vegan chocolate chia pudding

dessert is my only vice. i'm not addicted to coffee and i don't smoke... but i cannot go a day without chocolate. i've resorted to finding healthy alternatives to the typical desserts i truly enjoy, which are usually filled with tons of cream, enormous amounts of sugar, and lots of bad fats. [but lots of yum to my taste buds!]

fortunately, i love learning about and trying out new things, especially if it means not feeling a bit of guilt from eating something that tastes really decadent and delicious. i learned this recipe about a year ago and have been making it since; when my chocolate craving strikes and i NEED it, this is what i go to!

i make mine vegan and there are plenty of substitutes you could use for this. the main ingredient is the magical chia seed and what they do when combined with a liquid! they form a gelatin-like layer and become kind of a soft-solid texture after soaking in the liquid [i use almond or coconut milk].

health benefits of chia seeds:
  • more fiber than bran
  • 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries!
  • 15 times more magnesium than broccoli!
  • 3 times more iron than spinach!
  • helps with hydration
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most of the time i roughly measure the ingredients, but today i will give you a real recipe!

vegan chocolate chia seed pudding
  1. 1 cup coconut milk [or substitute your favorite]
  2. 4 tbls chia seeds
  3. 2 tbls unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 2 tbls agave nectar [or your favorite sweetener]
this technically makes two servings but.... i like it a lot sooo...

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first: mix your cocoa powder into the chia seeds to help break up any lumps in the cocoa. you can also sift it if you want to! i like to use a small wisk or a fork to do this.

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next: add the agave nectar or choice of sweetener into the cocoa and seeds.

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then: pour the milk into the mixture, and mix really, really well. the cocoa doesn't like to mix with the cold milk, so be patient and use a wisk or fork to do this. mix until the lumps of cocoa are gone!

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after everything is mixed thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. i find that it turns out a lot better when left in the fridge longer. i make it in the afternoon and enjoy it after dinner, maybe 4-6 hours later.

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when its done, it will form small bubbles on the top and it will "set" like a jello consistency, it will be firm. the chia seeds outer layer will "gelatinize". the pudding itself still has a bit of crunch and isn't super smooth, so just be prepared for the little crunch of the tiny seeds. the seeds themselves don't have much flavor, so it's just a sweet, chocolatey and delicious fix for my sweet tooth!

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what are your favorite desserts?
do you have healthy replacements for your not-so health-conscious treats?

enjoy!
x's + o's
kaitlin elaine