Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Chia-seed pudding recipe

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I’ve recently added chia-seed pudding to my breakfast, so now my morning food line-up is pretty strong wrt the Daily Dozen:

• 1 brazil nut (for selenium)
• chia-seed pudding (recipe below)
Fruit: 3 pieces of fruit (today: peach, tangerine, and apple)
• 1 pint of hot tea
• 2 sheets of nori (for the iodine)

Also, I take one B12 tablet (cyanocobalamin). Anyone who’s over, say, 50 should do this, regardless of their diet because one’s ability to absorb B12 declines with age.

The fruit I use varies and recently has included plums of various varieties and nectarines. Soon Fuyu persimmons will be available, and I like those. I often have Bosc pears as well.

Until I added the pudding, I also ate 1 square of 100% cacao chocolate (usually Baker’s unsweetened). ] Now I get the chocolate in the pudding, and now I use natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process cocoa, not so rich in nutrients). You can chop up a square of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate and use it in the pudding instead of the cocoa powder.

[update 17 Dec 2022: I stopped using cocoa powder because of the risk of lead and cadmium contamination, which seems not uncommon — and unfortunately manufacturers are not required to include in the label information the amount of lead and cadmium in their chocolate. While an occasional cup of hot chocolate or piece of dark chocolate would do no harm, eating it daily for a long period of time seems way too risky for me.

But: Update 11 Jan 2023: published a rebuttal to the report from Consumer Reports. And NPR also has a report that rebuts Consumer Reports. Based on these two reports, and also information from, I am going to resume using natural-process cocoa in the pudding.

However, I do think that in the future I will order my cocoa from Meridian Cocoa Co. in Portland OR, one of the companies recommended by DessertGeek. When I emailed an inquiry to them, they replied promptly with a PDF of the analysis of their cocoa for lead and cadmium.]

Someone commented that the recipe seems laborious, but labor is minimized because I have organized making it. I keep all the needed measuring spoons on the countertop in a small jar, and lined up next to that are the jars that contain each ingredient, with my spice-and-nut grinder nearby. The only thing not ready to hand is the oat milk in the refrigerator. Preparing the pudding in the evening takes only 6 minutes. And after it has rested overnight in the refrigerator, the pudding is absolutely delicious and totally satisfying as a breakfast. I look forward to it every day.

So now my breakfast also includes the following, with Daily Dozen components listed in boldface.

Chia-Seed Pudding

Step 1

I use my Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder for a variety of things, including this pudding. Put into the grinder’s cup:

Flaxseed – 1 tablespoon flaxseed

Grind that briefly. Add:

Nuts/Seeds – 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chia seed

Grind that briefly. Add:

Berries – 1 teaspoon amla (powdered Indian gooseberries)
Herbs & Spices – 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon (taste + antioxidants) [not Cassia cinnamon]
Herbs & Spices – 1 teaspoon dried spearmint leaves (antioxidants and flavor)
Herbs & Spices – 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (very high in antioxidants)
Herbs & Spices – 1 teaspoon dried marjoram (also very high in antioxidants)
Herbs & Spices – 1 teaspoon ground white pepper — just tried this, and I think it works 2/1/2023
• 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

I will be buying my cocoa powder from Meridian Cocoa Co., as indicated in the updates above.

Grind briefly just to mix.

Step 2

Now assemble in a 3-cup storage container the following layers:

Grain – 1/4 cup rolled oats (I use a rounded 1/4 cup)
Berries – 2 tablespoons dried barberries (available online or at Middle Eastern delis/stores)
Nuts/Seeds – 1 good-sized handful of walnuts, chopped
• The ground mixture from Step 1, spread out and leveled
Berries – 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries (again, a rounded measure — probably close to 1 cup)
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup (see note below)
• 1-2 teaspoons vanilla (I use McCormack Vanilla Flavoring — see note below)
• enough “milk” (oat milk or hazelnut milk or walnut milk) to cover the berries

After adding the milk, use a spoon to mix the ingredients to ensure the milk is mixed with everything. After I stir the ingredients a little, I generally have to add more milk. This makes about 2 1/2 cups, which is why I use my 3-cup GlassLock storage bowl.

