Hi!

My name is Gabby.  

I lost half my body weight through exercise and eating right.

 I'm here to motivate you, inspire you, and make you laugh on your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

CINNAMON VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

CINNAMON VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Warning: Adult language

Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language.

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I've been making this shiz on the regular for over three years now. Why I've never posted this recipe before is beyond me. My nine year old got home from school yesterday and scolded me for not making more. I promised her I'd make it and totally forgot. Actually, I promised her three days in a row and forgot all three days. There might've even been a pinky swear involved. I know, I know, Mother-of-the-Year. It's been a really busy week and for whatever reason I've had a serious mental block with the chia pudding.

After I made the pudding, which literally takes two minutes, I thought to myself, 'Why in the hell haven't I done a post about this stuff?' It's yummy, healthy, and easy to make. I mean, I'm not just talkin' easy... I'm talkin' stupid easy. 

When I first started making this years ago, it was because I was looking for something sweet to eat. I have a crazy sweet tooth. Even after eight years of eating healthy, that damn sweet tooth is still there. I learned long ago to stop fighting it and simply give it what it wants, but on my own terms. So I approach my sweet tooth much like a mom trying to hide veggies in a child's meal... I trick the little bastard!

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I like this pudding a lot, but my kids? My kids love it. I have to make them each their own batch because they'll fight over it. I'm gonna be totally honest here, it does surprise me that they are crackheads over this stuff. I instantly liked chia pudding and knew it would satisfy my sweet cravings, but I really didn't think my kids would love it so much. Here's why. First, it looks kind of gross. Ya, I know, not a great sell when you're trying to get people to make your recipe. But for real, it just does. It doesn't look that appealing. I'm sure it would look worlds better if I used the white chia seeds but because I use black chia seeds, it makes the pudding look weird. At least I think so. My kids have never once mentioned anything about how the pudding looks, so maybe it's just me with the problem. By the way, there isn't any nutritional difference between the black and white chia seeds. These are the chia seeds I use.

Secondly, I didn't know if my kids would be into the texture. Chia pudding has the same texture as tapioca pudding. When I was a kid, one of my most favorite foods to eat was tapioca pudding. I was a fiend with the stuff. I loved it! However, once I started eating healthy, I stopped buying it. For me, it's just one of those foods that I can't portion control with. I will eat up every last bite of it in record time. Because I started my health and fitness journey when my kids were eight months old and three years old, they don't have any recollection of tapioca pudding. I've never had a problem with food textures, but a lot of children do. Even some adults have a thing with certain textures. My best girlfriend, Di, has serious texture issues with food. Seriously, it's like a disorder. Not me, man. Food and I go way back. I will always be a foodie at heart and I certainly have never met a pudding I didn't like. I don't care what kind of texture a food has, if it tastes good, I'm on board.

So before I unleash this ridiculously easy pudding recipe, let me tell you why you should be eating chia seeds. The great thing about chia seeds is they have no taste. So basically you can throw them into almost any recipe and never notice them. I use chia seeds in all of my muffin recipes, stir-fries, soups, and salads. You can throw them in chilis, sauces, casseroles, and pretty much anything. My family has no idea how much chia seeds they eat! Again, trickery and dupery. It brings me much pleasure seeing my family eat healthy and nourishing foods... aaaand I have to admit I get great pleasure knowing I tricked the shit out of them. Hehe. Oh stop it, I can get my kicks that way if I want to. I'm not harming anyone. In fact, I'm making them healthier!

Before I get to the recipe, I want to tell you about the magical benefits of chia seeds. Oh come on now, you know I wasn't going to let you get right to the yummy stuff without teaching you something. You're not getting away Scot free! I'm getting a lesson in here somewhere, dammit! I promise you'll learn something!

Benefits of Chia Seeds

1. Weight loss aid.

Chia seeds increase your leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone that controls your appetite. More leptin means less appetite, which means less food eaten, which means less calories... you see where I'm going with this, right? Chia seeds also keep you feeling very full for a long time so you don't find yourself becoming hungry before your next snack or meal. They expand over 10 times their size so once they get in your belly, they fill that sucker up! Chia seeds also do an amazing job at balancing your blood sugar levels. This is key in losing weight. Here's a biggie, studies have also shown that incorporating chia seeds into one's daily diet reduces belly fat (visceral adipose tissue).*

Note:

Chia seeds are excellent for diabetics! 

2. Builds muscle.

Chia seeds are packed with protein. In fact they are one of the highest ranking plant sources for protein. This protein source is wonderful for everybody, but especially to all of you vegetarians and vegans out there!

3. Fiber, fiber, and more fiber.

Pretty much every single carb in a chia seed is fiber. One ounce of seeds has 12 carbs and 11 of those are fiber! Fiber lets you absorb your food very slowly which helps keep you full. You aren't gonna find much else that will give you this kind of a fiber punch in such a small dose. Fiber keeps our guts healthy and our bowels moving regularly. Digestive health is very important! Our guts need to be healthy so that the rest of us can be as well. Did you know that your gut houses 80% of the immune cells that your body has? If your gut isn't healthy, the rest of you sure isn't going to be either!

4. Increases metabolism and energy.

I don't know about you, but sign me up for some more energy! It has been proven that chia seeds work just as good, if not better, than the popular sports drinks and energy drinks on the market. According to The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, chia seeds improve exercise performance in workouts up to 90 minutes.  And the one giant advantage of chia seeds over sports drinks? No sugar!, no artificial flavors, no food dyes, no additives, and no ingredients that you can't pronounce!

5. Reduces inflammation.

Chia seeds are an excellent choice for people who suffer from inflammation conditions such as fibromyalgia, all forms of arthritis, or any pain disorders. Our bodies have a hard time healing and/or staying in a remission from illness when there's a lot of inflammation. Chia seeds promote healing and are one of the very few natural anti-inflammatories out there.

