Vegan Berry Chia Seed Pudding

I think I am one of the last people in the world to jump on the chia seed bandwagon. After reading yet another blog post about all the benefits and high protein content and ease of morning routine-ness of this teeny ingredient, I decided I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch and eat chia seed pudding too. After work I made the trek out to Whole Foods and wove my way around all the kitschy signage and beautifully coloured produce until I found the protein powder and seed area. Being a healthy grocery store alternative, I was greeted by a whole shelf full of chia seeds in ziplock pouches, of which I read the backs of many and painstakingly chose the only one that was on sale since they all seemed about the same to me.

I adapted this recipe from Into the Gloss, for which you'll need:

  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups rice/almond/soy milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  •  vegan yogurt, for topping (if not following a vegan diet, greek yogurt works well)
  • sunflower seeds, for topping

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1. In a medium to large jar, combine the chia seeds, rolled oats and milk. Add a squeeze of honey or agave to taste.

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2. Shake in tightly sealed jar to combine. Stick in the fridge to soak overnight. The chia seeds only need about an hour to start absorbing the liquid, but the mixture with become more of a pudding the longer it is able to sit in the fridge.

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3. Combine raspberries, blueberries, honey and lemon in a jar.

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4. Use the back of a spoon to mash the mixture together until it creates a jam like consistency. If you're using frozen berries like myself, put the jar into the microwave for 20 or 30 second intervals until the berries soften and become easier to mash. Seal tightly and place in the fridge.

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5. In the morning, stir the chia and oat mixture to evenly combine.

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6. Start layering the chia seed mixture with the jam and your toppings into another jar or bowl. I added a layer of the chia seed pudding, then jam, then a dollop of yogurt, and repeated twice until I was close to filling my jar. I added chopped avocado and sunflower seeds to the top, but you could add pretty much any topping you see fit.

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I think the greatest thing about this idea is how individualized it can be. Choose whatever ingredients work with you allergies or diet or lifestyle and breakfast will be the easiest, most nutritious and delicious meal of the day.

I now find myself doubling or tripling the recipe and keeping a large jar of chia seed pudding and fruit jam in the fridge so my breakfasts (and sometimes lunches as well) are easily accessible and healthy. It is also a brilliant alternative to warm oatmeal for the summer months, when my apartment heats up to a horrifyingly warm temperature by 8 a.m.

What are you favourite combinations of ingredients for chia seed pudding?

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