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#VeganRamadan: The ultimate guide to making chia pudding Open in fullscreen

Diana Alghoul

#VeganRamadan: The ultimate guide to making chia pudding

Chia puddings are so fun and versatile [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 May, 2019

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Chia puddings are the latest online craze, but what exactly is the best way to make the most perfect chia suhoor?

Chia seeds have been my absolute go-to this Ramadan. I’ve always had them around, but I've always failed to be fully creative with them. In fact, I’ve only ever used the seeds for an extra boost when making smoothies and porridge, or had chia water for a boost in hydration.

A few years back, I dabbled in chia pudding making, but it didn't quite go as planned and I lost all confidence in my culinary abilities. As it turns out, I was using ground chia seeds, which are very good if you want the seeds to quietly support your dish as a nutrient boost, but it hardly works when a pudding relies on whole seeds to thicken up and expand.

So naturally, when I went to make chia seed pudding again, I was nervous. After making sure I to grab the right batch this time, I spent hours tirelessly researching the perfect ratio, even though it’s really not a matter to stress over.

Chia seed puddings are amazing because you can just make them while preparing iftar without exerting a lot more effort. Considering you’re already in the kitchen, all you really need to do is make this easy pudding and put it to the side.

There are so many ways to make chia pudding and it can be a substitute for any classic dessert you may miss. I’ve tried this recipe with cacao, rose water and lemon zest. My favourite so far has been rose water topped with crushed pistachio and cacao nibs.

But for the pudding to be successful, you need a good base. The more chia seeds you use, the thicker the pudding and the fattier the plant milk (coconut milk and cashew milk work best) the creamier the pudding.

Here’s a base recipe for you all to get started with:

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut/cashew milk
¼ cup chia seeds
Flavourings/toppings of choice (usually 1tbsp of each depending on how strong you want the flavour to be)

Method:
1. Gradually mix your desired flavourings with the milk in a jar until you get the strength of flavour you desire. Here you can add the cacao powder, rose water, matcha green tea powder, or anything else you want.
2. Add the chia seeds into the jar and mix until incorporated.
3. Close the jar and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Tips:
1. If you want to mix the chia seed pudding with fruit in layers, leave the chia seed pudding to thicken up for an hour in the fridge. Take it out of the jar and add your fruit, yoghurt or jelly, re-add the chia seed mix and put it back in the fridge to finish thickening up.

2. You can use yoghurt instead of milk if you want it extra creamy. Instead of one cup of milk, use half a cup of yoghurt and half a cup of milk. My favourite type of yoghurt is coconut yoghurt and I love experimenting with the different vegan flavoured yoghurts around.

3. Make the basic chia seed pudding in bulk – it will last for up to five days in the fridge. That way you can layer it all you want with different fruit, purees and yoghurts. If you want to add a flavour, add it somewhere else in the pudding, or drizzle it on top.

4. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles, as long as you have the basic pudding perfected and a basic command of flavours, then you shouldn’t have a problem with additional ingredients. Use this as a way to get rid of food that will expire – for example if you have apples that may go off, make cinnamon baked apples as a layer for your pudding and mix in lemon and orange zest into the pudding, then top with walnuts.

And finally, whatever you do, don't be pre-vegan Diana and stress about it. I promise you, it's fun.. and delicious.

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