Christmas Chia and Holiday Health
By Nancy Eisman
The holiday season is here, and delicious indulgences are everywhere. Of course you want to enjoy the get-togethers, parties, cookie-exchanges, and open houses, with countless savory and sweet delights spread festively before you. You also want to keep in mind that the month is long, the temptations are great, and creative planning is mandatory to reach 1/1/17 with your head held high for the self control you were able to manage.
Be sure to fill up with grains, nuts, seeds, and fresh or cooked vegetables and fruits, on their own or added to your favorite seasonal recipes. You’ll have an abundance of fiber-rich dishes in your belly, so when the parties get started you won’t be starving and tempted to fill your face with everything you see. Go ahead and still enjoy your favorites, with moderation, enjoying every morsel.
To help curb your consumption of only decadent delights, you’ll want to balance things out with filling and delicious dishes like Christmas Chia, aka Christmas in a Cup. This recipe is easy enough to enjoy anytime of day, to make-it-your-own in dozens of different ways, and/or to proudly place on your holiday buffet. Think trifle with a twist (or two), because indulgence and health are not mutually exclusive. The colors and flavors of seasonal fruits, crumbled Melissa’s Clean Snax®, and the crunch and creaminess of chia seed pudding are layered together to take your palate over the river and through the woods.
With health benefits for your body and your brain, chia seeds are among the most nutritional foods on the planet, loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a number of micronutrients. Recognized as a modern day super food, in addition to the fantastic puddings you can make by combining chia seeds and any plant-based milk, chia seeds are also great sprinkled over salads, cereals, grains, and added to baked goods, for texture and that bonus powerhouse nutrition .
“Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength, so definitely enjoy some chia seeds to help you stay on course. I hope you’ll enjoy many delicious plant-based foods through the season and all year long. Happy and Healthy Holidays Everyone!
2 cups Non-Dairy Milk
½ cup + 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
½ teaspoon Matcha Green Tea Powder (optional)
1 ½ tablespoons Honey or to taste
1 package Melissa’s Clean Snax® (any flavor), crushed and divided in half
15 Christmas Crunch™ Grapes, chopped and divided in half
2 large Kiwi, peeled, diced and divided in half
⅔ cup Dried Cranberries, divided in half
2 Green Dragon Apples (peel left on), diced and divided in half
⅔ cup Dried Coconut, divided in half
⅔ cup Pepitas, toasted
1 package Pomegranate Arils
To make the pudding, add the milk, chia seeds, and Matcha to a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the honey, taste and add more if you want it sweeter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove the pudding from the refrigerator and if it’s too thick/gummy then whisk in a bit more milk.
Assemble the concoction in a glass bowl or individual glass cups as follows:
- Sprinkle ½ the crushed Clean Snax® on the bottom
- Top the Clean Snax® with ½ the grapes, kiwi, dried cranberries, apples, and ⅓ of the dried coconut.
- Cover the fruit with ⅓ of the pudding.
- Sprinkle the rest of the Clean Snax® over the pudding.
- Cover with the rest of the grapes, kiwi, dried cranberries, apples, and ⅓ of the dried coconut.
- Add the remaining pudding.
- Top with the pepitas, pomegranate arils, and the remaining dried coconut.