Cherry, chocolate, and almond make a near perfect trio in my books. Here I have combined them into a chia pudding that delivers on both taste and nutrition.
Chia pudding is a versatile, make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfast staple at our house. It is incredibly easy to prepare and can literally be thrown together in minutes the night before.
This version is a family favourite. It's wonderfully creamy and chocolatey, contains no gluten or added sugar and is absolutely loaded with vitamins & minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre and protein. What a perfect way to start the day!
Chia seeds have a mild nutty taste and are extremely nutrient-dense. They are rich in fibre, minerals, plant protein, antioxidants, and omega 3s.
In fact, a 2 Tbsp serving of chia seeds contains approximately 4 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbohydrate, of which 11 grams are actually fibre!
Unfortunately, the ALA fatty acids in chia seeds are not easily converted by our bodies into EPA & DHA, the omega 3s our bodies need. This means it is still important to consume omega 3-rich fish or take supplements with fish oils or vegan algae.
Crazy for Cacao
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate we can consume. It is free of all the unhealthy sugar and other additives found in most processed chocolate.
Cacao is loaded with minerals such as magnesium and iron, as well as health-promoting flavonoids. These powerful antioxidants are believed to help reduce the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Furthermore, cacao both contains and triggers the release of natural feel-good chemicals in our bodies such as serotonin and phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is the same neurotransmitter that is released when we fall in love!!
Cherry Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding Recipe
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 can (1.5 cups) organic full-fat coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I like to use my Almond Cow to make homemade plant-based milk)
1/4 cup Nuzest Clean Lean chocolate, vanilla, or natural protein powder, or shelled hemp seeds
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp pure almond extract (optional)
optional Lakanto monkfruit, pure stevia, or raw honey (nonvegan), adjusted to taste
1/2 cup chia seeds
topping: warm cherry compote (frozen cherries heated until thick and syrupy), toasted coconut chips, raw cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips, nuts and/or nut butter, granola, or toppings of choice
Put coconut milk, almond milk, protein powder or hemp seeds, almond butter, cacao, and almond extract into a blender container and blend on high until well-mixed. Sweeten to taste.
Add chia seeds and pulse-blend a couple of times until just combined.
Pour into a bowl or single-serving mason jars and seal tightly.
Let sit for 10 minutes, then whisk and cover or shake well and put in fridge overnight.
In the morning, add toppings, serve & enjoy!
Here I enjoyed the pudding cold but topped it with a warm cherry compote. Alternatively, Cherry Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days and then served cold or heated as desired.