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Chia Pudding With Golden Honey

"Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day" is the first book from Tara O'Brady, the culinary and photography mastermind behind the Seven Spoons blog. Her recipes are delicious, wholesome and totally inventive. Tara's voice shines through in every recipe, which makes reading the book a complete joy. All the recipes we've made have been winners for every member of our family.

Tara graciously shared this delicious pudding recipe with us — give it a try and be sure to check out Seven Spoons.

This dessert takes advantage of how chia seeds gel a liquid (because of their soluble fiber); it's creamy, with an understated vanilla note. I put up a batch in the evening, and it is ready for me come breakfast. I serve it with fruit, seeds and nuts, and sometimes toasted oats, but truly, the star of this recipe is the turmeric-infused honey I pour over the top—somewhat cheekily christened 'Golden Honey Elixir.'

"Turmeric root, unmistakably ochre and persuasively astringent, is often used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties. It is believed to help with brain function, digestion and heart disease. For the elixir it is combined with honey, apple cider vinegar and ginger, all healing and preventive powerhouses on their own. The idea behind this potent slurry comes from two sources: the turmeric paste prescribed for myriad of ailments in alternative medicines, and Golden Milk, a traditional restorative sip made with milk, ginger and turmeric.

Even if you don't go to the trouble of making the chia pudding, do try the elixir, which works perfectly well as a topping for yogurt, as a drink (stirred into hot, not boiling, water, or gently heated and stirred into milk), as the base for salad dressings (especially ones with root vegetables), in smoothies and even on vanilla ice cream.

Tara O'Brady

RECIPE: Chia Pudding with Fruit and Golden Honey Elixir

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Greek-style plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chia seeds, depending on desired firmness
  • 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened milk (dairy or nondairy both work)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
  • Generous 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • Fine-grain sea salt

SERVING OPTIONS

  • 1 cup (240 ml) Greek-style plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons Golden Honey Elixir (recipe follows)
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt
  • Fresh fruit, such as sliced peaches, sliced strawberries, or red currants
  • Chopped nuts, such as pistachios or almonds

Directions
  1. To make the pudding, in a bowl, whisk the yogurt and chia seeds until smooth. Slowly add the milk, followed by the sweetener, vanilla, and a pinch of salt, stirring all the while. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir again before serving.
  2. When ready to serve, stir the pudding, then fold in the 1 cup (240 ml) yogurt once or twice. Drizzle the Golden Honey Elixir and salt on top, then fold once more. Divide between plates, along with your toppings of choice. Eat straight away.
GOLDEN HONEY ELIXIR

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) honey, preferably raw
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, preferably raw and unfiltered
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • About 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a jar until smooth. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before using, or cover and refrigerate. Use within 1 week.

NOTE: Chia pudding made with whole seeds has a texture similar to that of tapioca pudding—that is to say, gelatinous spheres suspended in weighty liquid. Use ground chia for a smoother consistency, if desired.

If you happen to have frozen raspberries, they're pretty spectacular as an addition. Bash them in a sealed storage bag with the bottom of a sturdy glass, so they're in bits but not pulverized. The icy nubs burst like pomegranate seeds when eaten and streak the yogurt in fuchsia ripples.

Excerpted from Seven Spoons by Tara O'Brady. Copyright © 2015.

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