To those who read my previous posts you know that I’m a picky eater, or “discerning gastronome” as I prefer to brand it. Which means that despite my adoration for all things food I rarely am among the first one to hop on the latest food trend, ingredient, or “healthier alternative discovery”. First because usually all the stuff I like are at some point in time bad for you (Come here Red wine, Cheese & Carbs!!) but also because I’d rather leave for others to test it out, come up with clever tried & tested tricks and bring out the inspiration instead!
I love novelty – once it’s been proven worthy and like most, I had my share of Kale pizza … a good 3 years after it was discovered a “thing”…. When cooking, however, I usually tend to favor the good old reliable ingredients that I know I will find even after the craze has faded.
So here is – 5 years late – my first take on Chia Seeds! As a good citizen I soaked 1 dl in 9 times its volume… and then I stayed stuck there. the gelatinous looking caviar type seeds, didn’t feel very appetizing and looked nothing like the stuff i browsed on the internet. It took me a good 10 minutes to dare to taste it from the bowl directly and to my dismay the whole thing was ridiculously blend and jello-y. Once I got over my proud moment ( I tried something new Mom!!) I decided to crowd-source my next step, and brought it to the ever so reliable Facebook & Instagram HungryInHelsinki accounts!
When I asked you guys what you do with it, I was pretty glad at how readily you all shared so many cool links, ideas & pictures to get me started! So I thought I’d spread the knowledge forward!
From adding them directly to smoothies or soaking them in milk into a gel consistency and mixing to morning porridge, or even baking them into healthier baking, the options seemed quite numerous! I ended up picking the one that felt the most “kids friendly” a.k.a something with Chocolate. So here we are! My first take ever on Chia seeds inspired by Minimalist Baker’s recipe:
Creamy Chia Chocolate & Fresh Strawberries Pudding – serves 4
- 400 Ml Chia Gel* (basically 1/2 dl of Chia seeds, soaked in 4.5 dl liquid until fully absorbed – can be water, milk or almond milk)
- 1/2 to 1 avocado – you can substitute with a banana or omit altogether.
- 30 g good quality unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 4-5 Table spoon Maple syrup, honey or Date syrup (you can mix them, pick on or even blend in dried fruits such as 5-6 pitted dates) – adjust to taste by adding more if you prefer it sweeter ( I wouldn’t put less than 4 though as it was just right for me and I don’t have a sweet tooth)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt (or fine seasalt)
- 1 splash of good vanilla extract
- 1 -2 large table spoon of creamy peanut butter
- *Prepare the Chia Gel ahead. Simply Mix 1 volume of the seeds for 9 volumes of liquid. In this recipe it was 400 ml of “gel” 4-5 hours before (you can also prepare it the night before and it keeps well, covered, in the fridge up to several days for other usage)
- Measure all your ingredients and place into a blender
- Blend well until smooth & creamy consistency, taste for sweetness & adjust
- Serve with fresh seasonal fruits on top, or enjoy as is!
I have to say that I was blown away by the outcome! from the weird looking gelatinous mass to this shiny, satisfying dessert really took a leap of faith and a bunch of people smarter than I to discover! On top of it, it’s Vegan, refined sugar free, dairy free, gluten free and Organic… which in principle should just not exist, but it does and i’m grateful for it
How about you- Any weird ingredients that surprised you, or culinary stroke of genius you are proud of?