Words: Fiona Herron                                                                           Photo: Chris Herron
 
Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a bit of a superstar in the seed world. They are gluten free, high in omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA) and with a low omega-6 ratio, they possess anti-inflammatory properties. If that isn’t enough, they are high in fibre and even contain traces of selenium – important for healthy thyroid function. 
 
Whether you chose chia seeds that are white, black or somewhere in-between there is no nutritional or flavour difference and all chia seeds have the amazing capacity to absorb liquid (up to 10 times their weight in fluid) and become gelatinous – creating the delicious and nutritious chia pudding.
 
I’ve also added Mesquite powder (Prosopis spp.) to this pudding – it pairs with the cacao adding a little sweetness and softening the bitterness sometimes associated with raw cacao. Mesquite has its own health benefits with a low GI and a good source of minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc.
 
If you don’t love cacao, why not try an apple and cinnamon chia pudding? Just swap the mesquite, cacao powder and nibs for half a cup of chopped dried apple and a teaspoon of cinnamon powder – this one can even be heated and makes a nourishing start on a cold winter morning.
 
Ingredients: Use organic where possible and always use trusted brands
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon mesquite powder
- 1 teaspoon cacao nibs
- 1 to 1&1/4 cup milk (can also be made with coconut water)
 
Method:
1.    Place all dry ingredients in a medium jar (must be able to hold at least 1 & 1/2 cups of fluid) – mix together with a fork
2.    Slowly add milk while stirring (…stirring is the secret to a good chia pudding!)
3.    Place in the fridge for approx. 2 hours – stir after 1/2 hour if possible (can be left overnight for a delicious breakfast option – add a dash more milk if needed, and stir!)
4.    Top with yoghurt (I’ve used coconut) and granola and/or fresh fruit
5.    Makes a great work snack – fill a jar with pudding, yoghurt, fruit and seeds for awesome nourishment during the day
 
Nutrition per serve (approx. half of the mix and doesn’t include the milk):
Energy – 610 kJ
Protein – 5.4 g
Fat – 8.55g