January 31, 2013

Chia Cranberry Pudding Cups

Salt-Free Chia Seed Pudding

Figgy, it’s time you hung up your figgy hat and called it a day. Because chia seeds are in town and they are taking over pudding.

For those of you who haven’t met chia seeds yet, let’s just say that they are the new wonder ingredient. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids (which is a good thing); they’ll help you look young forever (fingers crossed); they are actually the seed used in Chia Pets (not kidding); and apparently, they also make preparing an elegant, low-sodium dessert ridiculously simple (get a spoon ready).

The inspiration for this sweet adventure?

Well, first, I had a humongous bag of chia seeds sitting in my cupboard for approximately the last 6 months staring at me every morning. But I just couldn’t motivate myself to use them. That is, until I ran into this amazing recipe featured on Tasting Table. And when I realized that the directions only included blending, stirring, and refrigerating, I knew this was a dessert recipe made for me. No baking required. Thank goodness.

And the best part, this magical pudding basically grows, gels, and sets up on its own (like a Chia pet). So you have little to do once you’ve mixed everything up. And even more amazing is that, while it makes a show-stopping meal ender, it is also so super healthy that it counts as a day starter as well. Just make a cup or four before bedtime and have a sweet breakfast for the morning.

As for my version, I used carton coconut milk (because I’m unfortunately allergic to nuts). And I used frozen cranberries because I already had those in the fridge. Blueberries, raspberries, cherries, or any kind of fruit will work! To add some flavor, I used honey, cinnamon, and a little vanilla. And I also let some fresh mint leaves steep in the mixture, taking them out before serving.

So there you have it. A new recipe for a quick, textured, and tasty pudding that doesn’t require jello, processed packets, or sodium of any kind.

As for Tasting Table, a big thank you to them for being my inspiration as well as featuring my Carrot Cupcakes and Faux Cream Cheese Frosting from  Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook (which, yes,is out and ready to be purchased. More info here. Big announcements to come next week). And also means now you have two dessert recipes you can dig into.

Get stirring. Chow on.

CHIA CRANBERRY PUDDING CUPS

inspired by Tasting Table’s Chia-Pomegranate Pudding recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups carton coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • A few fresh mint leaves, optional

Directions

Using a standup or handheld blender, combine the coconut milk, cranberries, cinnamon, vanilla, and syrup together until smooth. Then, place the chia seeds in a medium sized bowl or plastic container and pour the coconut-cranberry mixture over the seeds.

Stir with a whisk or fork until well combined — the seeds will eventually fold into the liquid. Let it rest a few minutes and then stir again.

Add the fresh mint leaves and then cover the bowl or container and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. Before serving, give it another good stir (the texture will be similar to tapioca). Take out the mint leaves, if used. And spoon the pudding into individual cups. Adding a dollop of coconut ice cream to the top won’t hurt either.

+ Sodium Count: Carton coconut milk: 5mg per serving, depending on brand

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