Monday, December 10, 2012

Vegan Chia Seed Kheer - Dairy And Gluten Free!

Vegan Kheer made with chia seeds.
Each serving provides over 1 g of omega-3 and 4 g of fiber!

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My absolute favorite way to finish an Indian meal is to eat kheer, a rice pudding flavored with cardamom, saffron and garnished with nuts and raisins. But kheer is made with dairy, which I can no longer tolerate. White rice is also featured in traditional kheer, which doesn't add much nutritional value. I wanted to create a healthy version of this wonderful dish that I can enjoy and feel good about eating. I think I did it!

This recipe uses chia seeds and cashew milk to create the creamy pudding. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and are a good source of fiber and calcium. Dates and a little stevia are used to naturally sweeten this dessert without using processed sugar. Feel free to adjust the amount of cardamom and saffron to suit your taste . 

Serve with Vegan Saag Aloo or any of your favorite Indian food recipes.

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Chia Seed Kheer
Raw Vegan, Gluten Free, Suitable for a Raw Food Cleanse
[makes six (1/2-cup) servings]
Requires high speed blender
Allow 1 1/2 days for soaking and thickening

1/2 cup raw cashews
Water to soak cashews
3 medjool dates
2 1/4 cups water
pinch saffron threads
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or to taste)
2 packets stevia powder
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoon slightly crushed pistachios
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons seedless raisins

Soak the cashews in water for 6 hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, soak the dates in 2 1/4 cups of water with a pinch of saffron for 6 hours or overnight. 

Soak cashews
Soak dates and saffron threads in water 

Drain the cashews and rinse. Place them in a high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec. 
Place the dates and all of their soak water with saffron threads in the blender.
Add vanilla, cardamom and stevia and process until it forms a smooth cashew milk. 
Taste the cashew milk and add additional cardamom or stevia if desired.

Process to make sweetened cashew milk

Pour the cashew milk in a 1-quart container and stir in the chia seeds. Stir vigorously with a fork for 1 minute.

Let the mixture sit for another 15 minutes and stir again until the chia seeds are well blended and separated. 

Keep stirring until chia seeds are separated

Refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the chia seeds to absorb the cashew milk and the pudding to thicken.

To serve, place pudding in small bowls and top with pistachios, almonds and raisins.

Top with nuts and raisins and serve!

Per serving: 155 calories, 8 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1.1 g omega-3 and 1.7 g omega-6 fatty acids, 4 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber and 3 mg of sodium.

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