So i just got back from spending a week in Tennessee and am madly in love. no joke. those cowboys are b-e-a-utiful. oh, and the state is pretty charming as well. but still, the men (well, i admired the view from afar, i find that I am becoming increasingly more and more creepy as I get older).
oh AND the food. my pant buttons were holding on for dear life on my return home yesterday, poor lil guys. definitely going to have to replace a couple that went awol. basically anytime I ordered something I had to make room for clogged arteries and a possible (probable) heart attack. It also didn’t help that I ordered the worst (and by worst i mean THE BEST) foods in the world…. famous hot chicken, brats and burgers, cronets, BUSHWHACKERS (literally one and done, a milkshake has never left me feeling so good before).
However treating myself to a week of 100 percent indulgence with no shikaka given, I had already planned ahead a week of getting my junk back on track. or semi on track. like maybe a partial wheel on the track and the rest of the wheels are kind of hanging off the track. the kind of track that has a bench next to it that i can sit on and just admire the tracks view from afar.
that sounds like more my speed…
But real quick, before I jump into the recipe notes. let’s focus on the word instant. because you almost never see that next to “chia seed pudding”. as per always, i have zero patience (most of the time). And when I hit a craving I need it, like now, and the longer i delay the craving the worse it becomes (one innocent spoonful of ice cream turns into an entire pint after an hour of craving). So meet chia seed puddings new best friend, xantham gum. If you already do a lot of gluten free baking, then you are more than likely familiar with this product, however, for those of you who are gluten lovers (i am one of those) then this ingredient might be completely foreign to you. First off, its just a white powder that is commonly found in the baking aisle (I use bob red mills) and the SMALLEST amount goes such a long way. My favorite thing about using xantham gum is that there is no starchy aftertaste (since you are using such a small amount) and for this dish in particular, it actually enhances the creamy factor. And the BEST PART!? Your chia seed pudding is ready in an instant. Boo-yah.
(and NO, this post is not sponsored in any way shape or form, I am just sincerely passionate about my food hacks, especially this one).
I used imitation vanilla extract for this recipe because I wanted the flavoring to be more “dessert” like. Imitation vanilla is great for doing just that – think funfetti cake batter flavoring. However if all you have is pure vanilla extract, that works great as well.
I wanted to keep this recipe paleo friendly so I used maple syrup for the sweetener, and a little goes such a long way. It also warms up the dish with its fall like flavoring.
2 tbsp of chia seeds is really all that you need since you are using xantham gum as a thickening agent. Chia seeds are jam-packed with fiber so feel free to add more!
When adding the xantham gum, i recommend waiting a half hour after you add the chia seeds since they are normally used as the thickening agent for this pudding. However it isn’t necessary. What you DO need to do is give the xantham gum a good three minutes before deciding that you need to add more. Trust me, a little goes a LONG way.
Add whatever fruit toppings you like! I chose peaches because they are in season and are sinfully sweet. Granola works as well (and so does chocolate syrup =D)