Chia Seed Power Pudding

by Gena on February 18, 2011

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First of all, thank you guys so much for welcoming Matt and Elise with your comments and enthusiastic discussions. And thanks of course to the two of them for being such fantastic guest posters!

Midterms. They came. They saw. They conquered. Well, that’s not totally fair: I held my own really well in Calculus and Chem. Physics, on the other hand, had me waiving a white flag within about 20 minutes of the (nearly impossible) exam. Sweaty palm, blank answers, nervous glances at the clock: I felt I was in high school again, choking on a practice SAT.

Thankfully, my physics tutor (the incredible and brilliant Claire, who you’ll hear me mention again) is also in my physics class, and called me this morning to say that, from what she can gather, the entire class thinks it got an F. I can only hope this means a nice, generous curve, and my salvation. We’ll see!

On to food. I think that the next week’s theme is going to be power food. I don’t mean it’s going to be all superfoods or green powder mixes—though you’ll see a couple of the foods marketed as “super foods” in this post. It simply means foods that have nourished my body and fed my brain in the last week. The other day, I was comparing my college eating habits to my eating habits now, and noted with happiness how much more efficiently I fuel my body as an adult than I did as a college kid. I performed well as an undergrad, but I did it on a steady rotation of candy, salad (OK, that’s good, there was salad), oatmeal (also not bad), Camel Lights, quad lattes and venti redeyes (that’s a venti drip coffee with two shots of espresso mixed in). And that’s about it. There were periods of eating enough, periods of not eating enough, and periods of vacillating between the two. There was exercising too much and not at all. And as a result of all of this, I spent a good part of college feeling worn out or (as in my sophomore year, when I was felled by chronic bronchitis that turned into pneumonia) feeling downright sick.

In keeping with Elise’s sentiments yesterday, I’m certainly not one to claim that good nutrition will grant immunity from all health ills: I get common colds like everyone else, and while I require a lot less sleep than other people, I do feel the effects of fatigue over time. But I think that my dietary habits help me remain a lot more energized and efficient than other people’s dietary habits do, and I thank them (in part) for my ability to juggle a lot right now without burning out. I know it’s a long road ahead, but I also know that I can control at least some of my own fortitude by filling my body up with foods that are exceptionally nourishing.

Today’s recipe features two of my favorite power ingredients, hemp and chia. Both are full of healthy fat, fiber, and protein. Chia seeds contain a good dose of calcium and iron (each) per serving, and they’re favored by athletes for their hydrating properties. Hemp, meanwhile, is a veritable powerhouse of nutrition, and it tops my list of favorite nuts/seeds for that reason. It’s full of Omega-6 AND Omega-3 EFAs, and it’s a complete plant protein, meaning it contains all 21 known amino acids, and all of the 9 that are essential for human health. Put these two foods together, and you have a treasure trove of vegan fuel—which is precisely what I needed this week.

This pudding is nice on its own, but I think it would also be terrific with fresh fruit or sprinkled with some dried fruit. It’s vanilla flavored, but you could also add some character with cinnamon, cocoa, or pretty much whatever strikes your fancy. Note that I wanted this pudding to give me some instant energy in the form of simple sugars, so I used four pitted dates; if you’re watching sugar, you could absolutely lessen that amount.

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Chia Seed Power Pudding (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free)

Serves 2-3

4 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
4 pitted dates
Dash of salt

Empty chia seeds into a bowl, or the container you’ll be storing them in:

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Blend the hemp seeds, water, vanilla, dates, and salt in a high speed blender till very smooth and creamy. Pour over the chia seeds. At first, they’ll simply swim around in the liquid, and they won’t look much like pudding:

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Every minute, stir the pudding. The chia seeds will begin to plump up:

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After 10-15 soaking minutes, the pudding is ready to eat:

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It’ll also keep nicely in the fridge for a few days. I find that the seeds continue to absorb a lot of liquid, so if it has been in the fridge for a day and it’s a bit stiff, just add a bit of water or almond milk.

