Healthy Breakfast | Coconut Chia Pudding
So it's all the rage right now, Coconut and Chia seeds. You all remember those infomercials right? and if you don't, I have included a retro video to jog your memory.
Oh the 1980's.
and now fasting forward to 2014...we eat our chia pets before they even have a chance to grow their sprouted fur!
Chia seeds are considered a super food because they pack a lot of punch in such a small amount. A one ounce serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 whopping grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. They are full of omega 3 fatty acids and calcium.
So what are Chia Seeds?
When you place chia seeds in water or juice or any liquid they puff up and you will notice a gel like consistency. Because of this they are a great food to eat when trying to lose weight because they swell up in your stomach and keep you full for longer. That is also why they are perfect for making a pudding. A chia seed pudding resembles tapioca.
Chia seeds are also great in smoothies, sprinkled on salads or on top of yogurt.
Now moving on to Coconut.
It's everywhere...from coconut water to coconut milk to coconut oil....what's the difference you ask?
Coconut water is the clear liquid inside of a young coconut. You know when you stick a straw in a coconut and drink the juice? That's it in a coconut shell! No pun intended.
Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from mashing or grating the flesh or meat of the coconut.
Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh/meat of matured coconuts. You can buy it as extra virgin (pure) coconut oil or you can buy it refined (which is subject to additional processes to remove the coconut flavor and leave you with a neutral tasting coconut oil). I always buy Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
Another perk to coconut oil in the pantry is a great natural skin moisturizer.
Now regarding health benefits.
Coconut milk does contain fat and saturated fat however it's plant derived vs animal derived. It contains a large proportion
of lauric acid, a saturated fat that raises blood cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of high density lipoprotein cholesterol also known as HDL which is considered the "good cholesterol" vs. LDL which is considered the "bad cholesterol". To remember this just think of HDL as healthy (H) and LDL as lethal (L).
Coconut water is used as a hydrating natural sports drink with electrolytes and minerals which is a great alternative to processed sugary sports drinks.
Extra Virgin coconut oil is preferred for high heat cooking because it has a high smoke point and is natural vs. commonly refined soybean, corn and vegetable oils. I like to use it for frying instead of Extra Virgin Olive Oil because of it's high smoke point. My cupboard is mainly stocked with Olive oil, Avocado oil and Coconut oil. All plant based. You can also use coconut oil in baking.
So check out my Coconut Chia Pudding Recipe below. It's delicious.
Coconut Chia Pudding Topped with Blueberries and Shredded Coconut
1/3 Cup Chia Seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup unsweetend almond milk1 big pinch of pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon whatever you prefer)(flavor to your liking)
Mix all ingredients together and put in glass or bowl and place in fridge for 4 hours to allow the chia seeds to swell.
Top with blueberries and shredded coconut. Or top with whatever you like! Raspberries, Fresh Mango, Whatever!
**If you don't like the small amount of oily taste that is present in coconut milk or the higher calorie content you can just use 2 cups of almond milk instead. Sometimes If I omit coconut all together, I will use 2 cups almond milk and a dash of vanilla extract to the recipe. and if you like your pudding a bit sweeter you can always add some honey or maple syrup or agave. You can also swirl in a fruit puree of your choice. I like fresh raspberries mashed up and sweetened with honey.