Chocolate Chia Pudding

Dessert anyone? Today’s post is the latest installment in Petiterie’s collection of heart-healthy recipes.

A good friend recently passed along her recipe for this heavenly, heart-healthy and otherwise good-for-you chocolate pudding. The star of this scrumptious treat is the remarkable chia seed, often referred to as a “super food” because it’s so chock full of nutrients. When combined with a liquid, such as the almond milk used in this recipe, this amazing seed swells and develops a gelatinous consistency, forming the basis of the pudding. This recipe is extremely easy to make, as it consists of only five ingredients (plus two optional ones for garnish), and doesn’t require any cooking. It’s vegan, and therefore dairy-free, too.

Nurse practitioner Andrea Rein, NPc, one of Petiterie’s expert recipe reviewers, has this to say about chia seeds: “Chia seeds are tiny powerhouses when it comes to lowering your risk for cardiovascular problems because they are packed with nutrients linked to good heart health. For example, they’re a rich source of alpha-linolenic acids (ALA’s), which are unsaturated fatty acids that convert to the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids typically found in fish. Chia seeds also contain a good supply of plant-based proteins, fiber, minerals and other nutrients.” That’s an awful lot of bang for your spoonful.

For more on the heart-healthy benefits of chia seeds, Andrea suggests this recent article by the American Heart Association.

If you haven’t yet, check out my post on why heart-healthy recipes are featured on Petiterie (There’s research evidence that being petite places you at slightly added risk for cardiovascular issues.).

From my heart to yours… Bon appétit!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 teaspoons maple syrup*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

optional garnishes:
chopped raw almonds
mint leaves

*Note: My friend’s original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, which I reduced in half, since the syrup is calorie-dense (although under 20 calories per teaspoon). Taste my version first, which I find sweet enough to my liking, and add in more maple syrup if you’d like it sweeter.

1. Combine almond milk and chia seeds in a blender. I like to use my trusty NutriBullet Pro for this. Blend for about one minute. If you skip this step (you can), leaving the chia seeds whole, you will end up with a tapioca-like consistency.

2. Pour the blender contents into a medium-sized bowl. Add in the cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours.

3. Transfer into two serving bowls and garnish with chopped almonds and mint leaves.

(serves 2)

Thanks to Petiterie’s consultants Michelle Rauch, MS RD, and Andrea Rein, NPc, for their expertise in reviewing and contributing to this post.

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