Chocolate Chia Candy Cane Pudding

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo

Growing up, the only thing I ever wanted to eat on Christmas was candy canes. My Mom would decorate the tree full of real candy canes and the tree was always barren by the end of the day. Now, as a nutritionist, I can acknowledge that a candy cane may not be the ideal breakfast but I still want that fun flavor and colour. SO! My new Christmas tradition is to enjoy this decadent breakfast (dessert?) as soon as I wake up! It’s perfect for the whole family on Christmas morning because you can whip them up in 5 minutes the night before and they will be ready as soon as you crawl out of bed. We don’t want to take to much time for breakfast when there are presents to unwrap!

 

For one pudding, all you have to do is throw 3 tbsp in the bottom of a mason jar along with 2 tbsp of cacao powder, a couple drops of peppermint extract, and top it off with 1 cup of your favorite nut milk. Believe it or not all you have to do is shake, shake, shake, put it in the fridge and go to bed. When you wake up in the morning the chia seeds will have absorbed the milk and formed a gorgeous, silky, peppermint chocolate pudding! Now all there is to do is layer it with those Christmas colours. I throw on goji berries for the red and coconut flakes for the white but you could always sub in cranberries or raspberries or whatever your favourite red fruit is! If the candy cane look isn’t your thing, you could also go red and green by tossing in some pistachios, or even some fresh mint instead of coconut!

 

I love goji berries because they are a superfood full of antioxidants. They help to improve immune function, promote healthy skin, stabilize blood sugar, detoxify the liver and keep your mood and energy up (which is sometimes especially needed around the holidays!). The coconut flakes provide healthy fats to produce usable energy that will also contribute to keeping you going through to Christmas dinner.

 

The chia seeds are the real star of this show. They are loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They have been shown to improve cardiovascular health, support healthy bones, lower blood pressure and inflammation, & help stabilize blood sugar. These little beauties are a superfood that I incorporate into my diet almost every single day, even on Christmas!

 

Another awesome thing about chia puddings is that its easy to sneak in certain powders to up the superfood content, add protein or increase the healing action. This Christmas, I will be adding 1 tbsp of some gut healing collagen powder to this recipe before the shaking it up. As someone with Celiac Disease, I am always making sure to nourish my gut and provide it with the ability to heal and rejuvenate as much as possible. This is something that anyone with allergies or autoimmune diseases in particular should be aware of but everyone can benefit from a little gut healing these days! Collagen works to seal and heal the protecting lining of the gastrointestinal tract to prevent any undigested food particles or harmful pathogens to pass into the bloodstream where they can provoke an inflammatory cascade all throughout the body - leading to allergies, joint pain and sometimes autoimmune reactions. Additionally collagen has been found to improve the health of hair, skin and nails, reduce joint pain and degeneration, boost metabolism, muscle mass and energy output, promote a healthy liver and protect the cardiovascular system. If you are not a vegan or vegetarian, collagen can be a fantastic supplement to work into smoothies, baking or puddings like this one! 

 

This delicious breakfast starts off my Christmas morning with that sentimental feeling that makes the holiday season so special. I get that minty kick in with the chocolate that reminds me of my childhood candy cane diet, the red goji and white coconut give it those Christmassy colours, but I’m still getting a lot of nutrition out of my breakfast to get me through the crazy day with enough energy to make that special dinner for my loved ones too!

 

Added bonus is that kids love these! It’s nice to be able to start them out with healthy traditions from a young age. This way they will grow up to crave chia pudding on Christmas instead of candy canes. That is a Christmas gift in itself!

 

Happy Holidays to all and to all and good eats!

 

Ingredients

 

3 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp cacao powder

¼ tsp peppermint extract

1 cup nut milk

½ cup goji berries

½ cup coconut flakes

1 tbsp collagen powder (optional)

 

Directions

 

1.     Pour 3 tbsp of chia seeds in the bottom of a mason jar

2.     Add 2 tbsp cacao powder & 1 tbsp collagen powder (if desired)

3.     Top with 1 cup of nut milk

4.     Add peppermint extract

5.     Shake well!

6.     Place in fridge over night and dream sweetly.

7.     Wake up and scoop half the beautifully formed pudding into a jar

8.     Add half of the goji berries and coconut flakes

9.     Add the rest of the pudding

10. Top with the rest of the goji berries and coconut flakes

11. Serve, eat, feel great!