Raw Chia Pudding


Okay – let’s get this over with. All together now, “Ch… ch… ch… Chia!”

Now that we got that out of our systems, let’s look at the amazing little chia seed. A superfood, these beauties are believed to have been a staple in the Aztec and Mayan diets. Just 2 tablespoons provide 6g of fiber and are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids – an important detail for vegetarians. They have advantages over the flaxseed (another omega-3 choice of vegetarians) since chia seeds do not have to be ground up for the body to absorb their benefits. They also provide protein, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. They help the body balance blood sugar levels making them beneficial to diabetics. They are also great if you’re on a diet (and who isn’t) since they absorb moisture and expand in size giving the body a nice full feeling. That said, you should make sure you stay properly hydrated when using chia.

They have a light, nutty taste – very neutral in flavor – so they can be added to just about anything: cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, salads…whatever you like. They can also be ground up and used in baking.

For many raw recipes, like a pudding, they are usually made into a gel first before being added to the other ingredients. Some use the gel in place of eggs when baking.

Here’s my recipe for a sweet treat that tastes amazingly like rice pudding – without the starch, the dairy, and the processed sugar. This is a delicious alternative and so nutritious it can be a meal (sometimes it’s my breakfast).

Raw Chia Pudding

Mix Chia Gel and Vanilla Cream Sauce together (recipes below) for an amazing treat. You can also just soak the chia seeds in almond milk (preferably raw) and vanilla with whatever sweetener you prefer. But if you have the time, make it with the Vanilla Cream Sauce – you won’t be sorry.

Chia Gel

2 Tbl chia seed

About ¼ cup of water, maybe a little more – you want the chia seeds to have enough water room to expand properly

Mix together and let sit until the mixture expands and becomes gelatinous – this will only take about 10-20 minutes.  Chia seed gel keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, so make more and you will always have some on hand.

Vanilla Cream Sauce– recipe taken from Jennifer Cornbleet’s book, Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 people – by the way, I’ve substituted raw honey/maple syrup/stevia for the agave nectar that the original recipe calls for. )

1 cup soaked raw cashews (soaked for about 2 hours, rinsed)

¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons (or less – adjust to taste) – pure maple syrup/raw honey (or small amount of other sweetener like stevia -adjust quantity according to the sweetener you use)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract – the pure kind, not artificial – or seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Place all ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes (if you can keep from eating the whole thing right then and there).  Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Will keep for 5 days (trust me, it will be all gone before that).

By the way, cashew cream (vanilla cream sauce) is delicious with berries, especially strawberries. A great alternative to the various dairy creams out there.

The chia seed is making quite a comeback.  Everything I’ve read about chia is all good – no downside whatsoever. It’s been talked about on Dr. Oz, the Today Show, Dr. Andrew Weil’s website among other places. There are many other recipes out there as well on other blogs.  I recommend that you explore ways to include this little food that packs a powerful nutritious punch to your daily diet.

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Raw Oatmeal with Superfoods

Raw Oat Groats

As I continue to add a variety of more raw foods to my diet, I continue to search for breakfast options that go beyond eating only fruit or green smoothies. During the winter months, I always loved making cooked steel cut oats. To shorten the cooking time in the morning, I would put the oats in a pot with water and let it sit overnight. The oats soften and voila! – they cook up in no time.  That led me to search for ways to have raw oatmeal using soaked oats. As I searched the internet, the recipe I liked the best was one by Angela Stokes Monarch.

I use her basic recipe, which includes the soaked oat groats (not rolled oats- these are the oats used for the steel cut variety), raw honey, lucuma powder (a low glycemic sweetener made from a fruit that grows in Peru), maca, cinnamon, and water. I add other superfoods like hempseeds, bee pollen, and chia seed gel, which is simply chia seeds in water. The Chia seeds soak up the water like a sponge in a matter of minutes. This gel can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. I’ll blog more about Chia in upcoming posts.

Here’s what I do:

I place about a ½ cup of organic oat groats in water to soak overnight. The next morning, in a blender I add:

the oat groats, rinsed after soaking

about 2 TBL of Chia seed gel

1 tsp lucuma powder

1 tsp raw honey

1 tsp maca powder

1 TBL hempseeds

½ tsp bee pollen

a bit of cinnamon

enough water to blend to desired consistency. This will be about ¼ – ½ cup of water. Add water slowly so you don’t add too much or the oatmeal will become watery.

You can top the oatmeal with extra cinnamon, sliced banana or apple, berries – whatever you like. You can buy oat groats in bulk at a ridiculously low cost. They are high in both fiber and protein. This is a really filling breakfast that will power you up till lunch. I love it!

Superfood Protein Drink

Hemp Protein Powder

Not exactly a title you would expect to find on this site, but as you know I like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding a variety of topics such as yoga and astrology.  Now I’d like to shift gears once again and talk a little about raw foods and superfoods.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with a raw vegan diet. It started with drinking green smoothies and now I have a collection of raw food recipe books, which have been extremely helpful to me. And I might add, David Wolfe has become my hero, although there are several others whose websites, you-tube videos, and books have given me tremendous amounts of information. I’ve never gone totally 100% raw, but there have been periods that I have been I’d say roughly 90% raw. The difference in the way I feel during those times is, quite frankly, amazing. I’ll blog more about my experiences in the future, but today I wanted to share a recipe I concocted.

On reading David Wolfe’s book on Superfoods, I went out and bought several that he wrote about including Hemp protein powder, Maca Root powder, Gogi powder, raw honey and coconut butter. I was already familiar with and using Raw Cacao on a regular basis. I tweaked his recipe for “Oh Wow Cacao” by leaving out a few things like the green powders making it a bit more of a raw ‘hot’ chocolate. I really didn’t care so much for the taste of the greens in this one, so my bag of lovely green hemp protein powder just sat until this morning when I whipped up this drink (recipe is below).  I liked it so much I found myself scraping the sides of the blender in order to get it all out.  Feel free to make whatever substitutions you wish to suit your tastes and/or tweak the amounts of any ingredient…. All ingredients are raw and organic…

Superfood Protein Drink

In a blender I added:

8 ounces of water

2 TBL Hemp powder

1 TBL Maca

1 TBL Hempseed

2 Medjool dates (don’t forget to take out the pits)

1- 2 TBL Raw Tahini

Blend on high until creamy and the dates are fully blended. You can soften the dates by soaking them beforehand if you like – I didn’t bother. Drink up and enjoy!

Some variations to try:

Blend in a frozen banana for extra creaminess (you can subtract some of the tahini if you’re concerned about the fat)

Blend in some raw cacao for a chocolate treat