Simplest Chia Pudding (gluten-free)

SimplestChiaPudding7As a home cook, I love the chance to test my food out on anyone with an open mind and a growling tummy. I play bass guitar for my church band and whenever we practice on Thursday nights, I bring a treat to share with my fellow musicians. It’s a great way to test out my recipes with willing participants, introduce them to a variety of vegan foods, and give all of us that little oomph we need to get through a late evening rehearsal.

One of my dear friends (and stellar guitar player) is currently eating carb-free, gluten-free and relatively sugar-free. I offer her some major props because as you all know, there is not a form of sugary dough I have been known to resist. But my friend is incredibly disciplined and so I knew I had to make her something that fit the dietary bill while also tasting just a bit indulgent.

I rummaged through my kitchen cabinets and my eyes fell upon one of the solid standbys of vegan kitchens everywhere… the delightful chia seed. This mineral-rich, B vitamin-packed super seed is incredibly versatile. Many vegans use it as an egg replacer in baking recipes. It’s great tossed into salads, breakfast cereal, and smoothies. How do you use chia seeds? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!

I recently had a fantastic chia pudding at Seed + Salt in San Francisco and making my own version had been on my mind ever since. There it is under my chickpea frittata (also delicious!); their chia pudding is made with cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and goji berries!

The Horchata Chia Pudding at Seed + Salt in SF.

The Chia Pudding at Seed + Salt in SF.

This version is super simple to make. You probably have most of the ingredients at the ready and you can get creative with your toppings. I saw the gorgeous pics of Angela’s Chia Pudding over at Oh She Glows and couldn’t resist putting mine in mason jars as well. My guitar-slinging friend loved her pudding and told me she was “seriously hooked.” Ladies and gentlemen, my work here is done. ; )

Here’s what you’ll need to get this Simplest Chia Pudding on your table (serves 4-6)

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • handful of raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • one fresh peach
  • handful of dried cranberries

Simply whisk together the almond milk, chia seeds and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into mason jars and place them in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until it has achieved a pudding consistency.

Ready to be chilled in the fridge

Ready to be chilled in the fridge

SimplestChiaPudding

Place your shredded coconut on a pan and cook over low, dry heat (don’t use any oil), constantly turning the coconut so it won’t burn. Once it’s been toasted to a lovely golden hue, remove it from the heat.

When your pudding is ready to be served, top with a few slices of fresh peach, a sprinkling of dried cranberries and almonds, and then top with some of the toasted coconut. Serve chilled and enjoy!

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SimplestChiaPudding5

SimplestChiaPudding4Happy eating!

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