June 2014 Challenge: Try Something New

Trying something new is often deliciously surprising. And fun! I think you will find that to be the case with this Chia Chocolate Pudding. When we make this pudding my silly daughters say “what’s that amazing smell…it’s chocolate!!”

So what’s “new” about this? Chia pudding has been trending for a while now, but I’m a little slow to try “trendy” things. In my quest for dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free sweet treats, I stumbled on this recipe from Oh She Glows. It’s perfect for us: I have celiac, my older daughter doesn’t tolerate dairy and I love to find ways to use fruit to sweeten foods so that serving dessert is just as nutrient-dense and dinner.

Why Try Something New?

Interestingly the current diet trends are all elimination diets. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, Paleo, and ketogenic diets are what I hear most from my clients, as well as what I see in the media. Purposeful or not, these diets are elimination diets, which means that one must find creative ways to create balanced meals. Inevitably this leads to trying foods one may not have tried before. For example, when I was diagnosed with celiac, I introduced quinoa, millet and teff into my diet for the first time. When we eliminated dairy, we discovered delicious ways to use coconut products in cooking and baking. More recently experimenting with grain-free diets led me to more nutritious breakfast options.

This month, make it a goal to try a new food each week. It’s a fun way to diversify the foods that you eat, and you may stumble on a new favorite recipe, like this one!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

This recipe is modified from Oh She Glows. Every ingredient is deliciously nourishing. Serve proudly at any time, even 10 o'clock in the morning.


  • 1-1 1/2 cups coconut milk or coconut cream or any variety of unsweetened milk that you use (Native Forest uses BPA-free cans)
  • 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder, such as Guittard
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon pure unsweetened vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (Spectrum is gluten-free)
  • A light shake of good quality salt
  • 5 ice cubes


  1. Place 1 cup of milk or cream into a VitaMix or high speed blender.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Blend until smooth. Add additional liquid if needed.
  4. Serve immediately or chill.
  5. You don't need to top this pudding with anything, but if you'd like to slivered almonds and fresh berries would be beautiful. The girls like to top their pudding with a marshmallow.
  6. Makes about 4-8 servings. Coconut milk and cream are quite rich, whereas almond milk makes a much lighter pudding.

Nutrition Details

Gluten-free, dairy-free, no added sugar

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