Citrus Chia Seed Pudding

I ask myself why I blog all the time. It takes time, effort, and a lot of enthusiasm. The benefits are neither immediate nor evident. Sure, taking sexy images is fun, writing is incredibly stimulating, and sharing my passion for food and healthy eating is priceless. Nonetheless, my indisputably skeptical self questions everything. What am I learning? How am I changing? How am I inspiring you?

If I had all the answers I wouldn’t ask the questions, and I wouldn’t be spending all this time on this blog if it did not make be happy. I am confident that this is worth it, even when I momentarily run out of ideas and want to quit, or when viewership sinks for several days. “Are people not interested in food anymore?”, I ask myself. 

The ups are more abundant than the downs. I become ecstatic every time a friend tells me about how they can’t live without one of these recipes. A sense of accomplishment takes over when I make something that seemed difficult for the very first time. Everything becomes clear when the first thing I want to do when discovering a new ingredient is to share it with you. So here, a moment of clarity:

Chia is a powerful food.

I have been eating chia seeds for about a month. I felt its benefits immediately, the energy, the decrease in cravings, and the lasting sense of fullness. These seeds have been consumed for centuries in Latin America. A two-tablespoon serving of chia seeds is packed with fiber, amino acids, and protein.  Because they expand to become to ten times its size when in contact with water, chia seeds can help you feel full for a very long time. You can add chia seeds to yogurt, or blend them into your smoothie.  You can also make pudding.

This pudding celebrates chia seeds by putting them in the forefront. Soaking chia seed in almond milk for several hours before serving, transforms these seeds into a lusciously creamy pudding. Lemon juice adds acidity and tang for a balanced mouthful.  I can only compare Chia seed pudding to Puerto Rican Arroz con Leche (Rice with Milk), a traditional dessert made with rice, milk, and sugar. Other people compare it to tapioca pudding.

The best part of Chia Seed Pudding is that you can eat it for breakfast or dessert. You can make it more dessert-like by adding cocoa powder, or swapping the almond milk for coconut milk for an even more creamy experience. You could also add cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract instead of lemon juice for a sweeter taste. And when something can be eaten either as your first or last meal of the day you know it must be good! I mean how many foods can you do that with?

Citrus Chia Pudding

Serves 4

  • 2 cups almond milk (homemade is best)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • zest and juice ½ meyer lemon (or citrus of choice)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts for garnish (almonds, hazelnuts or pistachios)

Whisk almond milk, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice together. Place chia seeds into a large bowl. Pour milk over seeds and mix together using a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to serve, garnish with chopped nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup.