Have you jumped on the chia bandwagon yet?

Chia pudding has become one of my go-to snacks. I make a batch at the beginning of the week and leave it in the fridge, spooning single servings into plastic containers for lunchboxes or snacks.

When kale first became “trendy” I ate it just because of its health properties. Over time, I grew to truly love the tough, leafy greens and haven’t left it behind though I know it reached and passed its peak on the food-trend curve. Quinoa was another food that turned up on pages of all of the food magazines, began to line everyday grocery shelves and even earned devoted cookbooks worshipping its powers. Though I still eat quinoa now and then, I truthfully never really loved it.

Chia is following kale’s path in my repertoire of superfoods. Though they are the latest darling of the food world, their nutrient-rich qualities make them worth the hype! Loaded with antioxidants and rich in protein and fiber, I find that chia fills me up and boosts my energy as a mid day snack. When soaked overnight, the seeds take on a tapioca-like property, turning the milk into creamy pudding. Truly, this recipe is a health food disguised as a treat!

We experiment with different toppings or simply eat the pudding alone. Fresh blueberries with toasted coconut is a household favorite. You can substitute different milks – I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk for its fragrant flavor and low calories. For those who are vegan, this fits the bill.

Vanilla Chia Pudding
yields 4 snack size servings

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon agave nectar or honey (add a second Tablespoon if you like it sweeter)

Stir together all ingredients. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. Stir and serve plain or topped with fresh fruit, dried fruit or toasted coconut. It lasts in the refrigerator for at least 4 days. If it becomes thicker than you like, just stir in some additional milk.