It was about a year and a half ago, after watching a handful of food documentaries on Netflix, that I decided to give up dairy milk and most dairy products as a part of my clean eating journey. I soon fell in love with almond milk and currently find myself using it in most of my recipes! The transition was not a difficult one for me but I was not able to give up dairy completely. Why? I’m obsessed with yogurt…specifically Greek yogurt! It has been a regular snack for me and is a way to get that extra bit of protein for the day. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to talk you into becoming dairy free. I am just trying to eliminate more dairy from my diet since dairy and my digestive system have never been great friends. To be honest with you, feeling gassy and bloated have been a normal part of my daily life. In addition to this, I also worry about the use of antibiotics and hormones along with the impact milk production has on our environment. I have been particularly intrigued by the research studies that have shown a correlation between dairy intake and hormone-related cancers. Now that’s something to chew on…
It was also around this same time that I discovered chia seeds and found myself using them in many healthy concoctions! Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and protein. They are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper. Since falling in love with this plant wonder, I also discovered their power to make liquids solidify. I have tried it with overnight oats and strawberry jam but had yet to try the chia seed puddings that I had seen all over my Pinterest feed. It wasn’t until my good friend, Brittney, sent me her favorite chia seed pudding recipe that I tried it and loved it! However, it still contained yogurt!
This week, I attempted a new recipe for banana chia seed pudding from healthylivinghowto.com. The recipe called for almond milk, banana, stevia, and chia seeds. I subbed vanilla almond milk and honey and….(drumroll)….it was a success!! So yummy! I am not a fan of stevia since there is still a lot of research to be done on it. Instead, about a teaspoon of honey tasted just right! I used my Nutibullet to blend the banana into the milk. I was able to use the same cup to mix in the chia seeds and store the pudding! It is a wonderful kitchen accessory for the smoothie or food processing enthusiast!
This would make a yummy breakfast or afternoon snack! I topped the pudding with a sliced banana and 1/4 cup of Ezekiel sprouted grain cereal with sliced almonds. The cereal gives it a crunchy topping while the six grains and legumes create a complete protein. Why not make it more nutritious and filling? If you have not tried Ezekiel products, they are worth the money! Here is a link to the cereal I used.
I also tried making buckwheat grouts porridge using this recipe! Just soak the 1 cup of grouts in 2 cups of water overnight. Rinse the grouts in the morning. Take half the grouts and smooth them out in the food processor. Add the food processed grouts and the whole grouts into the pudding. This makes for a hearty breakfast with added protein and fiber! I even added a little bit of vanilla protein powder and coconut nectar. Very yummy topped with fresh fruit.
Adapted from http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2013/06/banana-chia-pudding.html
- 1 1/2 c. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 Small Banana
- Teaspoon of raw local honey
- 1/4 c. Chia Seeds
- Blend almond milk and peeled banana until no chunks of banana remain. (I like to use my Nutribullet)
- Add honey until desired sweetness.
- Pour liquid into container or jar with lid (or use Nuribullet cup)
- Add chia seeds, cover and shake well.
- Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes then remove, shake again, then back in the refrigerator.
- Chill for at least an hour or overnight.
- Serve as is, with a few slices of banana, or with 1/4 cup of favorite cereal topping!
Protein: 4 g Carbs: 10 g Calcium: 25% Iron 7%
Calories with 1/4 cup of Ezekiel cereal: 194