Ten years ago, chia seeds were something you needed to seek out from obscure speciality health food stores, not found in the bargain bin at the local discount pharmacy.
Close to where I grew up on the Sunshine Coast, a clever lady called Tania Hubbard opened a little cafe called Husk and Honey. It was nestled in a tiny one way back street next to the local crystal hippy shop and sold only grain and gluten free food, a pure mystery in the mid-2000′s.
Long before paleo cafes and bliss balls were found on every corner, Tania was serving food that made you feel good, not just promised to. Simple but generationally obscure ingredients such as chia seeds and chickpea flour graced the menu and it’s crazy to think that a humble little cafe in Nambour, in my opinion, was one of the first in Queensland to serve food that’s so commonplace today.
My mum proudly owned the cafe’s cookbook and her crowd-pleasing chocolate chia cake, also available in the cafe, was on high rotation in our house. I was always fascinated by how these tiny little seeds could soak up so much liquid and produce such a moist delicious cake. It’s honestly the perfect recipe to introduce chia non-believers to the stuff - I’d totally recommend you check it out.
It took me a few years to warm to the idea of chia outside a chocolate cake, but I’m glad I finally put the image of my dad’s chia commentary of ‘camel snot’ to rest. Chia puddings taste delicious, are super filling for breakfast and snacks and are dirt cheap. If you have an over-zealous office manager who takes pride in ruthlessly cleaning out the work fridge, I’d strongly recommended you tape a large note on your morning snack before she actually mistakes it as mouldy camel snot like food. I have lost many chia puddings in work fridges from OCD people cleaning out all my ‘off food’.
I’m loving this recipe as the weather heats up as it can be made the night before for an almost zero prep breakfast. It also gets bonus points for being refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free AND grain-free.
It’s like a pina colada, without the booze and without the rain.
Summer Chia Pudding
The night before, combine the pudding ingredients in a bowl, stirring out any clumps. Place covered in the fridge overnight.
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk (or half coconut milk and half water)
2 tsp vanilla essence
Maple syrup, if desired