I am so in love with this pudding. It's indulgent without being overly chocolaty or sweet, and it feels light even though it doesn't appear so. Before making this recipe I used to add chia seeds, whole or ground, to my breakfast cereal and milk for a boost of nutrition. I'd seen many chia seed pudding recipes before, but it wasn't until I saw Food Doodles' mouthwatering pictures of Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding that I finally gave in and tried it.
Unlike the dried seeds which are tiny and get stuck between teeth, soaked chia seeds are much larger in size and feel silky and slippery. They're all it takes to thicken this pudding, as the seeds absorb a large amount of liquid and form something like a gel. In fact the whole preparation takes no more than 5 minutes and involves just a little bit of stirring and mashing. The rest is just waiting.
Being the date addict that I am, I try to use dates in no-bake/no-cook/raw recipes. With Food Doodles' recipe I replaced agave nectar with homemade date paste. Dates have a mild toffee flavour that I love in combination with chocolate.
I couldn't have chosen a better dessert for my favourite Khadrawy Dates (also Hadrawi) which I was thrilled to find at a local food store after missing them for a couple of years. I have used them before to make Brownies. These dates have the most amazing texture, so soft and pulpy that it almost feels like they melt in the mouth.
You can use any dates you want as long as they are soft. When I need a lot of date paste I use my mini food processor, but in this case 3 dates were more than enough for sweetness and it took me just a couple of minutes to chop and mash them into a smooth paste with a fork.
My wish was to make this a fully raw pudding, but wasn't able to get raw cacao and with almonds it's hard to know whether they are indeed raw, even if labelled as such (I found out that almonds can be labelled raw even if they are pasteurized).
Tiny as they are, chia seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese, but what I love most about them is that they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have a higher omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (and so do flax seeds). Incorporating them into our diet helps balance this ratio.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Makes about 3/4 cup
Adapted from Food Doodles (republished from Averie Cooks)
- 1/2 cup Homemade Almond Milk (use unsweetened, if store-bought)
- 2 Tb chia seeds
- 3 soft dried dates
- 1 1/2 Tb good-quality cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Note: for convenience, you could mix everything and allow the pudding to thicken on your kitchen table or in the fridge. I made this in 2 steps, because that's what worked for me.
Pour the almond milk in a bowl and add the chia seeds. Stir immediately so no lumps are formed. Cover the bowl with cling film and let it sit on the table for 3-4 hours until the chia seeds are fully expanded.
Halve and pit the dates. Chop them very finely and mash with a fork to make a paste. Add the cocoa powder and 2 Tb chia seed mixture and mix well with the fork. Add the remaining chia seed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in vanilla. Chill in the fridge covered with cling film for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
I used hemp seeds and pomegranate arils to garnish, for lack of raspberries which I love in combination with chocolate.
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
If you've tried this pudding I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!