Almond-Raspberry-Chia pudding (vegan and truly healthy)

Do you know what happens when you put a box of raspberries in a full grocery bag and you wish with all your heart it doesn’t open? You guessed it. It does open and half the raspberries get mashed into your bag and the rest of your groceries, when you try to get out your keys from the bottom of your bag. The good part of the story is that these mashed raspberries inspired me to mash them even more and make a chia raspberry pudding. This dessert is as easy as it gets and it is healthy (actually healthy-not “sinful dark chocolate cake” healthy).

So, here it goes.

Ingredients for 2 cups

Ingredients for 2 cups

The first step is to gather the raspberries from your bag, throw away the really mashed ones and see how much you are left with. If it is about 3/4 of a cup, it’s enough. Even 1/2 a cup will do. You will also need 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. You can find chia seeds in health food stores and they come in black, white and mix. All varieties will do. You will also need a handful of almonds and about 300 ml of almond milk. You can skip the almonds if you like, but I like their crunchy texture.

Chia seeds close up

Chia seeds close up

This is how chia seeds look. They are like poppy seeds only a tiny bit bigger. They are a wonderful little seed because they are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids. One tablespoon of chia seeds per day and your omega 3 needs are covered. No need to kill that poor salmon! And you do not need to grind them (like flax seeds) to get that omega 3 goodness. They are digested whole. They are also rich in fiber, which means that they keep you satisfied and regular. On top of it, chia seeds, decrease “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels. And they are gluten-free!

The magic of chia seeds is that they absorb moisture and form a gelatine-like capsule around them, while they expand. This is why they keep you satisfied. They take much more space in your stomach than dry, on your spoon! Plus, they are a great egg replacer, when it comes to vegan baking. Mixing a teaspoon of chia seeds with a tablespoon of warm water will make you a perfect egg substitute. As for the taste, to me they taste like nothing, but people say they have a subtle nutty flavor. But the miracle here is that they will magnify the taste of whatever you mix them with! So they can make a chocolate almond milk more “chocolatey” or a mango smoothie more “mangoey” (I am so sorry, I could not resist making up these hideous words). Ok, lets go on.

Blender time!

Blender time!

Use a regular blender to blend the almonds, almond milk and raspberries. If your blender is old and challenged, soaking the almonds for a couple of almonds will help the old guy do their trick.

Add some dark chocolate!

Add some dark chocolate!

Now, split the raspberry-almond milk in two cups and stir 1 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds in each cup. You will find that most chia pudding recipes out there will use tons of stevia to sweeten the whole thing. I do not trust stevia (for my own, metaphysical, conspiracy-like reasons) and I did not want to add sugar (because it is not good for you anyway), so I used some oh-so-rich-in-antioxidants dark chocolate to offset the sourness of the raspberries. You can taste your almost-pudding now though and decide for yourself if you need to sweeten it or not. Then, put it in the fridge and leave it there for four hours.

Crappy chia pudding picture. Sorry.

Crappy chia pudding picture. Sorry.

Four hours later it was dark here in the Netherlands and I was too tired to bother tweaking the lighting, so here is a dark picture of the pudding. Even in this crappy pic though you can see how the chia seeds have expanded.

If you want your pudding more firm, you can just add more chia seeds, but make sure to experiment with just a little bit more every time, because I ended up with a chia brick the first time I tried this out.

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