Serve this healthy, no-cook Strawberry Chia Pudding as an after-school snack for your kids or a delicious dessert for the family.
I’ve been on a bit of a chia seed kick lately.
My recent obsession stems from 10th grade biology. My son is taking bio, and I’ve been helping him study for an upcoming test on carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. As a dietitian, the subject is right up my alley, but the textbook feels more “college” than “high school” — it’s ridiculously difficult for a 16-year old — so I’ve been in a BIG huff about it. Grrrrr. Okay. Enough with the rant …
For the test, Simon has to grasp the difference between hydrophobic compounds (water-fearing) and hydrophilic (water-loving). I explained the difference by comparing two glass bowls; one filled with water + oil and the other filled with water + chia seeds.
Oil and water don’t mix (that’s hydrophobic), while chia seeds do the opposite; they love water, so they’re hydrophilic. In fact, they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. When you mix the two, the liquid turns to a gel and the chia seeds expand. This may be TMI, but my chia experiment helped Simon learn the concept of hydrophilic … and it also explains why these tiny seeds are the ideal thickener for puddings.
Okay. Enough with biology. Here’s my healthy, super kid friendly, no-cook recipe for Strawberry Chia Pudding. Let’s just say it was far easier for Simon to digest than Chapter 3 of Biology (Double Grrrr).
This pudding couldn’t be easier: All you need is a cup of vanilla almond milk (you could also use vanilla soy milk), a cup of frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup chia seeds, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
I see no reason why you couldn’t use low-fat cow’s milk for this recipe. If you go that route, just add an extra 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, taste, and then adjust again if it needs more umph.
- Serves: 3
- Serving size: ½ cup
- Calories: 160
- Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 28g
- Sodium: 50mg
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 3g
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup chia seeds (4 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Lightly toasted chopped nuts, sliced or slivered almonds, berries, toasted coconut
- Place the almond milk and strawberries in a blender, and blend until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or pint-size Mason jar. Add the chia seeds, agave, and vanilla. If you're using a mason jar, secure the lid and shake. If you're using a bowl, whisk to combine. Cover, and place in the refrigerator.
- After 30 minutes, remix or re-shake to re-combine the chia seeds. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours or up to overnight. Serve in individual bowls, and add toppings of your choice.