IMG_1418I’m always looking for yummy, healthier dessert options for my family.  Chia seed pudding topped  with fruit is one of the easiest homemade desserts that my family loves to eat.  Not only is it tasty and refreshing, but the chia seeds offer a power-packed dose of fiber, omega-3s, antioxidants, protein and calcium.  Truth-be-told, I often make chia seed pudding the night before my son has a big test at school to get those omega 3s in his system and boosting his brain power (I like to think it helps).  

The best thing about chia seed pudding is that it’s a super flexible recipe, meaning that you can switch out ingredients to your liking.  Use your favorite liquid from regular milk to almond milk, coconut milk, chocolate milk, etc.  Experiment with flavors.  I’ve used vanilla, matcha powder, and maple flavoring, to name a few.  Add the sweetener of your choice.  I use stevia. Honey and agave nectar work great as well.  Just before you serve the pudding, top it with chilled fruit of your choice, nuts or granola.  Strawberries, lychee, and mango (as seen in the picture above) are my family’s preferred toppings.

Here’s the basic recipe that I use to make chia seed pudding.  I call it Aloha Chia Pudding because it is made with aloha.  Aloha is a Hawaiian word that has more than 200 meanings, such as hello, goodbye, love, compassion, and kindness.

ALOHA CHIA PUDDING – serves 4

1 can coconut milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
2 packets stevia
Fruit of your choice

Pour the coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla and stevia in a small bowl and whisk them together so that all of the ingredients incorporate and the stevia dissolves.  Divide even servings of the mixture into four bowls or cups.  Let them stand for two hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.  During this time, the seeds will expand and form a gel-like coating, which creates the pudding consistency.  Top with chilled fruit and serve.  I like to keep my pudding at room temperature, rather than having it chilled, because it has a more fluid texture this way.  When the pudding is cold, it’s thicker and dense.  It’s just a matter of personal preference.  Go ahead and play around with different ingredients to test out how you like it best.  Bon Appetit!

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