When you think of chia seeds, you think chia pets, right?

Well, chia seeds are no longer being used just for (chi-ch-ch-) chia pet purposes…they are actually incredibly nutritious, and I use them to make one of my favorite healthy breakfast recipes: breakfast chia pudding.

Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and minerals including calcium. My local natural foods store sells them in bulk, but you can also buy them online. They are a little pricey, but as you will see, they expand greatly when mixed with liquid, so a pound will last you a while.

My favorite way to use chia seeds is to make a raw foods breakfast pudding. This is a fast and healthy breakfast treat, or it can be a snack or healthy dessert, too. Though I’ve chosen to make the nut milk used in this recipe with pecans and dates, you can use any homemade nut or seed milk in this recipe.

It would be very simple, but not quite as good for you, to use a store-bought almond milk, or use creamy and yummy Living Harvest vanilla hemp milk (you’ll need to make your own nut or seed milk, though, if you want to keep the recipe raw).

Breakfast Chia Pudding Recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients:

*1/3 cup pecans, soaked overnight in water to cover
*2-3 pitted dates, preferably soaked in water overnight to rehydrate
*3/4 cup filtered water
*2 Tb. chia seeds
*tiny pinch of cinnamon
*tiny pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
*fresh or dried berries for garnish- optional

Directions:

1. Pour soaking water off the pecans, and then blend them with the dates and 3/4 cup water in a blender. I prefer that some pecan and date chunks remain so I just blend mine briefly, but if you prefer a smoother "milk", process until the consistency you like is reached. Place chia seeds into a bowl and pour the liquid over them. Add cinnamon and salt and stir to combine. You can eat this right away, but it is better to allow the pudding to sit for at least 5 minutes while the chia seeds soak up the liquid.

2. You can let them sit even longer if you like- they will keep swelling and become fairly gelatinous if you do, and you may find you'll want to add more water. Top with fresh or dried berries before serving, if desired.

This is a fun recipe to play around with. When I forget to soak the nuts overnight, I like chia seeds with hemp milk topped with raisins or dried cherries and walnuts or almonds. I don’t think it needs additional sweetener, but you could add a drizzle of agave or maple syrup, if you like.

Sarma Melngailis loves chia pudding with chocolate and has a recipe for it in Living Raw Food. By the way, the winner of the signed copy of Living Raw Food in last month’s giveaway was Sarah from Olympia. Congrats to Sarah and enjoy the book!

Related posts I think you’ll enjoy:
More info on chia seeds from Kristen’s Raw
Chia Seeds Article from Living and Raw Foods