This particular chia pudding definitely tastes like hemp, so you could switch out the hemp for cashews, or do a half and half mixture if you’re not used to that taste. I love the taste of hemp, though, and I love what it does for my body even more!

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This pudding has given me two fabulous pre-exam breakfasts now. Here’s to vegan power food!

If you’re wondering where I get my chia and hemp, I typically use Nutiva hemp seeds and Bob’s Red Mill chia seeds. However, I recently got some products from Foods Alive to review, including both chia and hemp, so I’ll have a new brand to chat about soon!

Want to see more chia seed recipes? Check out my chia chai pudding or my basic chia pudding. And if you’re a hemp lover, read up on my homemade hemp milk and my cheesy red pepper hemp dip!

On that note, I just arrived in DC, and I’m ready to unwind with M. I’ll be back here tomorrow with more food!

xo

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Felicia ( a taste of health with balance) February 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm

i’m definitely going to try this! usually i just mix the chia seeds with chocolate almond milk, but this version looks delicious and with a more pudding consistency that i would like. thanks for sharing! :)

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Hannah February 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Well done you for surviving midterms! Like you, I’ve always been humanities-based and excelled there, whereas my mind struggles desperately with scientitific modes of thought. I’m so awed by your commitment to learning what doesn’t immediately come naturally to you :) You’ll get there, superstar!

I love the look of this recipe, but I think I may need to try a new brand of chia seeds. Is it possible for chia to become *old* and now plump up! Everytime I try to make chia puddings, no matter if I leave it for 3 hours, they still only gel a little bit and stay crunchy-ish. It’s quite disappointing!

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Heidi February 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I have this problem, too! I thought my seeds were new enough, but they never plump as much as the ones in Gena’s pictures appear to.

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Merryn February 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

I have found that leaving the ‘pudding’ overnight is a good amount of time – we did this in Australia, with fresh juicy fruit (esp mango) and a little fruit juice, mixed with water. This was our breakfast rather than ‘pudding’!

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Freya February 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Wow, that looks amazing!!
I had a horrible final year stats exam last year, and the whole class came out thinking we’d failed – they even set up a facebook group to campaign that it was too hard! As it turned out, most people passed (I even got a B :p) so I suppose you never know til results right!?

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Enjoy your time with M in D.C. Sounds like you are in major need of a little R & R!! I hope you two have a fabulous weekend.

I would have been waving the white flag too. Physics, calm, chem…in that order are evil for my brain. I guess chem isn’t that bad but let’s just say i’d prefer to make fermented food and play with chemical reactions in my kitchen than to do what you’re doing!

The pudding looks great. Love both chia and hemp seeds, and the vanilla-date-hemp water mixture would probably be awesome just on its own. A nice powerhouse pudding treat.

Enjoy your weekend, Gena!
:)

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn February 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I love!! I am obsessed with chia and hemp lately, I have never thought of adding hemp seeds to chia pudding! Thanks for the recipe love!!

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Anon February 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I really would like to try the other chia recipes you have. Or try them in a smoothie since they seem like they could thicken the smoothie nice.
But to be honest, I’m afraid. I have terrible IBS like symptoms (either C or D – terrible), plus lots of stomach bacterial issues, etc. So…I’m afraid!
It looks goods though.
You are so balanced. I don’t exercise at all now, and I feel I have such a long, long journey ahead of me yet.
Celebrate your weekend with rest.

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm

You seem so healthy conscious I can’t imagine you ever smoking. Interesting tidbit!
Hemp must be an acquired taste. I’m not quite there yet, but I love its nutritional profile!

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Christin@purplebirdblog February 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Now this sounds like a chia pudding I could get behind… I tried the fruited versions and was not a huge fan. Vanilla, dates, and hemp? Yes please!

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Ada February 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Congratulations on finishing and rocking your midterms! I wish mine had gone as well:( Physics midterms at Columbia are notorious for being generesouly curved, so don’t worry too much about it. I hope you have a fun and relaxing weekend with M, you deserve it!

