Chia seeds are a healthy girl’s secret weapon. Use them to thicken sauces, dressings, and soups, make baked goods vegan by swapping eggs with a chia version, and reap healthy omega-3 fatty acids with every bite. But their most well-known (and delicious) claim to fame may just be in chia pudding–a tapioca like treat. And this red velvet chia seed pudding with a secret healthy ingredient is about to rock your world.
That healthy ingredient? It’s a root vegetable with some serious health properties.
The Health Benefits of Beets
The humble beet root may not look like much, but its a vegetable that has been tried and tested for its potent antioxidant powers and ability to help promote natural detoxification in the liver.
Beets contain unique kinds of phytonutrients called betalains. These plant pigments, which provide fruits and vegetables colors ranging from vibrant yellow to violet, are responsible for beet’s superior antioxidant properties. Particularity, beets contain betanin and vulgaxanthin, two betalains compounds which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
Beets are known to help support phase-II of the liver’s detoxification pathway system: a two-step process. Phase-II is a metabolic step where cells link up and neutralize toxins to be excreted from the body.
This process requires the enzyme family glutathione-S-transferase (GST) to function properly. During the detoxification process, GSTs match toxins with glutathione to be neutralized and removed from the body. Beet’s betalains have been shown to trigger GST activity, therefore promoting the body’s natural detoxification system.
Beets are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals including folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin C and B6, iron, and fiber.
A Dessert Dream: Chia Seed Pudding + Beets
Adding nutrient-dense beets to a delicious and creamy chia seed pudding with cacao powder, maple syrup, almond milk, and chia seeds is a delicious way to have a healthy treat.
Unlike say, a regular slice of red velvet cake, this red velvet chia seed pudding is bursting with healthy fats and skin-loving ingredients. The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds are associated with reduced inflammation both within the body and on the skin’s surface. In fact, consuming these fats is associated with a reduction is psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, as well as acne.
Unlike traditional chia seed pudding, this pudding is blended rendering a creamy texture and bite. Because it lacks the gelatinous and goopy blobs of regular chia seed pudding, this red velvet version may please even the pickiest of chia pudding-haters.
This chia seed pudding is delicious served with coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips, and cacao nibs. It’s a perfect way to treat yourself or someone you love.
- 1 small red beet
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- 1 ½ Tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Scrub beet and cut off stalk, leaving the skin on to retain color. Place the beet in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and boil for 15-25 minutes, or until beet can easily be pierced with a fork.
- Remove beet from water and let slightly cool. Gently peel skin off beet using your hands or a pairing knife. Cut beet into chunks to add to blender.
- Add all ingredients for chia pudding to a high-speed blender: chopped beet, almond milk, cacao powder, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blend on high for 30 seconds, or until mixture is combined and beets are fully blended.
- Pour into four jars and cover with airtight lids.
- Place in the refrigerator to set for at least six hours, or overnight.
- Garnish with coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or chocolate chips before serving. Enjoy!
Notes – this recipe was inspired by Jessie of Faring Well
Related On Organic Authority
How To Have a Chia Seed Pudding and a Smoothie at the Same Time
23 Chia Seed Recipes So Easy You’ll Want to Make Them All Right Now
How (And Why!) To Use Chia Seeds in All Your Favorite Recipes
Photos by Kate Gavlick