If you haven’t tried chia pudding by now, it’s destined to be one of your favorite go-to treats if you make it yourself. It’s simple yet special, utterly delicious, and wonderful for your health. Omega-3-rich chia and lavender are both soothing to inflamed and unhappy digestive systems, and support the elimination of unwanted substances from your body. The floral sweetness of pure honey is a heavenly match for the lavender, and its immune-boosting properties will boost your defenses against seasonal allergies.
When immersed in lavender- and vanilla-scented milk, the chia seeds plump up into a pudding reminiscent of tapioca. It’s a perfect way to end a meal during warm months but can easily be called a conscionable breakfast, or an energizing afternoon snack. Be careful not to steep the lavender in the milk for longer than ten minutes, or your pudding risks tasting like a bar of lavender soap.
Lavender-Honey Chia Pudding
2 cups almond milk, or other milk of choice
2 teaspoons fresh or dried lavender buds
3 to 4 tablespoons honey, depending on desired sweetness
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons chia seeds
- Heat the almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it just starts to simmer, turn off the heat and add the lavender. Cover with a lid and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the milk using a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the lavender.
- Add the honey, vanilla extract, and sea salt to the almond milk, and whisk together until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Put the chia seeds in a bowl. Pour the almond milk mixture into the chia seeds, and start whisking immediately to prevent the chia from clumping. Set the pudding aside to plump up for 15 minutes, whisking every 5 or so minutes. Place the chia pudding in the refrigerator to further thicken and chill for at least 2 hours before enjoying. You may need to adjust for sweetness after tasting it cold. Keeps for up to 1 week.
- Coconut-Cardamom Chia Pudding. Substitute coconut milk for the almond milk, and use 6 cardamom pods instead of lavender.
- Blueberry-Lavender Chia Pudding. Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries before storing the chia pudding in the refrigerator for 2 hours. (Just know that using frozen blueberries will turn the pudding a purple hue.)
- Vegan Lavender Chia Pudding. Substitute maple syrup or agave for the honey.
It’s important to let the steeped milk cool down for a time before introducing it to the chia seeds, as the high temperatures can damage the delicate omega-3 fatty acids that are so wonderful for you.
Seek out organic lavender. If you don’t, you will be steeping pesticides into your pudding, too!
Chia seeds are the most concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids in the plant kingdom (even more than salmon!). Omega-3 fatty acids tame inflamed tissues in the body—the rotten symptom of many diseases. The tiny seeds have the ability to absorb over ten times their volume of water, keeping your body hydrated and appetite satiated.
In addition to lavender’s soothing ability to lift your spirits, it also eases gassy and upset stomachs, wards off viruses and parasites, and can calm rheumatic pain and inflammation. Using the tea as a compress is said to relieve headaches and congestion.
The scent of lavender is an uplifting, nontoxic air freshener for your home. Throw a handful of lavender in a pot with water, and let it simmer away on the stove uncovered. The fragrant purple blossoms will infuse every room with their aroma, freeing you from sticking your nose in the bag of flowers every few minutes for a luxurious sniff (I’m guilty).