Remember Chia Pets? Do you recall that catchy “ch-ch-ch-chia!” jingle that’d accompany commercials for whimsical terra-cotta planters? Well, I think it’s safe to say that our attitude towards chia seeds has evolved since the novelty-gift days of the 90s. Nowadays, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. You can’t hear its name mentioned without buzz words like “superfood” or “powerhouse” following shortly thereafter..
Well… I must be a bit of a sucker, then. Not only did I want a Chia Pet as a kid, but I actually strategically obtained one recently (in the likeness of Barack Obama, natch) during a White Elephant gift exchange. I’m also totally on board the pro-chia consumption train, even if I’m not in the practice of extolling its nutritional properties.
While I’m fully aware that chia seeds are darn good for ya, I’m more interested in how space-age cool they are. When exposed to liquid, these tiny, hard pods swell into an amazingly soft, gooey gel. It’s a strange-sounding property that actually lends itself to many applications: drinks, jams and jellies, baked goods, and (my current favorite) pudding! Throw some of these seeds into a milk of your choice, wait a few hours, add toppings, and enjoy — preferably while staring into the eyes of a Chia Pet — preferably a Chia Bieber.
- 2 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 6 ounces of blackberries, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- Combine milk and chia seeds in a container. Make sure the containers’ sides are several inches higher than the waterline, as the chia seeds will soak up the liquid and expand in size significantly. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Stir occasionally for best results. The chia pudding will be ready once the chia seeds have absorbed the majority of the liquid and are soft.
- Stir thoroughly, add the toppings to taste. and serve chilled.