I am a HUGE fan of pumpkin! I have always loved the taste of pumpkin in pies, breads, cookies, smoothies, etc. This chia pudding recipe falls into that same category. I can tell you several great qualities that this little dish has. First of all, it is extremely nutritious. Of course that is due to the fact that it contains pumpkin and chia seeds. Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A, C, and E. It is low in calories but rich in dietary fiber. This is one of the reasons pumpkin is known to be a great choice for those looking to shed a few pounds. Pumpkin is also a good source of B-complex vitamins.
Now on to chia seeds. These days chia seeds is spoken of frequently. If you are new to cooking with chia, let me tell you, it's an amazing little seed. Like pumpkin, it also delivers a massive amount of nutrients with a very small calorie count. Woo hoo! They are loaded with antioxidants. In examining the chia seed, you will see that one ounce has 12 grams of carbohydrates. But 11 of those carbohydrates are fiber. Because of all of their fiber, they can absorb 10-12 times their weight in water which means as you digest them, they will expand and make you feel fuller, therefore you will eat less. Chia seeds are a high quality protein and high in Omega 3's. They are very easy to incorporate into your diet. It's as simple as sprinkling some on your oatmeal, in smoothies, yogurt, on top of salads, etc.
So now that you have the back story on two of the main ingredients in this recipe, let me tell you, not only is this an easy recipe to make, but it also serves as a quick but healthy and satisfying option on those mornings when you are short on time. If you plan on eating this for breakfast, keep in mind that you make it the night before. If you want it for dessert, you can make it the morning of. I have found that it also keeps well for a few days if need be. For those busy week, I will make sure and have a little stockpile of these puddings to grab and go. In my opinion, this pudding tastes good warm or cold. So if you are in the mood for something warm, simply grab your jar of pudding out of the refrigerator and warm it up in a small bowl or saucepan, whatever you choose. If cold sounds better, well simply grab your spoon and dig in! You can also add a protein powder to this if that is your thing.
1 1/2 cups homemade almond milk (or whatever milk you choose)
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree (I like Farmer's Market brand)
2 Tbs almond butter (or another nut or seed butter)
1 Tbs organic maple syrup or raw honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chia seeds
1. Blend all ingredients, excluding the chia seeds, until smooth.
2. Divide chia seeds in half and put 1/8 cup chia seeds into two small mason jars. Then add an equal amount of blended mixture to each jar. Seal the jars tightly, shake or stir them up well, and place in refrigerator. Check on the jars 30-60 minutes later and give them another stir to break up any clumps of chia seeds that may have developed.
3. You can make this the night before or leave in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
4. Eat it cold or warm. Top with unsweetened coconut flakes, nuts, raw cacao nibs, or top with granola. Makes 2 servings so multiply as needed for additional servings.