Chia seeds and their enormous health benefits are the buzz words these days in the food world. A gift from the plant, Salvia Hispanica, these seeds are native to South America. They are often confused with the Indian sweet basil seeds, but the properties and other factors of these seeds are entirely different from one another.
Although the world is waking up to the benefits of these seeds in recent times, they have been consumed by ancient civilizations like the Aztec and Maya. Chia means strength in Mayan language and these seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, certainly good for people who derive all their nutrition from food and stay away from supplements. Add to this, they are naturally gluten free and are not genetically modified. Grown without the use of any chemicals, these miraculous seeds have proven to be good for the heart, bone health and also for diabetes.
While I haven’t experimented much, I have read that chia seeds can be eaten raw, used in puddings, porridges and juices and also incorporated into baked goodies.
I love the texture of chia seeds and they shine through in every way in this pudding. I think I will find myself making many variations of this pudding experimenting with different kinds of milk, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
I served this pudding to some guests and they loved it. And so did everyone else in the family. The best part is that this pudding is super easy and quick to put together. I already have some ideas brimming in my head with many variations. And this means that my stock reserves will always have some chia seeds. Stay tuned for more recipes with these miraculous seeds.
Vegan Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding With Fresh Fruits, Seeds and Nuts Recipe
You can make this pudding with any another nut milk, soy milk or dairy milk. I have used jaggery to sweeten this pudding, you can also use maple syrup, agave nectar or honey (for a non vegan version). Use a variety of nuts, seeds and fresh seasonal fruits for a variation.
3 to 4 tbsp chia seeds*
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup thin coconut milk
5 to 6 tbsp Jaggery or any other sweetener of your choice (decrease or increase as required)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Extra milk or water as required
In a bowl place the chia seeds and stir in the coconut milk, jaggery and vanilla extract. Allow the seeds to sit on your kitchen counter for 15 to 20 minutes. Then stir again, cove the bowl with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. You need to keep stirring this in between to make the mixture uniform. If you find that the mixture is very thick and gooey, then stir in more milk or water and adjust to desired consistency.
Top the pudding with fresh fruits, nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts and seeds like sunflower and pumpkin.
- Use 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds for 1 cup (250 ml) liquid for a free flowing consistency and use 2 tbsp or a little more for a thicker consistency.
To make coconut milk-
100 gm (1 cup) fresh or frozen coconut shreds
500 ml (2 cups) water
Place 1 cup coconut in a blender and pour 1 cup lukewarm water. Keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes (you can skip this step if you don’t have the time). Blend to a smooth paste. Extract the milk with the help of a strainer by squeezing all the liquid. This is the first extract.
Make the 2nd extract by pouring another cup of water to the remaining coconut shreds and repeat the process.