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.