Strawberry and Peach Chia Pudding

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Chia seeds have been around in Mexico and Central America for centuries.  The Mayans even included them in their diet.  And why not?  These crunchy little seeds add a lot to any diet.  They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.  Plus they do not have a distinctive flavor which means they can easily blend into any flavor you wish.

Seeing how these seeds expand in liquid to form a gel-like consistency I decided to make a vegan-friendly “rice pudding/tapioca” like dessert using chia seeds.  Once the chia seeds expand in the milk it creates this creamy consistency similar to that of rice pudding or tapioca.  I started with a vanilla based dessert then folded in some yummy summer fruit and voila!  A light dessert that is also healthy.  Score and score.

WHAT YOU NEED:

– ¾ cup of chia seeds;
– 2 cups of almond milk (or any other milk);
– 2 tablespoons of sweetener (I used raw sugar);
– ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract;
– ½ -1 cup of peaches, sliced;
– ½ -1 cup of strawberries, chopped

WHAT YOU DO:

Place chia seeds and sweetener in a mixing bowl (if using sugar mix the sugar with a small amount of hot water to dissolve before placing in mixing bowl.

1st day

Pour in milk and vanilla extract.  Stir to combine thoroughly and cover.  Place in refrigerator for at least four hours but preferably overnight.  When ready to serve remove bowl from refrigerator and give it a good stir.

pudding

Fold in the strawberries and peaches, leaving a couple tablespoons worth of fruit to use as a garnish.

fruit

Spoon into serving bowl and dig in.  Totally optional but if you feel like adding a little crunch to your pudding top each bowl with a sprinkle of chia seeds.

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