Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
2 tbsp cacao powder, or cocoa powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dairy-free milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
1. In a medium-size bowl, add the cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, dairy-free milk, and chia seeds. Whisk together until all ingredients are combined.
2. Leave the mixture in the bowl for 15 minutes without stirring for the chia seeds to gel. After 15 minutes, whisk it together one more time.
3. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator overnight or for a minimum of four hours.
4. Remove the chocolate chia seed pudding from the fridge and stir together with a spoon. Serve into small dessert-sized glasses. Top with your favorite fruit, chocolate shavings, or other garnishes.
The Benefits of Chia Seeds
A member of the mint family, chia seeds come from a desert plant called Salvia hispanica. These seeds originated in Central America and were a staple in the ancient Aztec diet.
Chia seeds are a wonderful source of essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and zinc and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Some consider chia seeds to be a “superfood” given all their nutritional benefits and while there is no special food that can fulfill all of your dietary needs, chia seeds have an impressive nutritional profile worth adding to your diet.
The health benefits of chia seeds are numerous. They can improve your gut health and prevent various forms of chronic disease. Some studies even show chia seeds play a role in lowering cholesterol, regulating heart rhythms, prevent blood clots, and more. In addition to regulating several forms of chronic disease, chia seeds have also been shown to support weight loss. Most of the fiber in chia seeds is soluble, which slows digestion and helps you feel full after eating a meal.
Given their popularity over the years, it’s not hard to find these nutritional seeds at the grocery store. They can usually be found near the grain or health section aisle of your local store. Once you have your chia seeds, it’s time to start adding them to your diet. There are a variety of recipes that include chia seeds. One of the most popular ways to prepare chia seeds is in puddings like the recipe above, but there are many other ways to prepare this versatile ingredient. One of the simplest ways to add chia seeds to your diet is with chia water which is quite literally just water and the seeds. Some people like to flavor their chia water with citrus or even replace the water with a juice of choice (just make sure you keep in mind the sugar content for your juice). Chia seeds can also be used as raw toppings for cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, and salads.
No matter how you prepare them, chia seeds make an excellent addition to many of your favorite dishes. Consider adding chia seeds to your diet and experience the nutritional benefits for yourself.
About Sarita Golikeri, MD, ABOM, CCMS
Certified Geriatric and Culinary Medicine Specialist, Sarita Golikeri, MD, ABOM, CCMS, seeks to prevent and manage chronic disease and promote healthy lifestyles through cooking. Her primary focus is weight management and nutrition. Dr. Golikeri treats patients for diabetes, hypertension, dementia, high cholesterol, asthma, and obesity. She believes it’s better to prevent problems than to treat them. Dr. Golikeri joined TPMG Colonial Family Medicine in 2014 and opened her own practice, TPMG Williamsburg Geriatrics and Lifestyle Medicine in 2019.