February 16, 2013

Chocolate Chia Pudding

I've been meaning to try Chia pudding for a long time but never really have had the time or the motivation to actually get down and do it. Finally, as I sat at home this morning, waiting for the furnace repair man to show up I decided to give 2 of the recipes, that I'd bookmarked a while ago, a try. Both are essentially the same recipe, with slight variations, so I could compare them against each other. 

Chocolate Chia Pudding
Recipe Adapted from food.com (my modifications are in Red):
  1. 1 cup Almond milk
  2. 2 tbsp (3 tbsp) Chia seeds
  3. 1 tsp Cocoa powder 
  4. 1/4 tsp Cinnamon 
  5. 1/2 tsp (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) Maple syrup (to taste)
Recipe Adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (my modifications are in Red):
  1. 1 cup Non-dairy (Almond) milk 
  2. 3 tbsp Chia seeds
  3. 1 tsp Vanilla extract 
  4. 2 tsp Cocoa powder
  5. Sweetener of choice (to taste) 
  6. (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) Maple syrup
  7. 1/2 to 1 cup raspberries, cherries, or other fruit, plus additional for garnish (optional)
Mix everything except Chia seeds and blend until cocoa is well mixed in the almond milk. Add dry Chia seeds to the container you will be using to set the pudding and pour the wet ingredients on top. Using a whisk, mix well so all the seeds are well soaked. Refrigerate for an hour, remove, re-whisk and then leave to set until ready to serve. ummmm .... fail! I left both puddings in the fridge for about 6 hours. Neither set or thickened enough to be considered pudding. So ... I mixed them both together into one bowl. Added an additional 2 tbsp Chia seeds, mixed it all together ... and back in the fridge! So here's my final recipe:

Prep Time: 5 min + 2-3 hours in the fridge (to set).

Ingredients (8 servings):
  1. 2 cups Almond milk
  2. 8 tbsp Chia seeds (whole)
  3. 3 tsp Cocoa powder (optional)
  4. 1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 tsp Cinnamon 
  6. 6 tbsp Maple syrup (add more to taste)
Pulse almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup in a blender until smooth. Add Chia seeds to a glass dish and pour the wet ingredients on top. Using a whisk, mix well until all the seeds are well soaked. Refrigerate for an hour, remove, re-whisk and then leave to set until ready to serve (2-3 hours).

My Assessment: I liked it, with some reservations. The pudding was quite thick with my final recipe. It definitely didn't get to be as thick as store-bought chocolate pudding, but it was sweet and gooey and the flavor blended really well with the red raspberries. I liked the little crunch added by the Chia seeds, which is something T didn't like at all. But he's not a big fan of Chia seeds anyways. The recipe should easily be halved or quartered depending upon how many servings you want to make. I did come to the realization that I don't really enjoy the taste of raw cocoa powder. I would probably have loved this pudding if it was plain vanilla. I've crossed out the cinnamon because the only reason it was in my recipe was because I combined my 2 original recipes after my first attempt at setting both of them failed.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving): Calories 128 (Fat Calories 52)
Total Fat 5.8 g; Cholesterol 0 g; Carbohydrates 18.5 g; Dietary Fiber 5.5 g; Sugars 10.8 g; Protein 3.4 g

Comments & Tips: One of the other herbie ladies on Facebook told me that it helps if you leave the whole mixture sitting on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes before mixing, and refrigerating. It helps the Chia seeds expand more. Next time I'll be giving that a try!

Recipe Suggestion: Here's another recipe for Chia pudding that I came across after I had already started these 2 batches. I love the idea of using dates instead of maple syrup (its a more 'whole food' sugar).

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