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Alex @ Healing Beauty February 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Looks delicious! The first chia seed dish I ever tried was your basic pudding recipe and it was probably the best thing I ever did! I now have a wonderful love affair with chia seeds! They are great in oatmeal, in dairy-free yogurt, in smoothies, on their own in a pudding…options are almost endless. I love my chia seeds!!

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day February 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Congratulations on your midterms being over!

I just love chia so much.. it’s so soothing and nourishing.

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sasha February 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Looks great. I love chia seeds but the texture is not one of my fav’s. However I do it anyways or try to hide it in other things. Great post.

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Mindy February 18, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Nice recipe. I enjoy chia pudding a lot, but this is the first time I’ve seen it combined with hemp seeds. That is a powerhouse pudding! I’m a big fan of hemp also. When I really want to enjoy intense hempy goodness, I sometimes buy hemp seed butter. Have you ever had it? It’s a deep, dark green color. It freaks people sometimes, because they don’t expect the green color and they think it has gone bad. I use it just like I would any other nut butter. I actually prefer adding the hemp butter to smoothies instead of hemp protein powder. I know it adds more fat, but I really don’t like the sort of grainy texture of the protein powders.

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Pure2raw twins February 18, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Congrats on being done with midterms :) Go and celebrate!!

This chia hemp pudding looks perfect! Something I will have to make very soon as I am trying to eat more of both of them lately.

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bitt February 19, 2011 at 12:01 am

You and I must have been on the same wavelength. I need the chia power for other reasons than psychics, but I did need it! I used a mixture of hemp seeds and cashews just as you mentioned. And a bit of banana to sweeten.

Glad you are done and hope you can unwind a bit this weekend.

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bitt February 19, 2011 at 12:16 am

oops I said psychics instead of physics. see i can’t even spell it right.

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Michelle (Housewife in the Raw) February 19, 2011 at 12:25 am

Thanks for a recipe that will be on my table next week! I just got a new bag of chia seeds. Enjoy some down time this weekend.

What’s your vector, Victor? Sorry, each time you mention physics I want to say that. I won’t do it again. :)

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Teresa February 19, 2011 at 12:42 am

I love hearing your reflections on your diet now compared to when you were an undergrad. Interesting to think about and possibly laugh about (for some of us).

Been on a bit of a chia and hemp kick myself lately. I’ve been flavoring mine with cinnamon, a pinch of maca, and sometimes adding some Barleans Flax Fruit Swirls that I received as a sample at work. I haven’t thought to blend the hemp seeds, so that’s what I’ll do next!

Congrats on finishing the midterms!

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JL goes Vegan February 19, 2011 at 7:45 am

I love chia seeds in crackers but that’s about it. I got a bit turned off when I tried one of those overnight oatmeal recipes with chia seeds; the texture freaked me out. But this dish looks like a tapioca pudding, which I love, and hemp seed, too? Sold. I’ll try it!

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thefruitpursuit (Sabine) February 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

I’ll definitely be trying this!`I love both hemp and chia but only use it in a limited amoutn of avrieties. chia seeds mostly with my oat bran, and hemp seeds over salads. thanks for this pudding idea!

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Kelsey @ Unmitigated Grub February 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

Wow, this looks great! I just tried chia seeds for the first time ever on Thursday (inspired by YOU! :)) and now I’m excited to try hemp with my chia!

Congrats on being done with midterms!!

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Aurelia February 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Want chia seeds… now!*stomps feet* I can’t seem to find them in stores around here though. I guess I’ll have to order some online. Enjoy your week-end!

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Fannie February 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Great post and i can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve been using hemp seeds on almost everything for a while but have yet to try chia. While I am not 100%vegan or raw, I LOVE a lot of your recipes and adhere to a healthy eating lifestyle while dealing with lots of common (and some randoms) intolerances. I am jugglings lots lately (FT job, school, volunteering and a 3 year old!) and until I read this post I didn’t really think about how eating so healthy and some of these powerfoods has helped me maintain such a busy lifestyle without burning out! THANKS! your posts inspire me.

