The worst part about being on a low-calorie diet is that the fatty foods of your past taunt you, like the king-sized pack of Peanut Butter Cups sitting in my freezer. I didn’t buy them for me. I bought them for my husband; but late at night, the siren song of waxy, chocolate covered peanut butter gently sings “Alllyssssssssa. Alysssssssssaaaaa. Come eat me!” One of the only ways I’m able to stick to a low -calorie diet is to get creative, and for me, that means finding substitutions for fatty foes of my past. There’s a lot of buzz about Chia seeds right now. They’re rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin, and zinc. When Chia Seeds are added to water, they form a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar — super helpful for those with insulin resistance like myself.
Because of Chia’s natural gelling proprties, when I saw Chia Pudding on Pinterest, I had to try it. However, that recipe was for vanilla, and while there are many things in life that are fantastically vanilla, I wanted to kick it up a notch. Enter my good, low-calorie friend, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter, and cocoa powder. I also had some vanilla beans buried in the pantry, so I decided to put those to good use. The best part about this recipe is that it is EASY – like super easy. You cannot screw this up. I promise. Even if you don’t know the recipe for ice cubes, you’ll master this pudding. It’s also low-calorie and low fat, coming in at 80 calories for about a 1/2 cup serving. That doesn’t seem big, but the Chia seeds are so filling, you’ll definitely get a bang for your buck.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Milk, you can use either 2% cows milk, like I did, or almond milk, soy milk, rice milk. (Please note substitutions will slightly impact the calories.)
For the sweetener, feel free to use your choice of either stevia, sugar, honey or splenda. I chose Sun Crystals which are a blend of Stevia and Cane Sugar. You can also adjust the amount of sweetener. I prefer only semi sweet desserts, so I used a modest amount of stevia.
See? I told you it was easy. The nutrition stats are included below, but remember, if you make substitutions like using honey or soy milk, the calorie count, sugar and fat will change. This was a yummy treat that definitely tastes a lot more decadent than it really is! Enjoy!