Need a tropical vacation? You especially do if you live in Seattle! The last few days have been gloriously warm and sunny, but a couple weeks ago it was SO cold and misty/raining non-stop. I usually don't get too down about the weather, but the fact that we didn't get our usual (10 years in a row, at least) week or two of sunshine in February meant that we went a LONG time in the cold, grey dark!
I went to Maui on my honeymoon, and I dream of getting back there ASAP on a weekly basis. I was especially jonesy for it when I saw coconuts for sale at my neighborhood grocery store during the chilly grey. Thus we arrive at...
Requirement #1: Fresh Coconut, $3.00
Meanwhile, chia seed has apparently been pretty trendy lately as health foods go. I didn't know this when I bought my bag. What I did know was that the raw/vegan newsletter I receive suggested chia pudding as an energy boosting snack. I also knew that Brendan had brought it up as a backpacking food. So, when I saw a bag of them, I figured we'd give it a try.
Requirement #2: Bag o' Chia Seed, $5.00
A bit about chia seed:
Yes, it is the same thing you use on a Chia Pet. It is also full of soluble fiber, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids. It has a very mild flavor, which makes it a good base ingredient for puddings because you can make it taste however you want. I'll tell you the truth: it tastes like "health food," but unless you've already conditioned yourself to dislike such things (by over-sugaring and over-fatting and over-salting everything), you will like it! Ezra liked it and asked for more. The texture is like small, a little bit crunchy, tapioca. If you hate anything gelatinous (or even hate the word gel-a-tin-ous), you are highly likely to hate chia. But, try it anyway (aka MAN UP).
Requirement #3: Homemade Almond Milk, $1.00
Here's what you do:
First, watch this:
Then, crack open your coconut. We followed these instructions, and it was truly easy. Pour the coconut water into a glass. (If you're like me, the obsessed new owner of a soda stream, carbonate the coconut water and give it a drop of pure vanilla extract and a twist of lime.
Shred some coconut meat.
Mix one part chia seed, your shredded coconut, and two parts homemade almond milk. You could also use the coconut water as part of your liquid if you don't want to drink it. Coconut milk as the liquid is positively decadent.
Stir it and put it in the fridge, covered.
A couple hours later or in the morning, for breakfast, stir chia pudding and EAT IT.
Brendan and I both felt GREAT during the day that we ate our chia pudding. Brendan even reported feeling extra energetic for his bike ride into work. Chia seeds are like a facial for your insides (little bit gross? maybe, but it's a good thing... I promise), and the oils from the coconut are good for everything from (supposedly) your thyroid to your shiny hair.
To make this treat especially sunny, do what we did and go ahead and make it a chia pina colada by adding some diced fresh pineapple (adds another $3.00, if you're a good shopper). Now you've got tons of vitamin C in there!
It's ok to sprinkle a little sugar on it or stir in some agave, honey, or brown rice syrup for a little sweetness.
Do a good google search, and you'll find a zillion other recipes for chia. That's good, because you're likely to have lots left.