How to Make Simple Chia Pudding

The base of this pudding is made out of ch-ch-ch-chia, the same seeds that turned that ceramic sheep from the 1980's green. A stable for some Latin American indigenous groups, but over the last few years chia seeds have become rather popular and easily available, and there is plenty of good reason for this. Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients, containing omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and minerals including calcium up to three times more than a serving of milk. Unlike flax seed, they don’t have to be ground in order for you to absorb the nutrients.

Superfood? Perhaps.

chia seeds

I’m sold on this new-to-me ingredient and have taken steps to stock my pantry. Chia can be used as an egg substitute in baking or merely sprinkled into smoothies but I’ve been enjoying them daily in yogurt with fresh blueberries and now a chilled, creamy pudding.

Thanks to Guy of Bondi Harvest, who whipped up a chia pudding in one of his recent recipe videos, I decided to try chia pudding. It was an instant, love-at-first-bite reaction.

I love tapioca and rice pudding so it was no stretch to accommodate for the texture. I can see how some may find it unpleasant; I found it fascinating. Not only does the delicious chia pudding offer plenty of health benefits, but it comes together with incredible ease and makes for a convenient snack. My husband and I have been making it in a jar, shaking up four ingredients – almond milk, chia seed, chai spice and maple syrup and then taking it to work the next day for an afternoon snack. The seeds absorb up to ten times their weight in water and expand in the tummy to give you a satisfied, full feeling and a shot of energy! Sufficient to say, I totally get why they are all the rage in the health world.

My favorite flavour combinations so far are:

  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Chai spice

Here is the basic recipe. Feel free to swap in any milk that suits your fancy.


  • 2 tsp of maple syrup
  • pinch of chai leaves (or homemade chai spice)
  • ½ cup of almond milk
  • 4 tsp of chia seeds 


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pint jar. Cover the jar with a lid and give it a vigorous shake.
  2. Chill for about an hour, then return to the jar and shake it up. Let chill for at least 4 hours and overnight is even better.
  3. Chia seeds will expand and turn into pudding the consistency of applesauce (it won't get really thick).
  4. Serve cold with sliced fruit or toasted nuts on top.
Chia Pudding

Vegan Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

I have little to show for my Ukrainian heritage except cabbage rolls. Cabbage rolls, or golubsti, are to Ukrainians as lasagna is to Italians. Traditionally, cabbage rolls are based in rice, cabbage, beef and pork.  Obviously, I leave out the meat and jazz it up with some lentils, and I trade the white rice for brown for extra fibre and protein.  A well-kept secret to make your cabbage rolls perfectly uke-credible:

First, the cabbage heads must be cored, then frozen for at least two days before cooking, then defrosted for another day. Attempting to remove the leaves while fresh is a frustrating undertaking. They will rip and tear and you will be lucky to salvage a full leaf or two large enough to make a creditable roll. 

Second, like all good casseroles, cabbage rolls are best enjoyed the day after preparation, and freeze wonderfully. With all the prep work involved in this culinary undertaking, I recommend making enough to freeze for a later date.

Strap on your babushkas, folks, and try to ignore the sound of your Ukrainian foremothers rolling over in their graves for altering a time honoured cultural mainstay. 

cabbage rolls.JPG

Vegan Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

Sauce Ingredients
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes 
½ cup vegetable broth
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbs white vinegar

Filling Ingredients
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp thyme
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup tomato sauce 
1-1 ½ cup cooked brown lentils
1-1 ½ cups cooked short grain brown rice
1 medium head green cabbage, frozen and thawed


1. Freeze and thaw your cabbage. This takes a few days, so plan in advance.

2. Make the lentils and brown rice in advance. I cooked ½ cup each dried lentils and rice.

3. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium pot, add the minced garlic and sautee for 3-5 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Make the filling: Heat 1 tbs water or oil in a large sauce pan and saute the onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until onion are soft and transparent. And remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add lots of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

5. Cut the core out of your cabbage and carefully peel off the leaves. Rinse the leaves in a large strainer and shake off excess water.

6. Preheat oven to 350 F.

7. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch glass pan.

8. One leaf at a time, cut the core out of the cabbage leaf and fill with ¼ to ½ cup filling. Roll it up and place in the glass dish.

9. When all of the leaves are done, cover with sauce.

10. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.