If pudding is one of your favorite comfort foods, you’ll be happy to know that there are a few raw pudding recipes that are not far removed from the cooked variety. This is one of those. You can make it either in the typical vanilla flavor or in a chocolate version. The added bonus is that you don’t have to stand over a hot stove and cook it.
I’m giving you two versions of vanilla chia seed pudding—one very quick and easy and the other more involved. The easy one by the Detoxinista only has four ingredients: chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. She notes that chia seed pudding usually has a texture like tapioca pudding but that she prefers a smoother texture, so she omits the soaking of the chia seeds and processes the pudding in a blender to make it more like one of her favorite cereals, Cream of Wheat. You could leave out the processing step, though, if you like the texture of tapioca pudding. I like tapioca pudding and its texture, so I don't process mine. I use homemade almond milk for this, which is so easy to make in the Vitamix. The chia seeds swell up into tapioca-like granules, and they have a surprisingly similar consistency too. This pudding sets up quickly in the refrigerator, but you could make it the night before and just refrigerate it until the next day if you want. I love this pudding for breakfast, because it gives me a lot of energy and keeps me satisfied. It's also more like a treat than a breakfast food. I use stevia instead of the maple syrup, but the syrup adds a nice touch of flavor if you don't mind the extra sugar.
The more involved recipe has quite a few more ingredients, but it was also featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine, so it’s probably worth the effort. I haven't tried this one, but it looks terrific so I'm sure I'll try it at some point. This one also gives you a chocolate version, which is made simply by adding 4 teaspoons of Green and Black's organic cocoa powder to the vanilla version; that's something you could do to the easy recipe too if you want.
A lot of raw recipes are vastly different from the cooked foods they are supposed to be like, but chia seed pudding is close enough to satisfy a craving for tapioca pudding. If you enjoy the tapioca variety, give it a try. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, and as the Detoxinista points out, they promote a healthy heart, help you regulate your blood sugar, and keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy. They also offer a nice balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, so chia seed pudding is a great way to start your day. Who said you can’t have pudding for breakfast, anyway?