chia seed breakfast pudding/porridge & sugar-free challenge day 1 recap

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Good afternoon my sugar-free sweethearts!

So yesterday marked the first day of the Sugar-Free Challenge hosted by Alex @ Spoonful of Sugar-Free. Basically what the challenge is all about is not consuming any added sugars or sweeteners for 10 days which included even unrefined sweeteners like coconut sugar, stevia and agave. Since I don’t eat a lot of refined sugar but I definitely make use of unrefined varieties, I thought it might be fun to reset my palate and see what kinds of snacks, meals and recipes I could come up with without the sweet stuff.

So the first day actually passed without too much of a hitch! Smoothie for breakfast, no added sugar. Salad for lunch, some raw pasta with tempeh for dinner and berries and tea for dessert.

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Dandy Blend without my usual stevia. Still pretty delicious!  And my smoothie topped with sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat groats, berries and coconut.

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My salad. This is a recycled picture but it was basically the same but with a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing. In the mix is avocado, hemp seeds, dulse flakes, nutritional yeast, cherry tomatoes and arugula.

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My pasta with tempeh. YUM. Recipe to come because that tempeh was sooo good!

The interesting part was that my house is not as well stocked in the fruit department as it usually is, meaning I couldn’t just grab an apple or a banana on my way to work to help satisfy any sweet craving I might have later in the day. I was forced to be creative and break out of my snack rut. I ended up bringing some diced bell peppers with a cashew-based chipotle pepper dip and some rice cakes with raw almond butter. Now you might be thinking- why exactly did I think these were good options to help satisfy/combat my sweet tooth when they are not very sweet at all? Well I figured having more substantial snacks would help. Snacks that have a bit more fat and protein in them would make my snack have more staying power and would also feel like an indulgence without the sugar. So while not very creative, these snacks helped me combat sweet cravings and were a nice change from my usual!

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Cashew chipotle dip

Now, moving on to the real purpose of this post- to share a sugar-free breakfast recipe (hehe that rhymes…awesome)!

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I concocted this chia seed pudding/porridge back when I was doing my cleanse but never got around to posting it. Mostly because I never got a good picture of it. And while these pictures are by no means gourmet looking, I assure you this pudding/porridge is a delicious and filling way to start your day!

It took me a long time to find a chia pudding I liked. What makes this one different?

I decided to blend some of the chia seeds with the milk, then stir some in whole after blending. This not only created a super thick pudding, but prevented the pudding from feeling too clumpy in my mouth while still having some texture variations. I’m so glad I discovered this trick because I wanted to like chia puddings so badly!

More of a breakfast chia pudding rather than a dessert one, thus pudding/porridge features dates or raisins to help sweeten it up along with some vanilla, cinnamon and coconut. It’s a pretty neutral base so feel free to mix it up! Add some cacao powder for a chocolatey morning, mix up the toppings, add some chopped nuts. Go craaaazay!

I chose to top mine with some strawberries, coconut flakes, cacao nibs for some crunch and frozen bananas. I loved the frozen bananas. We are going through a heat wave here so the chilliness of them was appreciated. Not to mention they tasted like little bites of ice cream scattered through my breakfast. A very good thing :)

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Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding/Porridge (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

It took me a while to find a chia seed pudding I liked- and I finally concocted one that I not only liked, but would gladly eat everyday!

  • 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp chia seeds, divided
  • 1 cup homemade almond milk (or store-bought would work!)
  • 1 medjool date or 2 tbsp raisins, pitted (dates) and soaked
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • splash vanilla extract or dash of vanilla powder

Blend all ingredients except 1 tbsp chia seeds until smooth. Taste here and decide if you need to add more of anything to get it to your preferred level of sweetness. It was sweet enough for me though with the above measurements.

Stir in the 1 tbsp of chia seeds after blending and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 min or overnight to thicken.

When thickened, finish with desired toppings and enjoy. I like nut butters, berries, bananas, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, etc.

I am submitting this recipe to Allergy-Free Wednesday and Wellness Weekends.

