This pudding can be prepared in 5-10 minutes. Batch cooking with minimal ingredients is my key to to save time but eat well, so I always make three at a time. This makes for a portable meal or snack packed with protein, fibre, and antioxidants.
Chia's ability to create a gel-like consistency is thanks to the viscous fibre content - sometimes called soluble fibre. That gel slows down the digestive process, keeping you full for longer than a meal without that robust 7 grams of fibre from just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.
Chia seeds also have a reputation for their high omega-3 content, but the research is mixed about if we efficiently absorb these anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats from chia. Some studies suggest it is possible we can better absorb these fats when chia is ground, but this is unclear. So I recommend chia more for the fibre benefits, and instead advise clients to rely on fatty fish, walnuts, ground flax, hemp seeds, or omega-3 eggs for meeting omega-3 needs.
Berries and vanilla extract provide natural sweetness and flavour without loading this parfait with refined sugars. The deep colours of berries also provide antioxidant, to help quell any low level of inflammation that can go along with refined foods, and high stress lifestyles.
Pudding (for two portions)
1 cup unsweetened almond/oat/coconut/soy/cow's milk*; or Greek yogurt*
¼ cup chia seeds
½ tsp vanilla extract
Toppings per portion
½ cup - 1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp pistachios*
2 tbsp slivered almonds* (or other low FODMAP nuts or seeds such as pumpkin and hemp seeds)
* Soy and cow's milk or Greek yogurt will increase protein content by 5-10g per per portion, respectively. The choice depends on your preference and any dietary restrictions.
Combine all your pudding ingredients in a bowl, mix to combine
Let sit for 15 minutes until a thick gel-like consistency is formed
For make-ahead meals: into two jars or your favourite portable food containers with lids, add half your berries to the bottom of the container. Scoop half the pudding onto the berries, and top with the other half of your berry portion. Close container, and top with nuts or seeds just prior to eating (or they will get soggy).
Eat it right away: mix half your pudding with desired amount of berries, top with nuts and seeds.
For me, this is a meal, but I am one of those people who is hungry every 3-4 hours or so, so this might be a snack portion for a taller or more active person.
Nutrition info per serving (including 1 cup of raspberries)
Calories 330, Total Carbohydrates: 30, Fibre 19g, Sugar 7g, Protein 11g, Fat 20g