Chia Coconut Pudding

Omega-3 fats are essential, meaning that our bodies can't synthesize them - we must get them through our diets. They are crucial anti-inflammatory agents and are particularly important during pregnancy, helping with everything from fetal brain development to postpartum mood. Getting sufficient omega-3s can also help prevent menstrual cramps. The easiest way to get omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is through fish, but given concerns about mercury content, fish isn't always the safest choice.

Enter chia seed. Like flaxseed, chia is another food source of omega-3 fatty acids, and it's less apt to go rancid than its seed counterpart. Plus, it's kind of a fun science experiment to cook with: it becomes mucilaginous when wet, kind of like mini tapioca balls. And it's pretty flavorless, so it lends itself to being sprinkled on all sorts of dishes, from cereal grains to smoothies.

I found this chia pudding recipe online and adapted it for ease of use. As you can see from the photo, I get my chia seed from the bulk bins at Whole Foods and store them in a recycled pasta sauce jar in my cupboard. If you're ever in need of an omega-3 boost, this simple pudding should do the trick. It's yummy and easy to make. But beware - it's so rich! I couldn't even finish mine. Enjoy!

Chia Coconut Pudding

1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup dried coconut, shredded & unsweetened
1 cup almond milk (check out my recipe here)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 T. coconut milk (optional)
Chopped fresh fruit (optional)

Place chia and coconut in a bowl. Heat the milk(s) & cinnamon in a small saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Pour milk over seeds, stir and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Top with fresh fruit if desired & serve.

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