Food + Wine

Strawberry Coconut Chia Pudding Powers

I know the chia pudding thing has been around for awhile now.  So many of you may have probably opened this up, yawned and carried on with your day.  There also may be some of you who are going, chia who?  Heh?  Or whose brains went immediately to the grass growing ceramic statues.

Ch, Ch, Ch, Chia…

And guess what?  They are one in the same.  Yup.  They sprout very quickly, which is why Chia Pets were all the rage… because you could literally watch them grow.  Just as when you mix chia seeds with any liquid, they fairly quickly swell up to about 12x their original size.  Chia seeds are a member of the mint family, actually.  And leave it to us Americans to commercialize something before learning more about it  Because chia seeds date back to the Aztecs where they were believed to be first grown and harvested as a cash crop and also used for, wait for it, wait for it… their supernatural powers.

If there was ever a time in my life that I needed some superhero seeds, it would be right now.

In Mayan, the word, ‘chia’ means strength. And these tiny, little specks do actually contain a lot of energy and health benefits, but ancient warriors attributed all of their strength in battle to chia seeds.  And there are still pockets of people who believe their powers to this day. There is a Mexican tribe called Tarahumara, who are famous for their runners.  These runners drink what’s called, iskiate, which is a drinkable mixture of chia seeds, water and lemon, and are then reported to be able to run hundreds of miles.

Well, Tarahumara- this summer I have logged thousands of miles.  I’m running sometimes three times a day.  Running seems to be the one thing that can clear my mind of the clutter that’s been living inside of it.  Sometimes I’m running so fast I can’t hear a sound but the wind.  I run and run until the wind becomes so loud that it covers me, as if to protect me, like a suit of armor.  Much like sleeping with white noise, I’ve realized I do this to literally make everything else disappear.

My legs are tired, my knees sore, my feet ache, but I run.  I run because it seems like the best thing to do.  It’s inexplainable how I can keep running after being so worn out.  Maybe it’s because my inner strength is more powerful than I think.  Maybe I don’t know how much I am actually capable of accomplishing.  Maybe I’ve turned into a robot as a defense mechanism.  Or maybe it’s because of these tiny, little black specks of magical energy…

Maybe the smallest, the seemingly most insignificant thing can give you the strength you need to get through rough waters.  Just like maybe the person you’d least expect to help you is the one you need the most.  Kinda like when a stranger just happens to say something to you in passing that can literally stop you in your tracks.

It’s the things we least expect that have the most significance.  And it’s what we do during those unexpected times that carry us through.

I’m someone who depends a lot on others.  And yet, you can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am the most independent person they know.  I don’t understand how those things can both be true, but somehow they are.  Or at least to an outside eye.  I put a lot of energy into other people, and expect the same in return.  That is how I depend on the people in my life.  I treat it like a business transaction.  Like a contract. If we agree to be friends, we have entered into a contract with one another.  And the commitments are cut and dry.  I give you something, you give me that back.  But life isn’t that simple.  Life isn’t a contract.  There are a lot of unforeseen and uncontrollable variables that can take things off track.  I’m learning this.  But I seem to think that because I give 100%, that means everyone arounds me needs to as well, at the same level.  What can end up happening there is that I am constantly left disappointed in people.  And often exhausted.  I have had my heart broken a million times by people, simply because I feel let down.  Because I expected a certain result.  So my job is to work on lowering my expectations and believing more in myself.

If people can look at me and see a pillar of strength, then I need to believe that to be true.

But, listen- Pulling energy from other people and things isn’t a bad thing. Whether it’s family, friends, or these magical seeds, we all need it.  But we also need to know that whenever we receive that energy and strength, from wherever it came from, it was inside of us all along.  We just needed someone, or something else, to remind us.

So who knows what unexpected thing will happen next, and how I will handle it.  But for now, I will have myself some of my magic strength pudding. And then I will run.

STRAWBERRY COCONUT CHIA PUDDING FOR 1

This is a very simple, light and delicious, little dish.  You make it the night before, or the morning of, and can have it for breakfast, snack, or dessert.  You can flavor it however you’d like, just keep the ratios the same.  Add more sweetness for a dessert, if you’d like, or keep it as is.  The texture is very similar to tapioca pudding.  But here, you’re getting a little magic in every bite 😉

In a small glass jar, (or bowl) combine the following…

  • less than 1/2 cup (unsweetened) coconut milk (I know this sounds odd… but 1/2 cup produces a soupier pudding than I prefer, and going all the way down to 1/3 cup can make it too tight.  So… hover between the two 😉
  • heaping TB of all-fruit sweetened (no sugar) strawberry preserves (or, ya know, a heaping soup spoon)
  • splash vanilla
  • pinch kosher salt

Mix well with a fork to break up the preserves.  I don’t mind a few bits of it, but feel free to puree it with an immersion blender if you’d prefer it completely smooth.

Add in…

  • 2 TB chia seeds (whichever variety (black or white) you have on hand or prefer… I used black here.  There is no nutritional difference in the two)

Stir in the chia seeds with a fork to combine.

Cover with the jar lid, or plastic wrap.

Refrigerate overnight. (note- it will begin to thicken after 15 minutes, but the longer it sits, the thicker and more pudding-like it will become.)

When you’re ready to eat, just stir it up and top with some fresh strawberries and shredded coconut!

You could also add nuts, Greek yogurt, maple or agave if you desired a sweeter and more dessert-like pudding.

Happy Wednesday, y’all.  Let’s make it a good one. xo

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1 Comment

  • Reply GD August 25, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I had NO IDEA that Chia Pets and chia were the same thing. I mean, obviously they are, but I never put it together. Thanks for the knowledge drop!

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