Monday, April 1, 2013

Chai Chia Pudding


As I write, I am humming the Chia Pet jingle. I grew up watching this commercial on TV and was the proud caretaker of a few of my own Chia Pets. At the time, I would not have considered eating the seeds I was mixing to make my pet magically grow its green body, but now they’ve become a staple in my kitchen.


The health benefits of these ancient seeds are remarkable. A member of the mint family, chia is the richest plant source of Omega-3, stabilizes blood sugar levels, contains anti-inflammatory properties and is a great source of protein. Wow! Aside from its nutritional punch, chia seeds also taste good.


Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and can be sprinkled on salads and yogurt, stirred into oatmeal or tossed into muffin batter. My favorite way to enjoy these little brown seeds, though, is in pudding.


When chia seeds are soaked, they absorb a large amount of liquid and transform into a texture rather like tapioca pudding.  This simple little pudding is a snap to create. You can make it with the liquid of your choice – milk, juice, coconut milk or almond milk all work well. Dried fruit, toasted coconut, maple syrup, cacao nibs or nuts are all tasty suggestions to add. Just mix your ingredients together and let the chia seeds work their magic. This is a marvelous breakfast to prep the night before. In the morning, grab your jar from the fridge and you’ve got a delicious start to your day. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even layer the pudding with fresh berries and yogurt for a pretty parfait.


Since I drink tea most mornings, I decided to try using it for chia pudding.  I love the sweet, spicy taste of chai spices, so I stirred in some cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black pepper and a drizzle of honey. For a bit of creaminess, I added coconut milk (whole milk also tastes good).  When the pudding had thickened, I topped it with fresh berries and enjoyed a terrific breakfast. Singing ch-ch-ch-chia has taken on new meaning!

Chai Chia Pudding
Serves 2

1 cup strong black tea (I use English breakfast)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup coconut or whole milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
Fresh berries for serving

After steeping your tea, pour it into a jar or other container with a lid. Add the cinnamon, pepper, cloves, cardamom and honey and stir. Set aside to cool until room temperature. Add the milk and chia seeds and stir well. Cover and pop it into the fridge. After about half an hour, give it another good stir to prevent the chia seeds from clumping.

Chill for a couple of hours or overnight. When ready to serve, give the pudding a stir and spoon the pudding into two bowls and top with berries.

36 comments:

  1. I love Chia pudding and Chai tea - what a great combo Hannah! I have to make this ASAP :)

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    1. Thank you, Alyssa! I hope you enjoy this one. I've made your almond chia pudding and it's terrific! I love these little seeds. :)

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  2. interesting tea chia pudding :-) must try

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    1. Thank you, Veena! I hope you enjoy it. I think I'll try a green tea version next. It's fun to get creative with chia seeds!

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  3. I have to try this Hannah; Lauren wants to incorporate some chia into her diet but thus far we've just sprinkled it on top of her daily green smoothie; I know she would LOVE this.

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    1. I hope Lauren likes this pudding, Barb! Chia seeds are just fabulous, aren't they? I love them in smoothies, too. I'm thinking of you both! xoxo

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  4. I love chia and I love the idea of making tea pudding! Wowsers!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Brooke! We've been enjoying lots of chia puddings. My boys love it with raw cacao powder and maple syrup added - so good! I love that it's such a nutritious treat.

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  5. For more information about chia seeds, and some recipe ideas, check out my website: www.chiativity.org

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    1. Hi Margaret! It sounds like you're a terrific chia seed resource. I look forward to visiting your site. I'm happy you stopped by!

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  6. This sounds super healthy and without doubt worth trying. It reminds me a little of tapioca pudding, sounds like a great punch to wake up in the morning!

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    1. It is very similar to tapioca pudding in its texture, Orly. I've been enjoying making different kinds - definitely a delicous way to begin the day. My kids love it with raw cacao powder and maple syrup - I think bananas would be a good addition to this combo.

