Chia puddings are versatile just like smoothies and acai bowls. But not everyone likes pudding because of its thicker consistency. And not everyone likes chia puddings… cuz… why?
In my work as a Sport Dietitian over the years, I’ve heard countless reasons for why certain food textures and consistencies aren’t well-liked. With pudding, sometimes the name alone is traumatic enough, especially as it conjures up childhood memories of Jello (maybe only if you’re over the age of 40?).
Anywho, thick puddings don’t work for everyone. For the chia puddings, the thickness and gel-like consistency results from mixing a small ratio of liquid to chia seeds. For example, if you mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3-4 tablespoons of water or milk and let it sit for at least 15 minutes, a thick-ish gel forms.
If you search the interwebs for chia pudding recipes, it’s fairly easy to find recipes that have a decent amount of added sugar and/or fat. Not everyone wants to taste Sweet Galore or eat a Fat Bomb.
And different than smoothies, chia pudding give you the feel for chewing your food rather than slurping a smoothie in 20 seconds flat.
With these things in mind and the fact that there was a mango sitting patiently in the fruit bowl, I decided to whip up a less thick, less sweet, refreshing chia pudding. I almost want to call it something else instead of pudding. Like a coolie (but apparently, that’s an offensive term I didn’t know until now) or a chooler (chia-cooler). Ah well. Perhaps a better name will come to mind later.
For now, this is called a Chia COManGo because, well… it’s fun to say out loud. And it contains chia seeds, coconut and mango. I know, I know… there’s a reason I didn’t go into naming food products. #notverycreative
Recipe Ingredients to make 4 Servings:
1 can of organic light coconut milk (I used the Sprouts brand)
1 mango, peeled and cut from the pit (this is a packed 1 cup amount or ~180 grams by weight; you can watch Alton Brown’s semi-gory YouTube demo if you feel clueless about cutting mangos and enjoy his sense of humor)
3 scoops of unflavored whey powder (vegans, swap in your preferred vanilla protein powder, aiming for around 30 grams of protein)
1 oz raw cashews
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
dash or two of fine sea salt
4 Tbsp chia seeds (in 1 Tbsp amounts to add individually to the containers)
Blend all ingredients EXCEPT the chia seeds in a blender until evenly mixed.
Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to four 8-oz (or larger) Mason jars (or other containers that have a tight-fitting lid). Alternatively, you can add these as a “middle layer” after filling the jars halfway with the blended mixture (step #3) and then top up the jars with the remaining mixture.
Evenly distribute the blended mixture into the four jars.
Put on the lids and optionally shake each one really well to mix OR just stick them in the refrigerator if you don’t mind the chia seeds hanging out together. I actually ended up stirring mine a bit with a spoon since some of the seeds stuck to the bottom.
Keep in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy over the next week.
Basic nutritional info per serving:
16.5 gm carbohydrate
6 gm fiber
13 gm protein
13.5 gm fat
~1:1 ratio of carb to protein
This is a filling and lightly sweet snack that is “just right” as a mid-afternoon snack or after a workout when the next meal isn’t happening for at least a few hours. I also enjoyed that the texture wasn’t thick and gelatinous like the classic chia puddings.
Give it a try, gang, and let me know what you think!
-Your Nutrition Mechanic,