That’s it for me today. Sending well wishes to everyone else participating in this challenge and of course to all you lovely people reading!

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44 thoughts on “chia seed breakfast pudding/porridge & sugar-free challenge day 1 recap

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  3. This challenge would break my soul. There’s no way I could have/could still survive this month without sugar!

    Loving the blended chia trick though.

  4. Good for you for cutting out sugar! I don’t think I could handle it without even stevia! You are a brave soul! That being said, your meals don’t look like you are missing anything!

    • Thanks Somer! It’s amazing how much you can actually do with the natural sweetness of fruits and dates when you don’t have anything else to work with. Makes me realize how often I unnecessarily add sweetness with stevia and other sweeteners to food! Not that they don’t have their place, it’s just a good reminder to see how good simple foods can be :)

  5. Lovely recipe, I would definitely prefer this to a regular chia pudding, i dont like the texture of a pure chia pudding and always mix in some oats or buckwheat and blend some of it too.
    I actually live on very little sugar in my diet, i do not even eat fruit that much except in my green breakfast smoothies. this morning though i had a wonderful turmeric tofu scramble and i am not planning on eating any fruit except maybe an apple if i get hungry. it has made a big change to my energy levels and diet overall because i used to LIVE off fruit (dried and fresh).

    • Thats awesome you eat so little sugar! I just love fruit so much I have a hard time giving it up! I’m trying to choose lower sugar fruits now especially for my smoothies and I make sure to toss veggies in to try and balance it out. I really need to make a tofu scramble soon, I havent had one in so long!

      You are an inspiration :)

  6. Every time I see your dandy blend, it reminds me I need to try it. I’m always looking for good coffee alternatives. I have this stuff called Cafe Orzo, which is italian roasted barley that you brew just like coffee. It has a bitter coffee taste, but pretty good. It does have gluten in it. I’m not gluten intolerant, but Ive been trying to limit my gluten intake anyways.

    What are dulse flakes? Your salad looks like my almost daily salads! Gotta love nooch on top of salads and everything else!

    Good for you on the no-sugar challenge. I wish I had the power to do that…I saw a few other bloggers taking part, but I’m not in a really good place to be taking part in something like that. Maybe one day soon…

    • I’m almost out of Dandy blend which is making me sad, what will I do without it?? Try ordering it online! Thats what I did.

      Dulse flakes are just the sea veg dulse ground into little bits so you can use it as a condiment or stir it into sauces. Great for trace minerals! Gives everything a great savoury flavour. Yes nutritinal yeast makes everything tasty- my salads always have loads sprinkled on :)

      Thanks for your support on the sugar-free challenge! It’s been ok so far and a great way to reset my intake with sugar. Sweeteners have been sneaking into my diet more than they should lately!

  7. I love that you are doing a Sugar Free Challenge! I have found that I’m adding natural sweeteners more than I normally would in my recipes and should probably take a break from that. Looks like you had a great start!

    That chia pudding sounds brilliant! I would never think to blend the seeds and milk together. I love that idea. :) The toppings look perfect too, what a great looking bowl!

    Good luck with this challenge! I know you’ll rock it and write about some super creative and inspiring meals! :)

    • Thanks dude! Ya I know what you mean- I like to think I am pretty good with sweetners and only using whole ones, but they are creeping in more than they should so this seemed like a good way to get myself back on track!

      I love ending them because it creates a more porridge like consistency which I like much more!

      Thanks for you support :)

  8. sounds like your sugar-free challenge is going well! yay! and that breakfast porridge looks wonderful! I love the strawberries in there — not only do they give it a gorgeous color, but a sweet pop too! yum! thanks for sharing! Best of luck on day 2!! :)

    • I love colourful foods and this chia pudding, while delicious, looks a little bland. I’m glad you appreciated the pop of colour too :)

      Thanks for your well wishes! Day 2 is going well (although a little tricky since I got some food penpal stuff in the mail- I wan’t to try it all! lol.

