17 March 2014

Chia Pudding

Some time ago, I came across this site, while searching for vegan recipes. It's in Swedish and describes how to make a lovely pudding with chia seeds. I really liked the photos, I think that's what got my attention originally. So in recent days, I've been purchasing the ingredients to try it out. Now obviously things in the shops here in the UK are different from the things in the shops in Sweden, so I was prepared to improvise my purchases as well, this time and a good thing I did, as it turned out.

Ingredients
Makes 5 - 6 portions

8 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 dl hazelnut milk
4 tbsp agave nectar

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Method
Stir together all ingredients and distribute into five small serving bowls. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge overnight or for about 8 h and it's ready to serve.

The original recipe uses unsweetened almond milk, but I prefer hazelnuts to almonds, so opted for the hazelnut milk instead. As it turns out, it tastes like Nutella. Bonus! I'll have to try it out with coffee. Can you tell I've never had hazelnut milk before?

Actually I ended up changing the recipe quite a bit - I skipped the saffron and swapped the dates for agave nectar, but it turned out rather nice. Lundulph certainly liked it and so did I. I made the mistake of only making four portions of the above amounts and they were way too big, but it was so very tasty we both ate our portions and are now wonderfully stuffed.

Lundulph said it reminded him of the semolina pudding he used to get at school. I thought it smelt a bit like rice pudding.

And as the first lot was so successful, I immediately followed up with a second batch:

Ingredients

8 dl unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp agave nectar
8 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 ml ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Mix together the almond milk, vanilla essence and agave nectar in a jug.
  2. Stir together the chia seeds, dessicated coconut and ground cinnamon in a bowl, then add to the liquid and whisk together until any lumps that might have formed are gone.
  3. Cover and put in the fridge for 6 - 8 h.

This second batch turned out quite nice too - the almond milk has a more subtle flavour than the hazelnut, but worked very nicely with the cinnamon. Also, I think it was a bit thinner, because the chia seeds had swollen a bit more than in the first batch. So much so, that Lundulph was wondering if we were having frog eggs for dessert. And since the pudding doesn't really go solid, I thought it would be easier to just leave it in the jug and take out servings as needed. The real danger is that I might scoff the whole lot straight out of the jug, if I get a sugar craving.

Lundulph's resolution is to eat as healthily as possible and he scrutinises every packet of food we have. And he established that the almond and hazelnut milks were made of about 2 % nuts, which he thought was a bit outrageous. So next, I'll try to make my own. However, thinking about how the nut milks are made, I wonder if the 2 % is for the final product and not what amount of nuts has been used to make it. As I understand the principle is to blend an amount of pre-soaked nuts with water, then filter the liquid. Which of course removes most of the nuts and a very small amount should be left. The tricky bit here would be to actually keep the pre-soaked nuts for milk making - the nuts are very tasty to eat after soaking overnight, but I'll definitely give it a try. If nothing else, it's bound to taste nicer when freshly made.

Next I'll need to think of different flavourings and perhaps adding some fruit.

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