Note on Maple syrup: I first used 2 tablespoons, then I tried using none. When I used none, the milk was not fully absorbed so there was some small amount of free liquid. Apparently, the syrup helps in absorption. So I tried using just 1 tablespoon (rather than 2) and that worked: all milk was then absorbed.

Note on vanilla flavoring: In 2019 Cook’s Illustrated tested “10 of the top-selling products in the country—seven pure extracts and three imitation extracts. The price range was dramatic. We paid $0.12 an ounce for the least expensive imitation extract and $6.19 an ounce for one of the pure extracts. .. We tallied the results of our first two tastings, frosting and pudding, and found that an imitation extract won, followed closely by a pure extract. The rest of the rankings were a jumble. We were surprised. We knew from past tastings that imitation vanilla extracts could be good in baked goods, but we were shocked that Baker’s (a budget imitation extract made by McCormick) won tastings in which the vanilla was stirred in at the end, uncooked. We scrutinized ingredient lists and called in experts to help us understand why.

“For the most part, our tasters could not tell the difference between real and fake vanilla flavor. Bill Carroll, adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana University, said he’s not surprised. Vanillin that is synthesized in a lab is identical at the molecular level to vanillin derived from an orchid and thus will taste the same.

“We had vanillin levels tested at an independent lab and found that the imitation vanilla extracts ranged from 0.32 to 0.64 grams per 100 milliliters; the pure extracts had just 0.03 to 0.10 grams per 100 milliliters—so the product with the most vanillin had 21 times as much as the product with the least. In general, we liked stronger vanilla flavor, and the product with the second-highest vanillin level at 0.58 grams per 100 milliliters, Baker’s Imitation Vanilla Flavor, was our overall winner.”

Baker’s Imitation Vanilla Flavor has been discontinued, and Cook’s Illustrated recommends McCormack Imitation Vanilla Flavor in its place because it has more vanilla flavor than the best vanilla extract (by Simply Organic). It is also substantially cheaper.

How the pudding evolved

I started by using whole chia seeds, assuming that overnight soaking would make them digestible, but then I decided to start grinding the seeds. That worked well and I assume overcomes any problem with digesting the seeds. (Seeds evolved to resist being digested.) 

I was already using the grinder each day to grind a tablespoon of flaxseed to include in a meal, flaxseed being one of the Daily Dozen. So it occurred to me to include the flaxseed in the pudding.

I grind the flaxseed first and then add chia seed and grind the combination. And then I thought of adding the two powders (amla and cinnamon) to mix those in as well. I added cloves specifically for their extremely high antioxidant content. That addition might not be to everyone’s taste. I decided to add a teaspoon of dried spearmint for flavor and antioxidants, and lately I’ve been also adding a teaspoon of dried marjoram leaves because those are so high in antioxidants. I included dried barberries because they, too, are extremely high in antioxidants (better than goji berries, as noted at the link above).

At one time I included a tablespoon of natural cocoa powder, but for reasons explained above in the update, I have discontinued that permanently. 

After adding the amla, cinnamon, cloves, spearmint, and marjoram, I “grind” briefly to mix everything together well.

The nut milk I originally used has just two ingredients: finely ground nuts and water. Some milk analogs contain quite a few ingredients and seem to be more highly processed — manufactured, as it were. I like to keep it simple (and I also like to avoid dairy). I also use Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Oat Milk, which has only 3 ingredients (water, oats, and salt).

Update: Nowadays I mostly use Earth’s Own Oat Milk because it is so much cheaper (roughly 1/4 the price per ounce), though it does contain sunflower oil (not a good oil). However, it not only costs less, it is also enriched with various vitamins and minerals, something the Elmhurst Oat Milk lacks. I’ve recently been using Earth’s Own Vanilla Oat Milk, which helps the flavor of the pudding. It does have added sugar, but only 6g a serving. However, Earth’s Own Unsweetened Original has zero sugar, so I use that when it’s available. (It seems to be often sold out.)

I earlier blogged about a chocolate chia pudding, and also a guacamole chia pudding.

Written by Leisureguy

31 August 2022 at 10:34 pm

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