Vanilla Chia Pudding
Vanilla Chia Pudding with a Healthy Punch
I love pudding and I love eating ingredients that are healthy. Chia pudding therefore, is the perfect trifecta. It’s creamy, luscious, a little sweet, plus it’s rich in fiber to keep the gut healthy, and it helps reduce blood pressure – not as well as flax does, but I haven’t yet created a delicious 100% flax pudding; stand by for that one. The available omega-3 fatty acids that do come from the flax in this recipe, is proven to reduce inflammatory markers in the blood, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and overweight.
[Note: remember chia seeds, just like flax, MUST be ground to enjoy any of their benefits.]
Lignans, actually their precursors, are what you find in chia, flax and other foods such as whole grains, kale, and sesame seeds – although flax seeds win the prize of having the most lignans of all. A healthy gut flora is required to turns the precursors into actual lignans, which we can then absorb. This is why we focus on the health of the gut flora with our patients. When it’s poor, absorption of nutrients is compromised along with an ability to detoxify.
We think of our liver as our detoxification organ, but in fact our gut flora, with 100 trillion organisms, represents an even greater detoxification capacity.
Why do we want to eat lignans? They appear to extend life expectancy, especially in regards to cancer. Intake is associated with improved survival among postmenopausal women with breast cancer – a study revealed it cut mortality risk by 50%. Is it only good for women? Nope. Lignans help with prostate health as well.
Chia definitely has healthy fiber; enjoy it in the form of pudding and your gut will thank you. Please let me know how you enjoy it!
1/2 cup raw organic almonds (you could also substitute organic walnut or pecans)
1 – 1 1/2 cups filtered water, amount of water depends on how you thick you like your finished product.
2-4 organic, pitted dates, soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes. Depending on the degree of sweetness you desire, use more or less.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of Himalayan sea salt
2 Tablespoons organic ground chia seeds. (Option: utilize 1/4 cup cooked organic quinoa to replace half the chia seeds.)
3/4 Tablespoon organic ground flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 Tablespoons organic raisins. You could also use goji berries or any fresh fruit to top your pudding.
Blend the almonds, water, soaked dates, vanilla and salt in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. I recommend starting with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water at first to ensure all the almonds get blended. Then you can add the rest of the water as needed to get the thickness of milk you desire. Using 1 cup of water it will be the consistency of a thick milk.
Adding the chia thickens the mixture considerably. If you like your chia pudding more soupy, add more water so that you start with the consistency of a typical almond milk. If you want the pudding more like mousse, start with a thicker milk.
Pour into a container that you can cover and refrigerate once you add the chia seeds.
Add the chia seeds and cinnamon to the milk mixture; stir well and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight. The pudding will thicken up during this time.
Remove from the refrigerator and top with raisins or fresh fruit as you desire.
If for some reason you find the pudding is too thick for your liking, it’s very easy to place it in the blender with a little extra almond milk or even coconut milk if you have it on hand.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC, CCN
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”