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I’m a big believer that an important part of a healthy diet is treating yourself. I think if you cut out all treats, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. So many times, I would start a healthy lifestyle (normally on January 1st, because I’m a sucker for the clean slate that a new year brings), and I would be so super dooper committed. I would throw all the treats in my house in the trash. I would stop putting honey in my tea. I wouldn’t even walk past the dessert section of the grocery store. I would be so “good”.
And that would last about three days. Then I’d have a bad day at work, and I’d find myself in the corner of the kitchen, shoveling handfuls of chocolate chips in my mouth while crying over how I was being so “bad.” I’d feel guilty and like I’d ruined everything and could never be healthy. It was a nasty cycle of restriction and self-hate.
It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure out that the key to me sticking to a healthy lifestyle was to incorporate the foods I loved, just in different ways. Either by eating them in smaller portions, having them less often, or by adjusting them to make them into a healthier version. A healthy lifestyle isn’t all-or-nothing. The healthiest of diets live somewhere in between the extremes of eating nothing but kale and nothing but fast food. As with most things, the extremes are, at best, not sustainable, and at worst, dangerous.
Forbidding yourself from eating foods you like and enjoy is not going to be a successful strategy for longterm health. No matter how “good” you promise yourself you’ll be. And that’s what we all want, isn’t it? Long term health?
Like I said, one of my favorite ways to treat myself without guilt is to tweak more decadent foods to have a healthier twist. It’s entirely possible to have a super delicious, super healthy dessert. I swear the phrase “healthy dessert” isn’t an oxymoron! And these chia pudding cups and one of me favorite healthier ways to treat myself. It’s little treats like these cups that help keep my healthy diet sustainable.
I know for some folks, the gel-like qualities of chia seeds are a major turn-off, and if that’s the case, these pudding cups aren’t for you. But I personally love, love, love how chia seeds get all thick and jelly. These chia pudding cups remind me of tapioca pudding—but a much healthier version. They’re so healthy that they could even just be a snack or a side dish instead of a dessert.
I used to make up a whole batch of these on the weekend, and then pack one in my lunch for work. I’d pull it out right around the 2:30pm crash, and it would be such a nice little treat to help me get through the rest of the day.
4 from 1 reviews
These chocolate chia pudding cups are a great way to treat yourself healthfully. Make up a bunch on the weekend for treats all weekend long!
Use whatever storage cups you have available, my favorites are these four-ounce jelly jars.
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Love your recipes :). I made this a few days ago, if you blend it, it’s smooth like traditional pudding for those that don’t love the chia texture ( like me). I’m trying to avoid dairy so this gives me a dairy like treat.
Could you use coconut milk?
So cute and mini! I love the little single serving sizes I am going to try these with coconut milk and have them for work this week.
Last night I was just telling myself I need to make another batch of these! Great minds! ;)
I was thinking of subbing dates in place of the maple syrup (although I am not sure how big the sugar trade-off would be) blended with the milk first but seeing the comment about blending it all and getting a more traditional pudding texture- I may just try it that way :)
That should work! My recommendation is to pour a bit of boiling water over the dates first, let them rest until the dates are really soft, then blend. That helps it be really smooth and not gritty.
Hmmm… this might work to help use up the TWO large bags of chia seeds I found in the pantry last weekend (no idea how they got there).
Sounds delicious. How long will they keep in the fridge for?
We’ve had them in the fridge for a week with no issues—they might even last longer (but we eat them before then!).
These look delicious. I might try both blended and unblended to see which I like better.
On the topic of healthy foods, I want to encourage everyone to read Nina Teicholz’s book, “The Big Fat Surprise – why butter, meat, and cheese belong in a healthy diet.” Through the author’s investigation into the last 60 years of nutrition studies and recommendations, this book challenges everything you think you know about healthy eating and nutrition.
Gonna ask a newbie question, are the chia seeds whole or ground or anything special?
I just jumped up and made this to chill overnight, so I can have it for breakfast AND take into work! SO quick and easy and even I had all the ingredients and utensils required!
I am sucker for anything comes with chocolate. And they look so chocolatey, and delicious. :-)
Oh yummmmm these look delicious and the perfect swap for regular chocolate pudding. :) We’re definitely going to try this. Not until recently had I ever even made morning oats, although I read about them constantly, and to be honest I was a little freaked by the whole jelly chia seed idea; however, I’ve come to learn I don’t mind it at all! Now we’ll see if the husband doesn’t mind the chia in the mix, and if he does, then I’ll do as the one gal suggested and give them a ride in a blender.
I absolutely love making chia seed pudding. I once did a sugar cleanse where I eliminated all types of sugar (including fructose) and vegetables high in sugar (sweet potatoes and carrots) for TWO weeks. Ahh typing that even makes me mad! I felt like a drug addict and all I wanted was anything sweet. I made it, but the last time I did a sugar cleanse I ate all the fruits and vegetables I wanted. Learned my lesson.
I have made two half batches of these since you posted the recipe. SO GOOD! I may try to blend them next time, because my husband isn’t as crazy about the texture!
Made these with almond milk and they didn’t really set. Still tasted delicious though! Being Aussie, we had access to honey with chopped macadamia nuts through it, so we used this. It made it extra special. Will try with traditional milk though, because I’d like to try them a bit firmer set!
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