This banana coconut chia pudding is packed with goodness and takes only minutes to prepare. Coconut milk and chia seeds provide lots of nutritional value and sweetened only with banana and a touch of stevia gives the added satisfaction of a low GI and low calorie dessert. Before we launch into the recipe for Banana coconut chia pudding let me tell you why it is so good for you.
Why this Banana Coconut Chia Pudding is so good for you!
Chia Seeds are a powerful source of the antioxidants chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid as well as myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol flavonols that protect delicate essential fatty acids from oxidation. Unlike other sources of Omega-3 oils (e.g., flax, hemp, or fish), chia doesn’t require refrigeration or the artificial or natural added antioxidants such as vitamins in order to remain fresh.
Chia has 19 to 23% protein content, more than that found in traditional cereals such as wheat (13.7%), corn (9.4%), rice (6.5%), oatmeal (16.9%) and barley (12.5%). Chia’s protein is complete with all essential amino acids and is gluten-free.
Chia seeds are easily digested and they absorb more than 9 times their weight in water. When the seeds are mixed with water they form a gel and researchers believe this gel-forming happens in the stomach. When chia seeds are eaten they slowly release carbohydrates and slow conversion of carbs into glucose (blood sugar) for energy. The outer part of the seed is very rich in soluble fibre and this forms the gel, protecting the seed from drying out.
The gel forms a physical barrier between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. The carbohydrates are digested eventually, but at a slow and uniform rate. There is no insulin surge or spike needed to lower the blood sugar level after eating chia. The water-retaining ability of the gel also helps level out the water intake and retains electrolyte balance.
Chia seeds contain around 6 times more calcium than milk by weight (550-700 mg in 100 g of chia compared to 120 mg in 100 g milk) and chia’s calcium is more readily absorbed by the body than milk. It’s also an excellent source of certain minerals, notably phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper. Chia has three times more iron than spinach, and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli.
Coconut milk, the milk made from the meat of the coconut will give you all the benefits of coconut oil. 1 cup of coconut milk, canned or freshly made is equivalent to approximately 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. If you looking for ways to incorporate oil into your foods this recipe will definitely do that.
Adapted from Tropical Traditions
- 1 400 ml can unsweetened coconut milk**
- 1 large banana
- Seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon stevia (optional)
- 2 tablespoons white chia seeds (you can use any color seeds, I used white just because this pudding is light in color)
- Blend milk, banana and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Taste and decide if you want to add stevia or any other sweetener. The banana and vanilla extract should provide enough sweetness, but add the stevia (or other sweetener) to make sweeter.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Mix well and let sit for at least 1 hour, mixing occasionally.
- If serving for a special occasion, spoon pudding into individual ramekins before placing in refrigerator.
- Pudding will thicken best when left overnight in the refrigerator.
** Coconut cream could be used instead of the milk. Pudding will be thicker and creamier.
Enjoy! Let me know if you experiment with chia seeds in any other way or if you make Banana coconut chia pudding.