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Misadventures in Chia: Crunchy Little Balls

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Misadventures in Chia: Crunchy Little Balls

I’ll admit, introducing a new dessert by saying “Here’s a yummy pudding with crunchy little balls in it” to four boys  was a strategic error. A HUGE strategic error from which there is no recovery or return. I don’t mean to offend any readers with delicate sensibilities, but if you don’t immediately know what I’m talking about, then you definitely do not have an 8-year-old, 10-year-old, 13-year-old or 44-year-old little boy at home. That’s all I’m saying. ‘Cause “crunchy little balls” will last them ALL NIGHT LONG. It’s the verbal gift from mom that just keeps on giving.

But it was my first attempt to cook with or serve trendy new ingredient (buh-bye kale, so 2013!) chia seeds to my clan. I made this chocolate chia pudding recipe, and knowing that some family members (HELLO HUSBAND) are particularly tentative about new textures/flavors/dishes/shirts-I-gift-for-Christmas I was trying to make it sound FUN. And chia combined with liquid makes these tiny gelatinous balls that are like mini-tapioca or the boba in bubble tea, but with a little crunch to them.

For what it’s worth, I liked the pudding. The texture is weird but cool, and it was very chocolatey.

photo credit to Robynowitz at

The fam, not so much. Three out of four did NOT like it, and I’m pretty sure the 8-year-old was just being nice to me. My middle “blessing” actually said “Mom,with this dish you have ruined the concept of pudding. Ruined it.” So dramatic…can’t imagine where he gets it.

So, clearly, I’ll be forcing them to eat the HUGE bag of chia seeds I got at Costco yesterday as often as I can, in as many ways as I can imagine. I’m quite looking forward to it. {cue evil laugh}

(What’s that you say, perhaps I should have purchased a slightly smaller bag for my first foray into chia cuisine, to be more reasonable, rational, moderate? Really? Have you met me?)

If I can’t convert them, I can always just grow a new clay family. Maybe this guy.

chia guy

I wonder if the seeds are cheaper this way from Amazon?

PS – Kale, I’m just kidding. We actually all love you, you’re not going anywhere.

6 responses »

  1. Tara, you remain my hero. Good times! My boys refer to chia seeds as “ladybug spots” – but crunchy little balls is obviously far superior.

    Here’s our fave way to use it, since you may have a bit leftover after your chocolate pudding. 🙂

    • Honestly, Stephanie, my husband is the MOST tentative of the bunch, and ladybug spots would definitely not have helped him. But I think it’s adorable! I will have to try that recipe for sure, I’m thinking the texture will be less noticeable. But not till I have some good berries on hand for additional distraction! 🙂

  2. Hahaha! “A verbal gift from mom that just keeps on giving…” Tara, I adore you and honor your bravery in motherhood and confidence in experimenting with new things (Costco-sized bag!?). I wish you best of luck in your future chia-seeds adventures!

  3. Now I know what was used many years ago by some Asian friends who made pudding with what we called fish eyes. Also in soup. They had their own name and I never made the connection until now. Thank you Tara!

  4. This is great… I hope you have seen this SNL skit, if not, stop what you are doing, and watch it…

    • Oh, that SNL skit is a long-time personal favorite for sure! Especially since I’m also a huge NPR fan/nerd. I can’t wait til my boys are old enough for me to let them “accidentally” discover this gem! Thanks for the comment, and the reminder.


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