  9. I found out when I started taking multivitamins, my sugar cravings lessened considerably! (I used to keep 6 pints of Ben & Jerrys in the freezer and eat peanut butter with chocolate chips straight from the jar.) I have chia seeds and have to try the pudding idea; I also read about a strawberry chia jam at http://www.healthfulsense.com. Keep up the good work, looking forward to more sugar-free eats!

    • I’ve read about strawberry chia jam too- something I’ve always meant to try but never get around to it! I don’t eat a lot of bread so that’s probably one reason but I have had a craving for banana bread lately- maybe I’ll try it out then :)

      Good for you for quitting that ben and jerry’s habit! I used to eat a ton of ice cream too…now that craving is usually satisfies by good old frozen bananas :)

      • I don’t eat a lot of bananas, frozen or not, but I do like my green chocolate avocado shake, which uses about 1/4 of a banana for sweetness and a bit of sugar. Maybe next time I’ll try it with no added sugar. :)

        You know it’s funny that I’m saying how I eat less sweets, and today I end up posting about ice cream cake, lol!

  10. It ALL looks delicious, Gabby! Like your chia seed blend trick – will try myself. I usually don’t use sugar myself – just my beloved NuNaturals stevia. Will make the pudding tomorrow. Thanks!

    • I admire your no sugar lifestyle- I love stevia but I find the flavours of maple syrup, honey and agave to just be irreplaceable. I try to limit it though so this challenge hasn’t been a huge change for me which is good. It’s more just reading labels super careful!

      Hope you like the pudding :)

  11. I can’t remember if I like chia pudding or not so I’ll have to give this a go. I’m really interested in your sugar free challenge. I’ve given up sugar several times and always go through a funny detox where my skin gets this sunburn red scab on it. Not very attractive but it happened every time. I don’t have much sugar but I’m reluctant to give it up on and off as I’d get more detox symptoms than I like. The first time I gave it up I also got this weird itching all over my body. It was horrible. I ate a lot of sugar back then though so it probably wouldn’t be as bad as that now if I did it again. The only thing I eat with sugar in each week is half a tin of baked beans. I have these with a veggie burger on a Saturday. I could just make my own but it’s my no cooking day.

    • Well it sounds like you don’t really need a detox- your diet is super clean! I experienced pretty bad detox symptoms when I did my cleanse back in April/May but it was manageable since it was only a few days and it got me off caffeine which was great! I figure everyone has to listen to their own body- if something doesn’t work for you, don’t do it!

      Thanks for your comment! I hope you like my blended version of the pudding. Much nicer in my opinion ;)

    • It’s such a good thing to do especially with summer being here and in full swing! I find there’s never a good time I just have to do it! I tend to pick really bad times- like when I get stressed out and all I want is something super sweet and bad for me. Oh well, in that case, it’s probably the best time ;)

  12. I am so excited to follow along your sugar free week – I love seeing what you come up with – sadly I have never had chia pudding, I can’t wait to try out your “tried & true” version – as always thanks for sharing Gabby!

    • Thanks Heather! I hope you like this pudding! You might actually like it without blending it- I’ve always felt like the weird one for not liking more traditional chia puddings (can chia puddings ever be called traditional???)

      But I like this one so now I can have more chia in my life :)

    • You’re so right! I try to limit my intake too but sometimes it sneaks in there when I’m not paying attention. It doesn’t help working at a cafe either with loads of sugary syrups and drinks calling your name.

      I used to drink coffee black all the time although it took some training for my taste buds to accept it! Dandy Blend is a bit sweeter than coffee I find so it’s not quite as harsh as black coffee.

  13. I might need to try your trick- I also really, really want to love chia pudding. I like it a little, and I’m working on it, but the texture is a little much. Your pudding looks yummy, and so does the tempeh! Can’t wait for the recipe!

    I hope you’re having an awesome day! Take care!

    • Ya there’s something about all those whole chia seeds floating around that I can’t get past! I find blending some up helps it get nice and thick which is better than the weird giggly goop I was trying to eat before. I’m still going to try and like it the other way too- I don’t understand what other people see that I don’t! Glad I’m not the only one :)

      Hope you’re having a wonderful day yourself!

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