crossfit.com 180811 Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of: 5 power cleans (205/135) 10 toes-to-bars Cashout Run 4 x 400m Run with an optional weight Vest Rest 1 mins between sprints
Chia Pudding Variations
by Coach Courtney, RD
Chia seeds are little nutrition powerhouses packing calcium, fibre, iron, and plant based omega 3s and protein! If you find yourself hungry often, consider adding chia to your meals or snacks. The combination of protein, healthy fats, and fibre is a winning combination to reduce hunger. Read more about the health benefits of chia seeds in my previous post!
Are you a chia newbie? If so, chia pudding is an awesome first-timer recipe. Plus, my base recipe has just 3 ingredients (if you don't count the vanilla extract and salt!). So, I guess 5 ingredients. That's pretty simple, right? Right! Sign me up.
Chia seeds have the unique ability to absorb the liquid they are soaked in and turn into a gel-like texture. Depending on your pudding preferences, the ratio of chia seeds to liquid can differ. Recently, I have been using a 1/4 cup of chia seed for every 1 cup of liquid. This ratio yields a thicker chia pudding than a previous recipe I posted. The texture is like a creamy tapioca pudding. Chia seeds are flavourless meaning the pudding is a canvas for whatever liquid, flavour, or mix-ins you prefer. The recipe shared is my favorite combination, but consider the variations highlighted below as they may better suit your personal dietary preferences or nutrient needs:
Liquid: I love using plant-based milks like almond, cashew and coconut milk. Full-fat canned coconut milk is great if you’re looking to increase the creaminess and fat content for a rich and filling breakfast, snack, or dessert. Plant based milks make the recipe a suitable option for those who follow a plant-based, Paleo, or low carb diet. Alternatively, you can opt for cow's milk or Greek yogurt which will increase the total protein content of the recipe!
Protein: The base recipe I use is lower in protein although there is some plant-based protein from the chia seeds. You can increase the protein by adding 1-2 scoops of protein powder to the base recipe. I have used whey protein, plant based protein, and collagen protein. Flavoured protein powders will add extra sweetness to the recipe! With so many flavours of protein powder on the market, the flavour options are endless! Consider adding 1/4 cup of extra liquid for every 30g (1 scoop) of protein powder. You can further increase the protein by replacing 1 cup of the liquid with 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is much higher in protein than milk and will create a thick, creamy texture.
Healthy fats: the chia seeds contribute a plant based omega 3 fat called ALA of which some is converted in the body to the omega 3 fats called DHA and EPA. While further studies are needed to better determine their role, DHA and EPA may impart benefits on brain, heart, and immune health and reduce inflammation. Beyond the fats found in the chia, I like adding crunchy topping to the pudding that contain healthy fats such as:
Coconut Smiles (aka: unsweetened coconut chips)
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Tip: Home Sense or Winners is a great place to purchase discounted toppings for chia pudding. You can find great deals on not only chia seeds but toppings like cacao nibs, nuts and seeds, and unsweetened coconut chips!
FIbre: A high fibre meal has a delayed rate of digestion and absorption meaning that the energy from the fibre-rich meal will last you longer without the massive energy surges and crashes that come from a meal that is low in fibre. Consider the analogy of a roller coaster. Low fibre meals, with processed carbohydrates and sugars, will send your blood sugar (energy) on a crazy roller coaster of highs and lows. Sounds fun? Well, not really! While you feel energized on the highs, the lows leave you feeling tired, lethargic, and hungry. A high fibre meal is like riding the "kid roller coaster" at the amusement park! The delayed digestion and absorption means no massive spikes in blood sugars and no rapid crashes or lows. Fibre-packed chia pudding is like the "kid roller coaster"! With a slow and steady release of energy, chia pudding will offer an energy release like the blue line in the graph. The blue line leaves one feeling energized for 3-5 hours and reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates and sugars. The orange line (a low fibre meal) will leave one feeling sleepy, hangry within 90 minutes of eating, and spiralling down faster than the plummet of Splash Mountain!
Keep in mind, fibre is found in plant-based sources like chia seeds. Adding plant-based toppings will further increase the fibre in the pudding. The plant based fat sources mentioned above will contain fibre, but you can also top the pudding with raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or any other fruit for extra nutrition and fibre!
Sweetness: If you want the pudding to have a bit of sweetness you can add sweet spices like cinnamon and cardamom, vanilla extract, and your sweetener of choice. I find that the coconut milk has a naturally sweet flavour that requires very little extra from honey, maple syrup, or stevia. A flavoured protein powder will offer extra sweetness to the recipe while keeping the total sugars and carbohydrates low. For a chocolate version, add some cacao powder to the mix or a chocolate flavoured protein powder!
Chia pudding is an awesome meal-prep option. Make a batch on Sunday to have in the fridge for a quick breakfast, snack, or dessert. It’s loaded with fiber, protein and healthy fats and low in sugar which makes it super filling and satisfying! Plus the variations offered above ensures that you can make chia pudding work for your dietary preferences and nutrient needs. Chia pudding can be high protein, low carb, dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo, Keto, vegan, and most importantly delicious!
The recipe takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, but you will need to give the chia pudding some time to absorb the liquid and turn into a pudding-like texture. I like to make what I call the "whole seed version" where I whisk the ingredients together in a large, resealable bowl. If you are making a flavoured version (with protein powder, spices, or cacao powder) consider making the "blended version" where you dump your ingredients into a blender or food processes to create a smoother pudding texture! With either method, I prefer to let the pudding sit in the fridge overnight.
Single Serving Tip: an easy, high protein single serve option can be created by mixing 1/2 cup (125g) plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, and 2 tbsp chia seeds with vanilla extract, salt, and sweetener. Let it sit overnight for the perfect make-ahead snack that is packed with protein and fibre! The options for chia pudding really are endless. But consider my favorite variation below.
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
1/2 cup (90g) chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
* Add an optional sweetener such as stevia, flavoured protein powder, honey, or maple syrup. Note: for every 1 scoop (30g) of protein powder, add an extra 1/4 cup of liquid.
For the "blended version" place all ingredients in blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth. I typically choose the "whole seed version" which is quicker (and requires less dishes) as I simply whisk the liquid and chia seeds in a large glass container.
If you add protein powder, increase the liquid by 1/4 cup for every 1 scoop (30g) of protein powdered added.
Place the pudding into a large container or separate into 4 containers. Let the mixture sit overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Top with your favorite add-ins using the ideas above! My favorites include fresh raspberries, cacao nibs, and coconut chips.
Yields: 4 Servings