Life, style & food in the District
A recent conversation of mine ended like this: “Wait, so you’re telling me that fish oil is not vegan…?”
Yup, my naïveté is exposed.
In addition to being a tad naive and new to the vegan lifestyle, it’s quite obvious that I sometimes lack culinary common sense (despite being a seasoned home cook /world-class eater for a while now). It’s all a learning experience, right?
Needless to say, I’ve recently been on the hunt for some great sources of plant-based Omega-3s, since my fish oil supplements are out. Enter: the chia seed.
What is the chia seed, you might ask?
The chia seed is a member of the mint family and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala regions. Ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures treasured the superfood seeds (“chia” actually comes from the Mayan word for “strength”) and they believed that the seeds embodied extraordinary powers… And man, do they ever!
Chia seeds are bursting with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as fiber, B vitamins, (some) protein and (some) calcium. Plus, they are super easy to incorporate into an everyday diet, since they can be sprinkled on yogurt, salads, soups and into desserts (like cake or muffin batters)!
And – fun fact – when soaked in a liquid, chia seeds expand and thicken, making a pudding-like substance.
D.C. is experiencing some gorgeous weather right now (we are actually in the process of prepping for a cookout to savor this taste of spring), so I was in the mood for turning my chia seeds into a light and refreshing afternoon treat.
I soaked the chia seeds in some almond milk and folded in some fresh orange zest, some vanilla, some honey (I am a honey-eating vegan) and then topped the pudding with some blueberries.
The result was a clean and crisp, textural pudding – So delicious, with just a hint of sweet and a lot of “strength.”
Chia Seed, Orange Zest and Almond Milk Pudding
3 tablespoons of organic chia seeds
1 cup of almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Orange zest (use to your taste – I used about 1 ½ tablespoons)
A few drizzles of natural sweeter, such as honey, maple, agave, etc. (to taste)
Fruit to top
Pour 3 tablespoons of organic chia seeds and 1 cup of almond milk into a bowl and let soak for about 5 minutes. Stir the mixture and then let sit for an additional 10 minutes, stirring or whisking occasionally. Fold in the orange zest and the honey and cover the mixture for another few minutes until it has reached its desired consistency (that of tapioca pudding). Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!
Hope you enjoy, friends! Now off to chop some veggies and portabellas! … Yum!