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20 Aug 2018
Making Chia Seed Pudding

In my world, we are in the midst of a whirlwind.  In the next 13 days we will have 20 events ranging from birthdays for 20 to corporate events for thousands. So things are a little hectic.  For this reason, I hope you will forgive me for the brevity of this blog.  No, it's not going to be about how does one cram all the fixings for 20 parties into a 400 square foot space, nor is it going to be about how one survives for weeks at a time on 4 hours of sleep (and stay dedicated to their "no caffeine" oath), or how without the support (mental, physical, and laborial - I know, that's not a word, but when your mother joins the sweatshop team for 2 of those 17 hour days what else can one call it?) of one's family this business would fall apart. 

No...this is about my favorite new breakfast treat - Chia Seed Pudding.

I am on a strict elimination diet right now (I know...one more thing to think about during all the madness) which does not allow for eggs, dairy, wheat, grain, nightshades, citrus, caffeine, booze, or peanuts.  The challenge is, I'm an egg and cheese gal, so my go-to breakfast of scrambled eggs is off the menu, literally.  

In an attempt to find something tasty and filling, I have stumbled upon chia seed pudding.  Now, I thoroughly admit that the pudding is just a delivery system for my "granola" (a roughly chopped nut mixture that includes equal parts raw pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and unsweetened shredded coconut). But what's a gal to do when yogurt and cottage cheese are off the list?

I've always been a fan of tapioca.  My grandad used to make it when I was a little girl.  So, the consistency of this pudding is very heartwarming and memory inducing for me.  You can add the flavoring of your choice, but I find that real vanilla and/or coconut extract make this extra yummy.   I found the recipe at Eating Bird Food but have tweaked it a bit to fit my tastes.  I do suggest you take a peek at Brittany's site, it's great!  She also has a bunch of other allergen-free recipes that I plan to try out when I've got more time.

Here's my recipe:

It takes about 10 minutes to mix it up. I have found that letting it set overnight is the way to generate the best pudding consistency.

7 tablespoons (heaping 1/4 cup) of chia seeds

2 cups unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (you can also use coconut, soy, or any other dairy substitute you like)

2 to 4 packets of Stevia (I like 2 - remember, you can always add extra to the pudding once it is thickened)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use 1 full teaspoon if you don't use coconut)

1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

Step 1 - place the chia seeds in a quart sized bowl

Step 2 - mix the stevia and extract(s) to your liquid and stir till blended

Step 3 - add milk mixture to your seeds and mix well.

Step 4 - allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes, then stir again - you should notice a clump of seeds in the center of the bowl, don't be alarmed, just mix until that lump breaks up and you have a smooth liquid again.

 

Step 5 - cover with saran wrap or place in an airtight container

Step 6 - allow to chill for at least 8 hours 

Step 7 - scoop 1/2 cup pudding, 1/4 cup "granola", and the fruit of your choice (I like blueberries, but strawberries, bananas work too)

Step 8 - enjoy

This makes me 5 servings. I wish I could give you all the dietary info - but being as I'm a party planner and not a dietician, I don't have those answers.  I can only tell you that it makes a yummy breakfast.  I find that this fills me up all morning and I love the taste so much that I literally look forward to it, and sometimes think about it during the day (yes, I have a little crush on my chia pudding)!

I'll fill you in on the whole elimination diet thing when I have more time...but in the meantime...bon appetit!