A festive omega 3 rich dessert or in-between beauty snack to sooth your sweet tooth.
I find it hilarious to serve this lovely pudding to non-paleo friends, watch them enjoy it and after they finish the dessert, tell them I made this pudding myself out of some very exotic ingredients like chiaseeds. You can imagine I have to repeat the word “chia seeds” a couple of times 😉
Even funnier I find it to see the look on their face when I tell them what my pudding does NOT contain: animal products like dairy, gluten, sugar, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives … that’s very vegan paleo! Read more about paleo and make your own paleo coconut-chia seed pudding!
Aztecs and the chiaseed superfood
Long before chiaseeds became a popular superfood, I’ve been eating these – indeed – super healthy seeds. The story goes that Aztecs took a few hands of the seeds before they went on warrior path, providing them with enough energy to fight all day long. This underlines the highly energizing properties of the seeds.
Chia seeds make you beautiful!
Besides highly energizing properties, chia seeds are one of the top 5 beautifying foods on the planet. Why? They are full of omega 3 fatty acids, which are strong antioxidants and help strengthen our immune system. Benefits you get from omega 3 fatty acids in chia seeds are:
treatment of skin rashes
treats skin rash
… and your hair too!
Omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial for beautiful hair, stimulating follicle development and hair growth.
The paleo diet
On to the dessert. It is likely you noticed that in the title of this post, I’ve put ‘paleo’. Paleo comes from the word paleolithic and refers to an era 2.5 million years ago, when people were hunter-gatherers and lived close to nature. Their diet consisted of organic, unprocessed (doh!) meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits and nuts. Foods that were eaten were logically foods of the season and region, which provided the Paleolithic with the nutrients that they needed the most at that season. Their diet was packed with nutrients, unlike the modern diet.
The modern diet doesn’t look like the paleolithic diet anymore. The main differences are:
- Foods are processed, thereby lacking health beneficial nutrients.
- Foods are packed with artificial ingredients like flavors, preservatives and fragrances, which can make us sick, cause allergies, auto-immune diseases etc.
- We eat foods now that were unknown to the Paleolithic, but cause intolerances to most people. These are mainly dairy and grains.
Our modern diet causes digestive problems and chronic inflammation, and they lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, among other things. Paleolithic, on the contrary, have been known to live for a hundred years or more, free of the modern, chronic diseases we die of now.
Primary goal health, weight loss as a side effect
The paleo diet that is practised more and more nowadays, with the primary goal of maximum health. Many people find themselves losing weight too though. The paleo diet shifts all grains, dairy and processed foods. Sugar is your worst enemy. If you want to go deeper into the paleo diet, you can find a lot of information at PaleoPlan.com. You’ll see that most recipes on my website are vegan-Paleolithic, with the exception that I don’t shift gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa, buckwheat and teff. Here’s a paleo recipe with turkey and here’s a paleo recipe with mackerel, for those who prefer fish and poultry.
Vegan on a paleo diet
Long before the paleo diet came ‘into fashion’, I’ve been eating paleo. The difference is that now I know that there is a short name for my diet, so I don’t have to write it all out that I’m on a dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free diet, which is furthermore mostly vegan. Vegan, yes. A paleo vegan, I know that sounds like a contradiction, because the paleo diet is packed with meat and fish! Indeed, this makes living on a paleo diet quite a challenge, but not impossible. There are still so many sources to get my protein and healthy fats from, as you can see in most recipes on my website! This paleo coconut-chia seed pudding is one of them.
Vegan jiggly paleo coconut-chia seed pudding
Yesterday I found agar agar powder, which made me want to experiment a bit with food. I chose to experiment with chia seed pudding! I wanted to try if I can make a firm, jelly-like chia seed pudding, the one that you can put on a plate and that jiggles when you gently shake it. Agar agar seemed to be the perfect ingredient for this idea!
Agar agar is a vegan gelatin substitute. Agar agar is produced from a variety of seaweed vegetation and is sold in health food stores in both flake and powder varieties. I used a powder variety that I bought in a small Japanese supermarket just around the corner, but you can also buy it online at Amazon.com or Vitaminstore.com.
Agar agar makes a ‘regular’ chia seed pudding firm, but still jiggly. No cup needed to serve!
P.s.: I used black agar agar, but you can also use colorless agar agar, keeping the pudding white.
Serving suggestion: put slices of strawberry on the side. Yummie!
The main ingredients of my paleo chia seed pudding are chia seeds, coconut milk, shredded coconut and, if desired, some agave syrup. Since agave syrup makes this pudding a little less Paleolithic (the pudding contains only 1/4 tbs per serving), you can substitute the agave syrup for Stevia.
Enough talking. Let’s get started!
Serves: 4 puddings
Kitchen aid: 4 molds (I used muffin baking tins), kitchen foil, sauce pan.
Time: 10 minutes + 2 hours to cool down (soak seeds overnight)
- 1 cup/8 fl oz/237 ml coconut milk
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut + 2 extra tbs
- 4 tbs black chiaseeds
- 1 tbs organic raw agave syrup (if desired, substitute with Stevia)
- 0.84 cups/6.7 fl oz/200 ml water
- 1/4 cup/2 fl oz/60 ml extra water to mix with the agar agar
- 3 tsp agar agar powder
- Combine chiaseeds and coconut milk and soak overnight in the fridge. Stir regularly only for the first five minutes.
- The next day, cover the inside of 4 muffin molds with kitchen foil and put 1,2 a tbs of shredded coconut on the buttom of each mold.
- Bring 200 ml water to boil.
- Take the chiaseed-coconut milk mixture out of the fridge and add the shredded coconut.
- Stir in 1/4 cup water and the agar agar powder.
- Add the mixture to the boiling water and keep stirring until the mixture has dissolved into the water. If the mixture is too dry, add a little bit extra water, but prevent the mixture from becoming too liquid.
- Pour the mixture in the molds and store in the fridge to cool down.
After two hours, your pudding is ready! Just pull the kitchen foil and serve the pudding on a nicely garnished plate.
~ Finger licking good! ~
Have you tried the recipe? Let me know what you think!
Nutritional values per serving:
Kcal 222.5 carbs 11 protein 3.3 fat 19.8 fiber 6