Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

I think you should know that I'm drinking pumpkin spice coffee while I write this blog post about Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding. 2016 is becoming the year of the pumpkin. I usually bake a loaf of pumpkin bread, have my annual Starbucks pumpkin scone, and move on - but this year is different.

Perhaps it's the influence of FLF Coach Jenn, who is maybe the biggest pumpkin lover I've ever met. Since I'm not alone in my pumpkin obsession, I feel like I can just let my pumpkin freak flag fly now. 

I found the inspiration for this Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding from the Tone It Up girls and modified it slightly to reduce the sugar and increase the protein. (That's just what Fat Loss Foodies do;)  Now I have another high-protein, high-fiber pumpkin recipe for the Ultimate Pumpkin Recipe Round-Up

"CHA CHA CHIA"

Chia seeds are a little overhyped in my opinion, but there's no denying they do have some impressive nutrition stats for such tiny seeds: 

Just 2 tablespoons (about 1 ounce) of chia seeds is a whopping ~10 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat, 5 of which are Omega-3s.

Chia seeds also absorb liquid like crazy and turn into a gel; you can use them as egg substitutes in baked goods and add them to smoothies, oatmeal, or puddings like this one. I used to have major texture issues with chia seeds, but for me, the key was adding some kind of thickener to the recipe like yogurt, pumpkin puree, etc. (Just straight liquid and chia seeds? Oh no.  Cannot do.)

When I came home from teaching BODYFLOW 74 yesterday morning, I was so happy I had this in the fridge ready to go! A nice post-workout pick-me-up with an iced green tea.

I think this pudding would make a great dessert, and I may try this later with a little lightly-sweetened whipped cream on top ala pumpkin pie! Speaking of which: is it Thanksgiving yet? :) 

Serves 3 - Adapted from Tone It Up

INGREDIENTS

1/4 c. chia seeds

1 c. pumpkin puree

1 serving vanilla whey protein powder (I used Tera's Whey Bourbon Vanilla) 

1 1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbs. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine completely. Pour into small mason jars or serving dishes and cover with saran wrap. 

2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Top with pumpkin seeds or cacao nibs and enjoy! 

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING:

188 calories, 6 g fat, 20 g carbs (9 g fiber), 12 g. protein