Easy Carob-Banana Chia Pudding (dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, caffeine-free, sugar-free, *can be nut-free)

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Looking for a sweet and tasty treat that won’t unravel your clean-eating New Year’s resolution?

Well, I’ve got one for you!

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Creamy and delicious pudding.  Easy to make.  Fun to eat.  Healthy ingredients.  Its a win-win-win!

Although I haven’t pledged to overhaul my diet and drink green juice and raw veggies for an undetermined amount of time/forever, I’m striving to keep things simple in my diet.  I can’t deprive myself of treats for long, or else I’ll eventually go cuckoo and eat a whole batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies in one day.  Instead of swearing off any desserts, I’m whipping up snacks that are as yummy as they are healthy, like this easy chia pudding.

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Boasting healthy fats, a quarter of your daily calcium needs, 9 grams of fiber, and a sweet taste with no added sweeteners/sugar, this pudding cup pretty much blows it’s Snack Pack rival out of water.  Speaking of the classic packaged pudding, a 3.5 oz Chocolate Snack Pack (about 1/2 of my carob pudding serving size) has over twice as many grams of sugar, and a 24-item ingredient list (with sugar and hydrogenated oils at the top of the list).  My easy carob-banana pudding has only 6 simple ingredients.  Why not whip up this healthy alternative, and feed your beauty (wink, wink), instead of sabotage it?  It takes only a little bit more effort than opening a box and peeling off a foil top.  And you’ll feel good knowing you’re staying on track with those healthy resolutions.

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Also worth mentioning, this pudding is made with carob, great for yourself (or your kiddos) if you’re trying to avoid caffeine.  It’s great if you’re trying to reduce added sugars/sweetener as well.  Carob has a naturally sweet flavor, despite being low in natural sugars (1 tablespoon has less than a gram of natural sugars), making added sweeteners unnecessary.  If you’d like to use unsweetened cocoa powder, I’m sure it’d be delicious too.  You’ll probably want to add some sweetener to taste (maple syrup, dates, or honey) if you go that route.

???????????????????????????????Carob-Banana Chia Pudding (Dairy-free, vegan, sugar-free, caffeine-free)

1 cup milk of choice (I highly recommend cashew milk or another creamy milk) *use coconut milk or a seed milk like homemade pumpkin seed milk for a dairy free and nut-free option

1 med. banana

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp carob powder (I recently purchased International Harvest Go Raw Carob Powder at my health food store, and I’m loving it!)

2 Tbsp, chia seeds divided + 2 tsp, chia seeds, divided

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

tiny pinch of salt

two small jars with lids (or bowls)

Instructions:

1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT chia seeds in a blender, and blend until smooth.

2.  Fill each jar equally with blended mixture, then add 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp of chia seeds to each jar and stir very very well.  If you’re using jars, screw on the lids and give them a good shake.

3.  Place in the fridge to firm up.  For best results, give them another good shake after about 10 minutes.  They should be ready to eat in an hour or two, when they’ll be set up nicely.  Enjoy!

Notes:

Chia seed pudding has a unique tapioca-like texture that I find delightful, but perhaps not everyone enjoys.  To make a completely smooth pudding, blend the chia seeds along with your other ingredients before pouring into your jars and allowing to set in the fridge.

 

 

 

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