its name from the Nahuatl “chia water” or “chia river”. This simple pudding is nothing more than raw chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. It’s also vegan/gluten-free. Since chia seeds are considered a superfood (the best plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids on the planet), this is an unbelievably healthy breakfast, dessert or snack!

Amazingly, chia gel can also be used as a substitute for eggs in many baked goods. Use a proportion of 1 to 6 ratio of Chia Seeds to Water to make chia gel. Use approximately one tablespoon of chia gel to replace one large egg in your baked goods.

Chia Seed Pudding

1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
1 cup plain low-fat (2 percent) Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably grade B), plus 4 teaspoons for serving
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a medium bowl, gently whisk the almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, the vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt until just blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds if they have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, in a medium bowl, toss the berries with the remaining 4 teaspoons maple syrup. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and almonds. Spoon the pudding into 4 Dessert bowls or glasses; mound the berry mixture on top and serve. Makes 4 servings

Suggested Toppings: (feel free to mix and match and be creative!)
Blood orange segments and pistachios
Mixed berries and lemon zest
Diced mango, toasted coconut, and dark chocolate shavings
Sliced Bananas with cinnamon
Blueberries and toasted almonds
Granola
Dried Fruit