5. Strengthens bones.

Chia seeds are high in calcium. Actually, if you're talking by weight, chia seeds have more calcium than almost any dairy product. In just one ounce, chia seeds pack 18% of the daily requirement for calcium. If you can't eat dairy, definitely think about adding chia seeds into your diet.

6. Strengthens heart.

Chia seeds help lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Both of these benefits help improve our heart health significantly. Who would've thought such a small seed would help our bodies in so many ways? Not me, that's for sure. It's easy to see why the chia seed has been categorized as a superfood.

7. Boatloads of antioxidants.

Here's the dealio. There are so many people swallowing supplements to include antioxidants into their diets. Your body has a much harder time absorbing and processing antioxidants through supplement form than it does through food. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't take your supplements and vitamins. What I'm saying is you want to make sure you're not solely relying on those things to give your body nutrients. Your body wants to acquire the good stuff the old fashioned way... by eating real food.

Chia seeds are also packed with aplha-linolenic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, niacin, thiamine, and vitamins A, B2, D, E, and K. Seriously, this is all in just one ounce (about two tablespoons).

8. Wards off cancer.

Chia seeds have proven to limit the growth of cancer cells in both breast cancer and cervical cancer. The seeds cause the cancer cells to die without harming any of your healthy cells.**

Well okay, I guess I can stop the lesson for today and give you the recipe. You get a gold star for sitting patiently in class ;)

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CINNAMON VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Printable Recipe

WHATCHU NEED:

 

Notes:

  • I prefer my chia pudding with almond milk. It tastes very similar to the coconut milk version and saves you some calories, but I included the option because everybody likes options! My oldest daughter prefers the coconut milk, so I usually make both. You can actually substitute ANY milk in this recipe. I simply listed non-dairy milks because I don't drink dairy milk.
  • If you would like your pudding to have a thicker consistency, simply add more chia seeds. If you'd like it thinner, add less. You can play around with it until you find the perfect consistency for you. I personally like mine thicker and I'll often dump an extra tablespoon or two of seeds in there!
  • Screw top containers work great for this recipe. Mason jars work well too. What's so great about the sealed containers is that if you happen to open the fridge or be in the kitchen before the pudding sets up, you can grab the container and give it another couple shakes. The chia seeds have a tendency to sink to the bottom and the pudding can sometimes clump. So shaking it throughout the thickening process helps the pudding set up better.

I absolutely love my Ziploc screw top containers for my chia pudding! They never leak when I shake them up.

 

WHATCHU DO:

1. Combine all ingredients, EXCEPT for the sweetener (stevia or honey), in a sealed container. 

2. Once sealed, shake or stir.

3. Put in fridge until the pudding sets up and thickens (1-2 hours).

4. AFTER the pudding sets up, then add your desired sweetener.

My youngest daughter and I prefer a stevia packet mixed in our pudding whereas my oldest daughter prefers honey. You can sweeten it however you'd like (But don't use artificial sweeteners! That stuff is poison!) or you can opt not to additionally sweeten it at all. The milk and cinnamon give it a slight sweet taste all on it's own.

Note:

You can also top your chia pudding with fruit! My oldest daughter is obsessed with topping hers with bananas and honey. It's really yummy!

I love blueberries so I will top my pudding with a giant handful of them!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serving size = 1/2 cup

For Almond Milk Pudding (with stevia):

  • 169  Calories
  • 1g    Fat
  • 17g  Carbs
  • 4g    Sugar
  • 5g    Protein

For Coconut Milk Pudding (with stevia):

  • 201  Calories
  • .6g   Fat
  • 14g  Carbs
  • 0g    Sugar
  • 5g    Protein

I also use chia seeds in my delicious muffin recipes. Try them out!

 

Note:

Never eat plain, dry chia seeds. Make sure they have been mixed with food or liquid before consuming. Chia seeds expand 10x their size and if you consume a large amount dry (not sure why anyone would), they can expand in your esophagus or belly and cause discomfort.

 

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Resource links:

 

*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

*Affiliate Disclaimer: Half of Gabby has recently become an Amazon Affiliate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all affiliates to put a disclaimer on their website/blog. Most disclaimers are so filled with confusing lingo that you don’t even understand what they are saying. I’m going to break it down for you how I would want it to be broken down for me. I’m not a fan of complicated and unclear regulation jargon. So here’s the dealio. Half of Gabby takes up a tremendous amount of my time. But because I love it so much, I really want to continue dedicating my time to it. For six years now, I have been providing product links to products that I use and love and in turn recommend them to all of my readers. These products have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle and/or improve my family life. I have helped sell countless products for six years and have never received any commissions… Until now. As of September 15, 2016, I will be providing links just as I've always done, but now will receive a very small commission if you purchase an item through the affiliate link that I provide. An affiliate link is simply a link that brings you to a place where you can buy that product. I will not earn a commission by you simply clicking on the link, you must actually purchase the item(s) within 24 hours of putting it in your Amazon cart. Prices are exactly the same for you if you purchase through an affiliate link on Half of Gabby. You will NOT pay more by clicking through the link. My promise to you is that I will never recommend a product that I don’t fully 100% believe in and/or use myself and recommend to close friends and family. Past articles will be updated with affiliate links. It is safe to assume if you click on a link that brings you to a page where you can buy that item, I will earn a very small commission on that purchase. This will allow me to continue working hard on Half of Gabby without it using up time that I need to otherwise dedicate to contributing to my household. I'm happy to be able to continue my blog and to continue talking with, meeting, and helping people all over the world with their health journeys!

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