I am a dessert junkie and a warrior that has battled the sugar blues. I have ridden the highs and lows of the refined sugar roller coaster and I am very glad to have exited that ride. Even though I ditched the refined sugars, I still want my cake and I want to eat it too!!! How exactly are you supposed to do that in a healthy way? Three words: moderation and raw desserts.
One of the things that attracted me to raw foods were the desserts. Not only are they packed with nutrients, missing refined sugars and much more healthy but they will gave you the sweetness you crave without loading you down with refined sugar that will inevitably make you crash and feel crappy!
When Lauren, Jill and I graduated from IIN we had a little celebration dinner at one of my favorite raw digs in NYC, Quintessence - The Essence of Food... just thinking about that dinner makes me smile. We were so excited to be IIN graduates and to celebrate it with gourmet, raw, organic deliciousness. Healthy foodies on top of the world!
I previously tried many "normal" raw desserts crafted by Red Bank's own vegan raw chef Adam Sobel of Certified Orgasmic such as key lime pie and strawberry cheese cake. But I never really ventured into raw, uncharted territories. At our little soiree, I chose something new for dessert, the chia seed pudding.
Here's a little secret: when I chose the chia seed pudding, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I knew what chia seeds were, but I don't think I had never eaten them and certainly had no idea how they were going to turn thenm into a delicious tapioca-like pudding. Wow. it was indeed amazing. Sweet and nutty and creamy and completely satisfying without a roller coaster ride. I found raw "tapioca" love.
For those of you that don't know what Chia seeds are, or look like, think of this:
Yeah, it's an Obama chia pet head! (I thought I would get a little political given the recent state of the union. Perhaps, I should stick to health, no?) Doesn't it make you giggle? The nutritional chia seeds are the same seeds that the novelty Chia Pet uses! I bet Chia Pet collectors all over are unaware of the nutritional and medicinal value of chia seeds. They contain more Omega-3s than any other vegetarian source and they're high in anti-oxidants, minerals and fiber. Basically, they do a body good. You can learn more about how amazing these little seeds are here. If you want to find chia seeds in your local health foods store, they look like this:
Tuesday night after consulting Elena's Pantry, I went on a little quest to make my own chia seed pudding goodness...and let me tell you, it's better than good. It's great!! This is the recipe I followed:
1 cup (raw) cashews
3 cups water
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
pinch celtic sea salt
¼ cup chia seeds
1. Place the cashews and water in a Blendtec and blend on high speed until smooth
2. Blend in the agave, vanilla, almond extract and salt.
3. Place the chia seeds in a large mason jar (½ gallon size), pour the cashew mixture into the jar and shake well (very well!)
4. Place in the refrigerator overnight
Here it is:
We may be in the dead of winter in Jersey and 3 years ago, I may have reached for homemade donuts as my comfort food. But this is 2010. Health is the buzz word and my comfort food right now is chia seed pudding!
Keep it Fresh!