When the word “pudding” comes to mind, most people think of a very sweet and creamy food item. Pudding is usually made with a sweet milk base to produce a dish with a similar consistency to egg-based custards or mousse.1 However, if you’re tired of that typical heavy texture, you can use seeds to make a light but delicious pudding.
This Guilt-Free Chia Seed Pudding Recipe is everything that an ideal pudding should be. It’s sweet and flavorful, but has the right amount of texture, courtesy of the chia seeds. This recipe allows you to use your imagination, since you can add your favorite fruits as a topping. Clearly, it’s pudding that anyone, from kids to adults, can gladly enjoy.
Preparation time: 5 minutes | Servings: 2
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup organic coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. Dr. Mercola’s raw honey
- 1/2 tsp. Dr. Mercola’s vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan salt, optional
- Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for five to 30 minutes so the chia seeds absorb the moisture and becomes a pudding.
- If pudding is too thick, you can add more milk to thin it out to your desired consistency.
- Add your favorite topping such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or slices of banana and enjoy!
This Guilt-Free Chia Seed Pudding Is an Exceptional Delight for Your Health
Various recipes for healthy puddings are rising in popularity, and this Guilt-Free Chia Seed Pudding Recipe is no exception. You can assemble this pudding in minutes and it will be ready within five to 30 minutes, making it a nutritious meal that’ll energize anyone, especially people who are usually on-the-go.
Plus, with ample parental supervision, kids may help out in mixing the pudding’s main ingredients or by assembling the dish’s final touches by adding their favorite fruits.
Choose Chia Seeds for Improved Well-Being
Chia seeds are a staple in many healthy food lists today, and for good reason. The seeds are rich in a plant-based omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which offers health benefits like:2
Decreasing triglyceride (bad cholesterol) levels
Supporting healthy cholesterol levels
Delivering anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties
Reducing blood pressure and heart disease risk
Possessing liver-protective properties
Providing defenses against arthritis, autoimmune diseases and cancer
Plant compounds in chia seeds, namely myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol, have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer capabilities.3 Meanwhile, expect your body’s levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese to rise too, since these minerals work together to improve bone health, inhibit hypertension, maintain healthy weight, metabolize energy and synthesize your DNA.4
If you want to increase your fiber intake, add chia seeds to your meals, since just 2 tablespoons can give you 10 grams of fiber. High fiber levels were shown to lower your risk for premature death from any cause. Lastly, chia seeds are also an excellent source of protein, antioxidants and vitamins.
Chia seeds possess a mild flavor and are gluten-free, ideal for people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Just remember to get animal-based omega-3s as well, in addition to plant-based omega-3s like chia seeds, to ensure that both types of fat are well-accounted for.
Black and white chia seeds are available at local health food stores, grocery stores, warehouse stores and discount retailers.5 While both types of seeds are healthy since these contain similar portions of omega-3s, proteins and fiber, dark-colored seeds tend to have more antioxidants.
Eating a combination of these two chia seeds is ideal. When buying chia seeds, Bon Appétit recommends choosing those that are either a speckled black or white, but not uniformly brown. While all seeds are naturally vegan and gluten-free, these aren’t a guarantee that they are automatically organic and non-GMO, so check the labels first before picking them up.6
Store the seeds in a cool and dry place.7 Chia seeds can last for two years without refrigeration because they are rich in antioxidants.8 Plus, these don’t require additional grounding prior to use, so you can sprinkle them on any of your favorite dishes anytime.
Coconut Milk: A New Way to Enjoy ‘Milk’
Made by grinding coconut meat and diluting it with plain water, coconut milk has a consistency that’s similar to fresh cow’s milk, and is a valuable source of health boosters. It is rich in protein and healthy fats like medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which the body can convert into energy instead storing it as fat.
Lauric acid, a beneficial fatty acid rarely found in nature, is found in coconut milk. This possesses germ-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-viral capabilities that could eliminate viruses, bacteria and other illnesses from the body. It can also decrease your body’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thereby lowering your risks for heart disease and stroke.9
Coconut milk is a storehouse of antioxidants that can prevent or reverse free radical damage and stall the aging process. Vitamins C and E in coconut milk can boost your immune system, while vitamins B1, B3, B5 and B6 deliver energy to your cells. Plus, these minerals in the milk are able to enhance your body, too:
- Magnesium: responsible for some of the body’s vital biochemical functions like regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting nerve cell function
- Potassium: maintains tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles
- Phosphorus: increases teeth and bone strength
- Iron: forms blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body
If you’re lactose-intolerant, you can use coconut milk as a dairy substitute. You just have to be very careful if you’re buying boxed coconut milk, since these might contain preservatives, emulsifiers or stabilizers. Avoid purchasing canned coconut milk since these may contain harmful BPA chemicals that could leak into the milk.10 Follow this checklist when buying coconut milk:11
Choose brands without added sugar.
Choose brands without carrageenan.
Choose brands made with organic coconuts.
Avoid brands with BPA-lined cans.
Avoid brands that use preservatives like sulfates.
Be wary of vitamin A palmitate, based on your total vitamin A intake.
Why Raw Honey Is the Best Type of Honey
Raw honey is responsible for delivering sweetness to this pudding recipe. Plus, it offers its own share of health benefits. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies honey as a demulcent, or a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film.12
Research showed that honey works just as well as dextromethorphan, an ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines, when it comes to treating children’s cough and sleeping difficulties caused by upper respiratory tract infections.13
Raw honey is a good wound treatment, as its antiseptic properties are connected to an enzymatic process that releases hydrogen peroxide. If you have seborrheic dermatitis, a scalp condition that triggers dandruff and itching, dilute honey with a bit of warm water to improve the condition. Meanwhile, if you’re lacking energy, consume a spoonful of raw to kick start your day.
One of raw honey’s most important health benefits is its ability to decrease allergy symptoms. Locally produced honey contains pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants. The pollen spores will then introduce a small amount of allergens into your body, activating the immune system and allowing you to develop natural immunity against these allergens.
A few months before the pollen season begins, eat a teaspoon of raw honey daily to enable your body to increase its immunity. This will only work, however, if you use locally produced raw honey that’s more likely to contain pollen from local plants you are allergic to. Raw honey made from other parts of the country may not have these types of pollen, so the effect won’t be the same.
Sadly, not all honey is created equal. When buying honey, purchase raw, unfiltered and 100 percent pure honey from a trusted source. Honey sold in stores are often heavily processed and lack natural health benefits.
Consume raw honey in moderation too, since a teaspoon already has nearly 4 grams of fructose, which can worsen insulin resistance and damage your well-being, if consumed in large quantities. You can lower the amount of honey that you use in the pudding if you’re still adding fruits, to ensure you meet the ideal fructose requirement of less than 25 grams of total fructose a day.
Sources and References
Tags: Dairy-Free, Fruits and Vegetables, Raw