Chocolate Chia Avocado Pudding

How to Justify Dessert after Breakfast

When the morning begins with a home-run breakfast sandwich (avocado + fried egg + smokey tempeh on New Cascadia's gluten-free cinnamon raisin toast with coconut oil and a sprinkle of Jacobsen's Rosemary Sea Salt), you can pretty much guarantee it's going to be a jazzy day.

After devouring said sandwich last Friday, I decided I wasn't ready to leave the kitchen. I just needed one reason to stay.

Enter: Tracy Chapman
Push Play.

Menu development for my nutrition cookbook was just the excuse I needed to delay my day's tasks a little longer. I scoured the pantry and refrigerator for recipe ingredients, although both were quite bare (not that you can tell from my breakfast, -enter wide-eyed emoji here-). So I decided to put together a quick and easy blender pudding. Chocolate, chia, avocado pudding, that is.

In order to justify dessert for breakfast, you need to include a few staple components: protein, fiber, & fat.

These three precious elements slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream (yay!) so that you don't feel a sugar rush (followed by a 1:00pm sugar crash), and more importantly, your insulin won't spike and fall. Bad things happen when insulin spikes (inflammation, decreased immune function, etc. etc. etc.)

And if you need more verification, see Nutrition Tidbits & Highlights below.

This recipe calls for creamy avocado, fiber-packed chia seeds, and my favorite non-dairy milk (flax + protein), all swirled together with rich and decadent raw cocoa powder. All of these ingredients can be found at your local natural health foods store or major supermarket.

Ingredients: (Makes 2 Servings)
1 small avocado (about 1/4 cup smashed)
1 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use Good Karma flax + protein, but homemade or other would be fine)
2 large medjool dates (make sure to remove pits)
2 heaping Tbs. cocoa powder
1/4 cup dry chia seeds

1. Add avocado, milk, dates, and cocoa powder to a high speed blender
2. Blend on medium, and increase to high speed until smooth and creamy

*Now you have an option. (Remember those books that let you decide which page to go to next?) Choose the fate of your pudding texture by continuing to either step 3-chunky, crunchy or step 4-smooth, creamy.

3. Crunchy: Transfer pudding liquid into 2 small resealable containers, and stir in chia seeds, divided equally. I like to use jars so that you can shake them around for a minute and get an arm workout while the seeds begin to gelatinize. (They don't call me "jar lady" for nothin'.)
4. Smooth: Add chia seeds to blender and blend the whole mixture again until nice and smooth (about 1 minute; feel free to turn the blender off and dip a spoon in to check if it's ready). Once the texture is to your liking, transfer to 2 small containers and cover with lids.
5. Either way, allow your pudding to set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hr before eating.

Suggested Toppings:
sliced kumquats + cocoa nibs
sliced banana + walnuts
diced apple + cinnamon

Nutrition Tidbits & Highlights

This whole recipe makes 2 servings. The following information is based on 1 Serving, and will vary slightly based on your choice of toppings.

250 kCal
9 g Protein
13.7 g Fat
3.6 g Omega 3 : 1.68 g Omega 6*
21% DV Vitamin B6
185% DV Vitamin K
29% DV Copper
46% DV Manganese
320 mcg lutein + zeaxanthin**

*The standard American diet (SAD) provides far more omega 6 than omega 3, due to our regular intake of highly processed, refined, and fried foods. This pattern can lead to inflammation and metabolic disease. Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. The ideal ratio for dietary intake of O3:O6 is 4:1, with the more omega 3 the better. This recipe provides a ratio of O3:O6 of 2:1, which is pretty exciting, if I do say so myself.

SAD omega 3: omega 6 ratio is 15:1
Ideal omega 3: omega 6 ratio is 4:1
This recipe omega 3: omega 6 ratio is 2:1. Hooray! 
Check my sources here and here.

**Lutein and Zeazanthin are antioxidants found in the rods and cones of our eyes, and may help to prevent against age-related macular degeneration. The word is still out on how protective they are, but I suspect more research will come out soon! Read more here.

Until next time,