Happy August Everyone! My how the summer is flying by!  Recently I've been exploring eating  grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.  (Enter this Summer of Chia Pudding post.) The results have been great! I feel stronger and healthier with more steady energy overall.  I was skeptical at first (and still am) about giving up grains, but the summer seemed like a good season to try that so I went for it.  Surprisingly, it has been easy, way easier than I imagined.  Does that mean I'll stick to it? Not necessarily.  One of the most important principles of health and eating that I live by is bioindividuality -meaning, each person has a unique biology and set of best practices that support and build health.  Additionally, what may be right at one time in our lives may shift and change as we do, and it's our job to pay attention to that.  Listening to our bodies and eating in accordance with our body's intuition is key to achieve this kind of conscious flexibility with ourselves, our diets and eating patterns.  

Prior to this grain-free eating experiment, about half of my breakfasts were grain-based: oatmeal, millet, amaranth, and other whole grains.  Chia pudding has turned out to be a wonderful alternative that is super easy to make ahead, store and take traveling.  I've explored and made up a number of chia pudding recipes (not all of them worked) and I'm sharing my Top Five with you to try out: Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding, Banana Chia Pudding, Silky Cacao Chia Pudding, and Green Clean Chia Pudding.  They all use coconut milk as a base, however, that could be replaced with other plant milks such as almond, cashew or brazil nut.  They all use dates as a whole food sweetener rather than a refined sugar. Have fun with them, play, make up your own recipes, and most of all be nourished!

Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding -makes 4 servings

1 14oz can full fat coconut milk

1-2 pitted Medjool dates

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch sea salt 

1/3 cup chia seeds

Blend coconut milk, dates, vanilla and sea salt in high speed blender until liquid is smooth. Pour liquid into a medium sized mixing bowl.  Add chia seeds into the liquid mix and whisk thoroughly to hydrate the seeds.  Allow mixture to sit 10-15 minutes and then stir again. Repeat process two more times until chia seeds have hydrated and pudding is set.  Spoon pudding into serving bowls and top with fresh fruits and berries of your choice. To save for later, transfer pudding into a glass jar and store in refrigerator up to 5 days.

vanilla chia pudding
  Banana Lover's Chia Pudding   This recipe is for the banana lovers.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe with these changes:  substitute one Medjool date with 1-2 ripe frozen bananas  (depending on how banana-rich you want your flavor). 

Banana Lover's Chia Pudding

This recipe is for the banana lovers.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe with these changes: substitute one Medjool date with 1-2 ripe frozen bananas (depending on how banana-rich you want your flavor). 

  Silky Cacao Chia Pudding   Chocolate pudding can be healthy, yes.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe and  add 2 1/2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder and 1 additional Medjool date  (to offset the bitterness of the cacao) into the liquid base. 

Silky Cacao Chia Pudding

Chocolate pudding can be healthy, yes.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe and add 2 1/2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder and 1 additional Medjool date (to offset the bitterness of the cacao) into the liquid base. 

  Green Clean Chia Pudding   This recipe is my favorite.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe and add  1/4 of a medium sized avocado (approximately 2-3 tablespoons) and 1/2 -1 teaspoon of Spirulina Powder  (adding more than 1 tsp of the potent Spirulina powder will dominate the pudding with the Spirulina algae flavor (don't do it, you wont want to eat it).

Green Clean Chia Pudding

This recipe is my favorite.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe and add 1/4 of a medium sized avocado (approximately 2-3 tablespoons) and 1/2 -1 teaspoon of Spirulina Powder (adding more than 1 tsp of the potent Spirulina powder will dominate the pudding with the Spirulina algae flavor (don't do it, you wont want to eat it).

  Pretty in Pink Chia Pudding   This recipe is perfect for color pop.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe but  use only one Medjool date and add 1/4 cup of fresh raw beet juice and 1 extra tablespoon of chia seeds . The raw beet juice adds natural sweetness and awesome phytonutrients that support liver function. If have a juicer and can juice the raw beets yourself, great! If you don't own a juicer, you can buy beet juice from a fresh juice shop or you can finely grate beetroot into a cheese cloth and press out the juice to color the pudding. This recipe can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, however, to benefit from the raw beet juice eat the pudding same day.   Thank you again for reading this post and for signing-up for the Foodsoulutions blog.  I will continue to share simple, healthy, delicious recipes and inspire you to eat clean, feel amazing, and live healthy! 

Pretty in Pink Chia Pudding

This recipe is perfect for color pop.  Use the Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding recipe but use only one Medjool date and add 1/4 cup of fresh raw beet juice and 1 extra tablespoon of chia seeds. The raw beet juice adds natural sweetness and awesome phytonutrients that support liver function. If have a juicer and can juice the raw beets yourself, great! If you don't own a juicer, you can buy beet juice from a fresh juice shop or you can finely grate beetroot into a cheese cloth and press out the juice to color the pudding. This recipe can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, however, to benefit from the raw beet juice eat the pudding same day.

Thank you again for reading this post and for signing-up for the Foodsoulutions blog.  I will continue to share simple, healthy, delicious recipes and inspire you to eat clean, feel amazing, and live healthy! 

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