This yummy Blueberry Chia Pudding is packed with a huge amount of antioxidants from the chia seeds and blueberries. Chia pudding provides a great protein-packed breakfast, plus chia seeds are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, contain a good amount of calcium, zinc and a full range of B vitamins. This quick recipe with only a few ingredients is full of flavour from the frozen blueberries. The berries are a low-carb fruit, high in fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese and are the king of antioxidant foods. The great thing about making chia pudding for breakfast is you can make several serves ahead of time and store them in the fridge for a few days, or use as a quick dessert. (I find all coconut milk is a little rich for me at breakfast time so I use half coconut and half almond milk but you may like to use all coconut milk for a really creamy pudding).
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Add the milk, blueberries, maple syrup and cinnamon to a blender and blend for approximately 8 - 10 seconds to break up the blueberries.
Now add the chia seeds: I like to add my chia seeds to the liquid in the blender and blend on low-medium speed for 5 seconds to mix them in and break down some of the seeds (or you can blend longer and make a mousse texture). Alternatively, pour the blueberry liquid into a container and whisk in the chia seeds by hand.
Divide the pudding mixture between two jars or bowls and place them in the fridge for one hour to gel or they can be left overnight to save time in the morning.
Just before serving add your choice of toppings.
Chia puddings can be stored covered in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
Blueberries come from a perennial flowering plant. These indigo coloured berries are not only a very popular fruit but have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are essential to combat the free radicals that can damage our cells. Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, also a good source of vitamin C, fibre and copper. Purchase local organic in season, when not in season purchase organic frozen blueberries.
Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
These little seeds absorb 9-12 times their weight in water and are excellent to add as a thickener to sauces and fruit spreads. They can also be use as an egg replacement in muffins and cakes (1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water). There are many health benefits of chia. It is the richest plant source of Omega 3 fats, dietary fibre and protein. Chia seeds are also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and fatty acids.
You will be able to find a recipe for cultured coconut yoghurt online using grass fed gelatin or tapioca starch for thickening. If purchasing a commercial yoghurt, read labels as many use vegetable gums and additives. Coconut yoghurt can be made in a yoghurt maker or a Thermomix machine. If you can tolerate some dairy natural organic Greek yoghurt can be used in it's place.