Ever get a song stuck in your head? I’ve been singing along to it off and on for the past few days. “Ch-ch-ch-chia.” No, I’m not remembering the theme song from the old chia pet commercials. I’ve been watching videos of making chia seed pudding and some of the ladies who make videos have been singing it.
Even though every lady sings the same song, each one makes hers differently. I think that 90% of them use some sort of added sweetener – mostly maple syrup – in their recipes. At long last, after days of searching, I did discover a few no added sweetener versions by ladies who said fruit is sweet enough and it didn’t need added sweetener. I found my people!
Between watching the videos, and reading blogs, for my first attempt I came up with a base recipe that was plenty sweet. It only has three ingredients – a banana, almond-coconut milk and chia seeds. When you consider that the base recipe consists of one quarter cup of chia seeds to one cup of ‘milk’ with a tablespoon of maple syrup, you’d think it wouldn’t have taken me so long to figure out an alternative.
Obvious observation: make recipe, omit maple syrup.
(In my defense, when I was creating the recipe I hadn’t found my people yet.)
It was very simple once I figured it out. It was also simple to put together. Mash the banana, stir in the milk, stir in the chia seeds. One, two, three, cover and pop into the refrigerator.
And since you’re still using your all access pass, I can let you know that the first taste was absolute – “meh.” I. Was. Not. Impressed.
I was not.
Banana isn’t my favorite flavor.
But I was determined. I topped it off with a bit of sister’s snack mix and it was refreshingly cold and was – not that bad. Not super great, but doable. I was almost done eating it when I remembered the fresh blueberries in the freezer that BB had brought us from the farm.
Hmmm . . .
The next morning I topped it off with frozen blueberries – which I love – and it was – interesting. The blueberries were delicious. The pudding was sweet. However, the two didn’t necessarily mix. While the banana served its purpose in the recipe, it overpowered the taste of the blueberries.
For the first time trying my hand at it, I think it was a rousing success. I created a perfect chia seed pudding with no added sugar. If I could get used to the taste of flavored water I can get used to the taste of bananas, no problem. And I’m willing.
One thing that keeps drawing me back to the pudding recipes are the variations that can be made. And I’m getting more well versed with each video and each blog that I come across. Most of them are similar to the point of being identical but there’s something to learn from each of them.
A tip I picked up from a sugarless blog was about adding frozen fruit to the pudding mixture. As it sits in the refrigerator the fruit melts, spreading its sweetness throughout the pudding without an added sweetener. That is so smart! Did you hear that blueberries?
In one of the first videos I saw the lady was using Greek yogurt as part of her liquid base. I suspect the outcome was somewhat richer than the typical recipe. It would have been great for dairy reintroduction – IF I could have found the video and IF we had any Greek yogurt.
Which I didn’t.
And we don’t.
In other favorites, the ladies make a base pudding then create several variations by adding different spices and ingredients. Everything from fresh fruit combinations to PB&J (yes, PB&J) to turmeric and cinnamon, to green tea powder. Some ingredients are added to the base pudding, some are added as toppings the next day, or both. I’m processing the possibilities.
I am seriously thinking of adding some unsweetened cocoa powder to my next batch. Chocolate paired with banana doesn’t sound bad at all. Although, with no added sweetener, it might come across on the bitter side. I won’t know until I try it. And it is intriguing.
One of the oddest recipes I’ve seen was a base recipe of almond milk, chia seeds and honey. The almond milk was homemade and sweetened with dates. The chia mixture was then poured over a combination of figs, raisins and banana.
It wasn’t for me.
Neither were the versions based with coconut crème, which is full of sugar. Or the one loaded with Nutella and chocolate chips. I’m sure in another life it may have been delicious but I’m not so sure that I’d even be eating chia seeds in another life.
I did notice, as I was eating breakfast, that I felt myself getting full. And I stayed satiated until time for lunch. A totally opposite experience than the corn salad incident.
While it’s become my newest fascination, I realize it isn’t for everyone. It has the consistency of tapioca pudding and if you don’t like that you won’t like chia seed pudding. It can be blended until smooth but it doesn’t bother me much and it would just be another dish to wash. Maybe when I’m feeling creative with ingredients and toppings I’ll give it a whirl.
Banana Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 whole banana
- 3/4 cup liquid - almond, cashew or coconut milk
- 3 tbsp chia seeds - black or white
- Peel banana and break into pieces.
- Mash banana with a fork until there are no lumps.
- Slowly add liquid and stir thoroughly.
- Add chia seeds and stir until fully incorporated. There should be very few seeds floating on top.
- Refrigerate at least 4 - 5 hours. Overnight is best.
- Top with fresh fruit or nuts.