Vanilla chia pudding with pomegranate seeds and cocoa nibs

Vanilla chia pudding with pomegranate seeds and cocoa nibs

It's the end of January and we're at the height of new year resolution season - the gyms are packed, social media is full of healthy and inspiring posts, and loads of people are doing 'dry January ' or 'veganuary' (if you are one of them, you're almost there - well done!) 

I didn't make any new year resolutions as such this year, but I have been doing a bit of a 'reset' to get back on track for 2017. I normally follow a vegetarian diet with limited amounts of dairy and eggs, but since the first week of January I've been following a 100% vegan diet - something I like to do every once in a while. One of my good friends approached me at the beginning of the year and asked me if I wanted to do 'veganuary' with her, so it seemed like good timing - and she's been doing a great job too for her first time! I think I'll be continuing into February or March, but that's not set in stone (the one thing I find really difficult to live without is eggs). In addition to my vegan 'reset', I've been trying to drink green juice every day/couple days when time allows - as you probably guessed from my instagram feed and most recent blog post

All this to say that I feel good about the way 2017 has started. It's always refreshing to take a step back and be a bit more mindful about cooking and eating.

Vanilla chia pudding | Beloved Kitchen
Vanilla chia pudding | Beloved Kitchen
Vanilla chia pudding | Beloved Kitchen

One of the things I've been enjoying this year is chia pudding. In the past I'd reserve chia seeds for baked goods (they make excellent egg replacers when ground and mixed with water) or smoothies (to add a little omega-3 boost), but I wasn't particularly convinced about putting them centre stage. This month I was looking for an alternative to soy/almond yogurt and vegan overnight oats as an easy 'grab and go' breakfast in the morning, and I remembered that chia seeds were supposed to make great pudding. I can confirm that they do!

This recipe is extremely easy to make and is great for those of you looking for easy breakfast options. You simply mix chia seeds with a liquid (in this case almond milk), add the flavours of your choosing and let the little seeds work their magic overnight in the fridge. Chia pudding is incredibly adaptable, so you can play around with flavours or toppings that you like. I've really been enjoying this version, with vanilla, pomegranate seeds and cocoa nibs.

I like to make a big batch of chia pudding on a Sunday night so that we have an easy breakfast option on hand for a good couple days. When ready I divide the pudding into small jars, add the toppings and store them in the fridge. The key to effective meal planning is to be prepared, and quick and easy recipes like this one are sure to keep you on the right track for the week ahead. 

Vanilla chia pudding | Beloved Kitchen
Vanilla chia pudding | Beloved Kitchen
Vanilla chia pudding | Beloved Kitchen

Chia pudding also makes a great snack or dessert option, especially if you are looking for healthier options. I found that three tablespoons of maple syrup was just about right in terms of sweetness, but if you prefer you can reduce the amount of maple syrup, or substitute it all together with a bit of stevia extract or agave nectar (which are both sweeter than maple syrup, meaning that you need to use less). 

Vanilla chia pudding | Beloved Kitchen

Do you have a favourite chia seed recipe or topping? What are your favourite easy 'grab and go' breakfasts? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

-xo KA

Vanilla chia pudding with pomegranate seeds and cocoa nibs

Chia pudding is extremely easy to make - simply add chia seeds to some sort of liquid (in this case almond milk) and let the seeds do the rest of the work overnight! Feel free to experiment with different toppings and flavours. This version is one I've been really enjoying lately - the pomegranate seeds add some nice tartness (and colour), while the cocoa nibs provide crunch and chocolate-y undertones.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup (to taste)
  • 1 pinch Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 4 tbsp cocoa nibs

Method:

In a large glass jar (as pictured above) or mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract, maple syrup and sea salt. Give the mixture a good stir, and let rest for about five minutes. Stir the mixture once more, taste and adjust if needed with more maple syrup. Seal the jar or cover the bowl, and place in the fridge overnight (or for at least three hours). 

To serve, give the pudding a good stir, divide it between four small bowls or jars and top each with the pomegranate seeds and cocoa nibs. The chia pudding will keep three to four days in the fridge.

Serves four.

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