We ate some shite in the 80s.
This was a time of experimental ‘space’ food. A whole fried breakfast in a foil wrapper.
It was the age of convenience. Powdered everything. Burgers in onion gravy, in a tin. The golden age of squeezy cheese.
This was the period of exotic food exploration, whereby the extravagant would try fancy new foods from foreign climes that blew the minds of their neighbours.
“It’s Chinese. It’s called a stir fry.”
If you were posh you got prawn cocktail for a starter. If you were super posh you got orange juice as a starter. Mushrooms in breadcrumbs were for the common folk.
But life seemed so much simpler then. Food was starting to become more sugary and hyper palatable, but in general was still pretty simple.
Stuff came in paper bags, tins or glass bottles (which you coveted for the 10p returns fee).
Lots of food policies and decisions were made that we now know were detrimental to our health.
Today we have more knowledge but too many choices. We live in an age of hyperpalatable foods, nutrient deserts (not DESSERTS), and in a space where we are overfed yet massively under nourished.
Now, I don’t want to return to the 80s. Yes, we had Magnum PI and the A Team. Fireball gobstoppers and popping candy. But, we also had New Romantics and white dog poo.
We, the children of the 80s, have failed the younger generations. We didn’t keep our eye on the ball. We assumed the sins of the past would remain in the past. But lo! what is that in the distance?
It’s a kid with a mullet. And not wearing it in a clever, ironic way either. He thinks it’s cool.
Shame on us all!
Anyway, there’s one food that stands out amongst the foods of the 80s for many, and that is Angel Delight.
The gooey, powdered dessert of champions.
Chocolate was the best flavour. If you argue this then it just confirms that you are an idiot.
And if you are shouting at the screen, arguing the case for Butterscotch, then you are nothing more than a deviant. That was my Dad’s flavour of choice, but he was blown up by a torpedo and I suspect there was lasting damage.
The question I have asked myself for some time was ‘is there a healthier, nutrient dense, ancestrally aligned version of Angel Delight?’
The answer could be Chia Seed Pudding.
Caveat. Whenever someone offers you a ‘healthier’ version of junk food always enter into this situation with lowered expectations. Sugar is like crack to our brain. In fact it shares many of the same effects. There is a reason why we gravitate to sugary foods. It lights up our dopamine centres of the brain, is addictive, and not very satiating. Healthier foods don’t do this quite so much, and our palates have grown to expect that sugar hit. So give it some time.
Now, I like Chia seed pudding. It’s a great alternative to other more conventional breakfasts and desserts. It’s rich, thick, gooey, and filling. It’s also a perfect vehicle for other flavourings and tasty additions.
You can view it as the comfort food equivalent to a blank canvas of flavours. The limit again is really only your imagination and the human gag reflex.
Chia seeds are pretty sustainable and nutrient dense.
They are packed full of omega 3 fatty acids, fatty acids that we all could do with more of. It’s mainly in the form of ALA, which sadly is not as easily digestible as others. So whilst it’s a great additive to your diet, don’t expect it to meet all your needs.
There is a good amount of protein in there too, even more when we add a quality protein powder to it.
It’s also packed full of fibre. Not the sort that leaves you running to the toilet, this is the soluble kind of fibre that’s easily fermented and absorbed, and feeds your gut microbiome for healthier digestive system. But be warned, if you are not used to this kind of fibre, go easy at first, as it can cause a little gastrointestinal distress to newbies.
With the combination of fibre and protein we end up with a pretty filling pudding, which is great for avoiding overeating.
The recipe is stupidly easy, and at it’s base level just consists of 3 ingredients: Chia seeds, ‘milk’ and protein powder. As I said earlier, you can make this as extravagant as you like.
The ‘milk’ is really just some kind of liquid. Any plant based milk works; oat, coconut, almond, cashew etc, all giving different flavours and textures.
You can also use the dairy of your choice. As we are adding protein powder to it you could simply settle for water instead.
I’m adding flavoured protein for both flavour and to add extra protein to the dish. It’s pretty bland without flavourings and we mentioned last week about the protein leverage hypothesis, getting adequate protein has a whole host of benefits.
I am obviously using chocolate, but you can use whatever flavour protein powder you like. You can probably get butterscotch too, for the sickos.
I also like to add a spoonful of cacao to mine for extra chocolatey goodness and the nutrient boost it gives. I also put in a good drop of coffee kombucha for the gut health properties and to give it a zing but this is just my preference. You can add whatever takes your fancy.
My choice of protein powder is sweetened with stevia, so I don’t need to add any sweetener to the mix. If you need to, feel free to add some to yours.
Chia Seed Protein Pudding
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 200 ml 'milk' of choice
- 1 scoop protein powder of choice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cacao powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp coffee kombucha (optional)
- sweetener (if needed)
- Blend up the protein into the milk. If you try to whisk it when it's in the bowl with the other ingredients it just ends up in a clumpy, gooey mess.
- Put the chia seeds into a bowl and and pour on the protein/milk.
- Add the vanilla extract and whisk it all together. I also add cacao and kombucha to mine. Add sweetener if you feel the need.
- Place in the fridge or a cool space for at least 4 hours, ideally 8 hours or over night.
- After an hour or so give the mixture another whisk. You'll find much of the chia seeds have clumped together. This will stop some of the seeds from absorbing the liquid and may leave them crunchy.
- After the required time take the mixture out of the fridge and give it a stir. If there is excess liquid you can either remove it by pouring it off or mixing it in. It all depends on how thick you want your pudding. If it is too thick you can add a little more milk and stir it in.
- You can eat it straight out of the bowl like an animal or, if you are feeling fancy, spoon it out in glass jars like a boho hipster, add fruit, cream, cacao nibs, coconut, whatever the hell you like, and enjoy.
That’s it. I like to add berries and some whole whipped cream, then dust it with more cacao and sprinkle on some crushed, toasted almonds. But you do you.
For those that care, it’s about 250-300 calories, depending on the milk you choose.
Some people struggle with the texture a little. I love it, it’s like a mysterious rice pudding. However, if you are not keen, simply stick it in the blender and give a good whizz. It will make it smoother and maybe more Angel delight-like.
Will this replace Ambrosia rice pudding or original Angel Delight?
Probably not. But for those wanting a hit of rich, decadent comfort food without the excess sugars and additives, it’s a nice option.
How would you have yours?
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