I’ve been trying to reduce added sugar in my diet since:
(a) it’s basically heroin
(b) sugary things make my heart race (it honestly feels like a panic attack) and then makes me CRAZY sleepy about an hour after I eat them, and
(c) sugar is in everything and it just makes me mad.
Now, am I’m going to swear off added sugar forever? Heck no. I had some delicious gluten-free chocolate chip cookies at book club this week. But, am I trying to reduce sugar in places that it just doesn’t belong? Yes, yes I am.
I particularly try to avoid added sugars in the morning so I start my day off on a good note. Typically I make a smoothie (current fave), eggs or a frittata, or oatmeal (or even better, steel cut oats!) but I’ve been on a total chia seed pudding kick lately. However, my previous version of chia seed pudding involved adding maple syrup (although granted, that’s a pretty clean source of sugar!) and I wanted to see if I could eliminate that.
Instead of maple syrup, I tried adding fresh fruit to my chia seed pudding. That gave it some sweetness, but really only when I actually bit into a piece of fruit. Next, I tried frozen fruit. Ding ding ding! When the frozen fruit thawed as the pudding sat overnight, the juices from thawed fruit permeated the mixture and gave the whole pudding a hint of sweetness. Plus, mixed berries add a shot of fiber that you don’t get from maple syrup!
No-Sugar Added Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)
- 1/3 cup water
- dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup frozen fruit
- Place the chia seeds, almond milk, water, cinnamon, nutmeg and water in a jar or bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Stir in the frozen fruit. It may make your mixture seem like there are frozen clumps; it’s okay. Stir as best you can.
- Place in the fridge and let the mixture sit for a couple hours, or ideally, over night.
- After a couple hours or when you wake up, stir the pudding again so the fruit juices can spread some more.
- Enjoy! Top with extra thawed fruit and some chopped nuts if you desire.
- I really like the quality of Wyman’s frozen fruit and I love adding mixed berries since they are a more delicate fruit that breaks down a little more than other sturdier fruits, which is what I want for the sweetness to spread!
- If it’s still not sweet enough for you, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of Stevia. But, I encourage you to try to re-calibrate your taste buds a bit by eating things that aren’t overly sweet.
- I’ve found chia seeds for the cheapest price at Trader Joe’s. This is a good price and good brand available on Amazon if you don’t have a TJ’s close by.
- If you are new to chia seeds, they expand in liquid so it’s important to let the mixture sit. Otherwise you don’t get the right texture; it should be like tapioca pudding and not crunchy!
- Be sure to drink lots of water on days when you eat chia seeds. Since they absorb liquid, if you aren’t well hydrated, they can cause some gut woes.
- I like making it in a mason jar so I can pop a lid on it and tote it to work. It’s also nice to easily store leftovers; if I eat this as a snack, I typically split it into two servings.