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Healthy gluten-free and dairy-eating: Coconut-Chia Pudding

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Healthy living comes with healthy eating and exercise. One big product that has been talked about on the internet and through television is the use of chia seeds. Dr. Oz has talked these wonder seeds on his television. These seeds were only known as a product used for Chia Pets that were found in most drug stores and plugs on infomercials.

Chia seeds have a lot of healthy benefits. These seeds have been around since ancient Mayan and Aztec times. These super seeds have Omega-3 Fatty Acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. (Provided by WebMD.) These seeds help with slowing down one's appetite and create a sensation of fullness as part of the weight loss process, but this writer recommends adding these in addition to a healthy diet. These seeds are very easy to add to smoothies, yogurt, granola and cereal. These seeds have a very nutty flavor and can add a little crunch to anything, but also easily soaks up any liquid and turns it into a thicker liquid. It is why that it is an excellent ingredient to make pudding.

In this recipe, I use canned coconut milk as a base for my pudding and allows it to be dairy-free. It is a very simple recipe to make and can be made the night before. I enjoy this pudding for breakfast with a healthy protein like scrambled egg whites on the side. Personally, I prefer to allow the ingredients soak for at least 12 hours in a sealed container placed in the refrigerator. The longer the seeds soak the better and it makes a thicker pudding. As Alton Brown used to say on his show, "Good Eats" - "Your patience will be rewarded."

Coconut Milk Chia Pudding (Makes 4 servings)

1 can of low-fat unsweetened coconut milk (found in your ethnic section of your grocery store)

1/2 cup of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

4 tsp of sucanat (dehydrated cane juice), divided

Pour the chia seeds into a bowl followed by the shaken contents of the coconut milk and vanilla. Stir thoroughly making sure all of the chia seeds have been mixed in the coconut milk. Cover and place into the refrigerator overnight - more than 8 hours makes the pudding even better because it allows the chia seeds to soak longer and get thicker. Spoon into a dish followed by 1 tsp of coconut sugar and stir together.

Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 171 Carbs:18 grams Total fat: 15 grams Protein: 4 grams Fiber:11 grams Sugar: 4 grams

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