Vanilla Chia Pudding
Vanilla Chia Pudding with a Healthy Punch
I love pudding and I love eating ingredients that are super healthy. Chia pudding therefore, is the perfect trifecta. It’s creamy, luscious, a little sweet, plus it’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids, has lots of fiber to keep the gut healthy (even more than flax seeds), and it’s high in lignans, phytonutrients found throughout plants, though especially high in chia seeds and flax seeds.
Lignans, actually their precursors, are what you find in chia and flax (and other foods such as whole grains, kale, and sesame seeds). A healthy gut flora is required to turns them 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. It helps with prostate health as well.
So I wasn’t exaggerating when I called this a healthy pudding!
Please let me know how you enjoy it!
1/2 cup raw organic almonds
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 1/2 – 3 Tablespoons organic chia seeds. (Option: utilize 1/4 cup cooked organic quinoa to replace half the chia 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!”