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  7. This looks fabulous! I love chia pudding, but never thought to add the chai twist. I will be trying. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. My pleasure, Melissa! I hope you enjoy the pudding. I love all the possible variations for chia pudding. I just made one with mango, orange juice and bananas. Magical little seeds indeed!

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  8. I'm ashamed to say I have never tasted chia seeds. I had no idea how easy it is to make something so delicious. I thought it would require cooking for a long time. I love your pudding and what a perfect way to start the day. Off to get some chia and give this a try,

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    1. Oh, I think you're going to like chia seeds, Suzanne! I'm sure you'll be coming up with some delicious ideas for chia pudding. You really can get creative. I just made one over the weekend with orange juice, mango and banana. A nice tropical twist with the rain pouring outside! April showers are definitely here.

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  9. We always drink tea every morning too. So we'd definitely have one of the ingredients for this pudding. Great dish! Not only is it healthy, but with the berries so pretty. Good stuff - thanks.

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    1. Thank you, John! I do hope you enjoy the pudding if you make it. I'm thinking of trying a green tea version now...perhaps with jasmine and vanilla. Lots of fun to to play around with these little seeds.

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  10. The chai chia pudding is gorgeous, Hannah. I love raspberries and blueberries.
    I’m definitely making these. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much, Cat! I hope you enjoy the pudding. I'm happy you stopped by!

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  11. This sounds amazing! I love how you always use spices to their full potential in your dishes. I have yet to play with chia seeds, but when I do, this pudding is something I must try!

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    1. Oh, thank you, Brianne! I really appreciate how spices make healthy eating so delicious. And chia seeds are definitely healthy - I think you'll enjoy them playing with them and create something quite tasty in your kitchen!

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  12. Wow, this is weird and wonderful. Made it last night and stirring the spices together made me happy. I couldn't resist putting a little whipped cream on it - bliss!

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    1. I'm smiling, Christine - weird and wonderful is a great description! And your addition of whipped cream is marvelous. I'm so happy you enjoyed the pudding!

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  13. Love this idea - just being able to whip this out of fridge in the morning for breakfast would be wonderful.

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    1. It does make a lovely, quick breakfast, Sue! It's fun to play around with different variations and use whatever fruit is in season. And my boys love it with raw cacao powder and maple syrup stirred in - so good.

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  14. This was delicious. I made a large jar full to last for several breakfasts. Thanks for the great recipe. Had a few chopped strawberries on top. mmm

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    1. Hi, I'm delighted you enjoyed the pudding! Thanks for letting me know. What a great idea to make a large jar to last a few mornings - I'll do that next time. I'm happy you stopped by!

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  15. I've only had chia seeds in bread, but pudding sounds like a great idea! Wow, this looks like a very hard object to take pictures (especially color) but you totally nailed it!! :) Looks delicious!

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    1. Ahh, thank you so much, Nami - your comment means a lot to me. While not very pretty in color, chia pudding more than makes up for it in taste! I hope you can try it soon - totally different texture and taste than the crunchy seeds in bread.

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  16. I love this Chia pudding! I'm so boring with my chia seeds throwing them into this and that or adding water and honey. This is grand! Definitely making this :)

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Karista! I hope you enjoy the pudding. Aren't chia seeds marvelous? I love tossing them in wherever possible, too. Honey and water sounds like a lovely idea - I'm going to try that today.

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  17. Amazing recipe with Chia and Chai ! Will try it out. The cups and spoons are really cute, where can I find them :) ?

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    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the pudding. The cups are from Anthropologie (lots of colors) and the spoons from Crate & Barrel. I'm happy you stopped by!

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  18. Made this with coconut chai tea. Wow! So yummy! It was 50/50 hit with the family. The ones who don't like tapioca, didn't care for it. Texture thing. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Hi Kathy, I'm delighted you made this pudding! Coconut chai tea sounds wonderful. I understand the texture thing, too. It really is similar to tapioca, which I love, but is not appealing to everyone. I appreciate you letting me know and I'm happy you stopped by!

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