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Namaste Gurl February 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I will most definitely be trying this- I love all your chia puddings and make them all the time. I certainly agree that both chia and hemp seeds are nutritional powerhouses. And ignorant, non- knowledge people who don’t know vegetarian nutrition wonder where they get their protein, iron, calcium, etc. Hehe. I call it ignorance!
Maybe I’ll try this before my statistics exam and see where it gets me :)

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Cassandra February 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Synchronicity! I was eating pudding that was pretty darn close to this for the past week for dessert. :-) I sweetened it with stevia (and maple syrup on individual servings) and tossed some raisins in. I really like hemp and chia because you don’t have to soak or grind them to get all the nutrition. I hate waiting for nuts to soak sometimes! :-)

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Jason @ Shutter & Saute February 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

The pudding looks great, love the consistency.

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GirlonRaw February 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I totally love chia seeds and puddings and lately I keep thinking that I want to make a chia version using your chai spice recipe so watch this space. Maybe tomorrow will be the day :) Go you with all your studying. You are a major inspiration girl!

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elise February 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm

it took me a loooooong time to get on board with chia seeds…they just creeped me out at first with their slimy texture. now i’m into them, but still working on hemp. maybe ill dabble with a cashew/hemp mix first to ease my way into it. it looks stellar though.

i loved your commentary on your undergrad habits as compared to today’s. i can definitely relate. i too require far less sleep than the average person, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for me to ignore the signs of fatigue (which i used to do constantly). i too lived on a diet centered around candy and salads. how bizarre that you mentioned those particular foods. i have no clue why.

anyway. thanks again for letting me guest post. the commentary was great, and im glad i could help you out during midterms.

i love you!

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Tiina McKay February 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Oh My God, this pudding is AMAZING!!! My 10-15 min are almost up but I’ve already tasted it several times and can’t stop eating it!! Thank you for sharing yet another wonderful recipe :) Have a fabulous weekend!

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Annie D @ Annie's Simple LIfe February 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Love me some Chia! Thanks for the recipe!

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Tawney February 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Ironically I just bought some chia seeds for the first time the day before your post. Couldn’t wait for dessert so I made a batch for breakfast this morning. MMMMM…. Thank you for a new alternative to my smoothies!

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Katie (quickcookrice) February 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Yay! You have no idea how happy this makes me. I am legit obsessed with every single one of your chia pudding recipes, and I’m known to eat one of them every morning for weeks on end. Currently on a chai chia kick, but this is the motivation to add a new one to the rotation. Thank you!

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Arthur S. February 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

I have never seen Chia Seeds much less do I know where to get them. I was wondering if you knew the carb content of Chia? (to see if it would fit into low carb). I will check out the local health food store to see if they carry it. Thanks for the idea.

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Becky February 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Looking forward to the power foods theme…I’m getting ready to be a student next year and am trying to gear up for that time by collecting as many nutritionally dense and easy/quick recipes as possible!

Thanks for doing this, Gena!

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Kristen's Raw February 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

WTF?!?! Venti red eye???? I’ve never heard of it. I feel robbed. ;)

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Drew Gerald July 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Just came across this from one of your recent post, and made it a few minutes ago. Never thought to use hemp as a ‘sauce’ kinda base… esp with chia seeds. Thanks for the recipe!

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mothers day coloring sheets September 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm

A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.

There’s no doubt that that you should publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not talk about these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!

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raczyk December 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Have any of you tried this recipe with whole hemp seed instead? Are they easy to digest whole. I typically soak my chia pudding for about 30 minutes before eating.

Cheers,

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Deanna December 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Hi
Is there anything else that i could use that is not Vanilla, cinnamon or
nutmeg. I don’t handle these items well.

Vegan friendly also.

Thanks x

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