Boy oh boy, what an excessive time of indulgence it has been of late! So many celebrations and then just throwing caution to the wind and relishing any excuse for sheer gluttony! I Love food. Anyone who knows me knows how the simple act of tasting something new is to me as epic as the exploration of a new world, how tasting something delicious sends me into giddy raptures. I love the sensual nature of food and eating, just as I love the sensual nature of wine (or any well made tipple really) and drinking it! I love peasant food and I love gourmet. And though I love to challenge myself by making something special and though I am a good cook, I am no chef with my private army of kitchen assistants prepping and cleaning up. So for the most part my focus will always be on simple dishes with some sort of wow factor – food that nourishes and that make you feel special at the same time. So when I can make something really healthy to fill my virtuousity meter, something really convenient and something that feels indulgent, I am one happy camper.
So imagine my excitement at trying out one of the buzz-foods out there and discovering how yummy it is! Chia seeds have been hailed a super food and they pack an impressive punch – high in protein, high in omega-3, high in calcium, they lower blood pressure and stabilise blood sugar. Little Aztec miracle workers! We have had these little seeds in the house many times, mainly just for sprinkling over porridges or adding to muesli, but I had read about chia pudding so many different places, I had to give it a go. So after a deeply restorative and challenging yoga class on Tuesday I came home wanting something to eat that could extend my zen-like state and decided to give it a go. Only problem was I could not remember reading any of the recipes so I innovated a little. Chia seeds absorb up to nine times their own weight in fluid, so use that as a guide for quantities. I took my treasured teeny copper pot, put in 2 tablespoons seeds, added 1 teaspoon vanilla powder and added some of the best raw milk Joburg has to offer – I used about a 1-5 ratio. I brought this gently to the boil, turned down the heat and cooked on low for about 10 minutes, I turned it off when I received a phone call and then had to go see to something in the garden. When I came ravenously back, the seeds had gone gelatinous and the ‘pudding’ had set. It had a texture somewhere between custard and a soft pannecotta – studded with tiny seeds!
It turns out you don’t have to cook the pudding at all, all you do is mix your ingredients and leave it overnight, you can add some Greek yoghurt if you like too. Depending on your dietary requirements you can also use coconut milk – or any other replacement too. I must say, I really enjoyed it warm it was super comforting. I tried it since with cinnamon, which was delicious too and I think you could really be adventurous with flavours, think cocoa or pumpkin or fruit. Give it a go for a light brekkie, a snack or a healthful desert. Enjoy!