Have you gotten on the chia seed bandwagon? At first I was scared of the pearly goo lurking in the fridge at my sister-in-law's place. Now that I've doctored up this ancient seed with cardamom and cashew, I'm intrigued by this superfood.
Have you tried this omega-3 packed, fibrous wonder-ingredient? What do you think of it and how do you use it in your cooking?
At first glance, I was a little afraid of the concoction I'd assembled from basic ingredients hanging around my pantry. But as a lover of tapioca bubble tea, Asian agar gel-based desserts, and all chewy candies, I took the plunge into this raw pearly pudding. After a few bites and a little time adjusting my palate to the new texture and flavors, I found myself quite enjoying this new-to-me ingredient. Chia seeds, much like tofu or tapioca pearls, take on the flavor that surrounds them. They are the basic heft of the dish, but don't taste like much on their own.
By combining a mixture of my favorite ingredients (hazelnuts, cashews, agave syrup, and cardamom) I knew something good was bound to happen. Now that I know the textural profile of chia seeds (add water and they become thick and gooey), I'm curious as to what else to put them in. Based on the comment section of Emily's post on chia seeds last year, I have quite a few ideas in mind. This particular combo of fragrant cardamom and creamy nut milk is satisfying and just sweet enough. I find the pudding is especially delicious swirled into plain yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal, or as a dip for apple slices. It keeps for a few days in the fridge (and gets thicker and plumper each day), and can liven up breakfast and snack time.
Cashew–Cardamom Chia Pudding
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 to 3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hazelnuts
3/4 cup cashews
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Dried currants and chopped nuts for garnish (optional)
In a blender, purée the water, salt, hazelnuts, cashews, vanilla, agave, and cardamom as smooth as possible (mine had some clumps, as my blender isn't perfect). In a large bowl or glass container, mix the chia seeds with the blended mixture. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for about 8 hours. Chia seeds will plump up and absorb most of the liquid. Garnish with chopped nuts and dried fruit if you have it.
Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Chia Seeds
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)