Give me an easy recipe that makes me feel good, my hair and skin shine, and satisfies my sweet tooth any day of the week!
Fun fact: since taking a very enlightening course on ancient indigenous cultures in college, I’ve been deeply interested in the ancient Mayan civilization. I even spent a couple of week traveling through different Mayan ruins. Exploring the world they created with my own eyes was just fascinating. It was not ritual of human sacrifice for feeding the gods that intrigued me (although wow), but rather how creative, innovative, and beyond their time they were in terms of engineering and architecture, writing and language, and how closely they connected food to wellness and healing. They understood and appreciated the value of holistic healing, and believed that balance = good health. Another fun fact: chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” The Mayans favored these tiny little powerhouses for their ability to nourish and provide sustainable energy.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, chia seeds are believed to be soothing, preventing inflammation and fatigue. They’re full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, and protein, and loaded with antioxidants. They’re a beauty food too, improving nail, hair, and skin health. The list of benefits goes on and on.
Aside from the wellness aspect, chia seeds are also just really fun, like those sponges from when you were a kid that were shaped like little animals, but would then expand into a washcloth when immersed in water. I loveeee making desserts with chia seeds, like this Chewy Chocolatey Chia Pudding. You can get really creative because chia seeds adapt well to whatever flavors and textures you combine them with. With chewy, syrupy dates and rich dark chocolate chunks, this is the perfect dessert or midday sweet snack. I topped mine with crisp coconut flakes, shaved dark chocolate, and some fresh berries. I hope you'll try and also love!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Overnight Chill
Yield: 4 cups
¾ cup chia seeds
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
¼ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 dates, pitted and chopped
¼ cup dark chocolate chips (I like 70%+), roughly chopped
Add chia seeds and almond milk to a bowl and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and stir in remaining ingredients. Chill overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Enjoy alone, or with toppings like coconut flakes, fresh berries, whole or chopped toasted nuts like pecans or pistachios, sliced banana, a tahini drizzle, or a dollop of whipped cream.