[Disclaimer: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.]
I just returned home from a crazy, short, wonderful weekend visiting family in northern Minnesota, complete with winter travel trouble and getting slapped in the face by -25F temperatures.
That would be -25F without windchill. Let’s not think of how high that negative number gets when you factor in the wind.
Traveling is usually a good way to get sick, especially in the winter, and after seeing countless friends and family come down with a winter flu, I’m doing what I can to keep my immune system working at its best. With this chia pudding, we’re combining the disease-fighting antioxidant power of blueberries with some vitamin C-filled lemon and the omega-3s of chia seeds for a cold-stopping, immune-boosting make-ahead breakfast with all the flavors of summer to take us to a happier place.
Blueberries’ bright blue color comes from anythocyanin pigments, which are powerful antioxidants shown to help improve memory, reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and fight cancer and heart disease. Because of their small size and natural growth, wild blueberries contain twice as many antioxidants, more intense flavor, and more concentrated nutrients than traditional cultivated blueberries. Unlike many other fruits, blueberries have a low glycemic index and a healthy amount of fiber (almost 4 grams per cup) that may help regulate blood sugar instead of raising it. Good news for year-round blueberry lovers: recent studies have shown that freezing blueberries does not damage their antioxidant powers. Wild blueberries grow most commonly in Canada and Maine, but you can find them in the freezer section of many grocery stores – I found mine at Trader Joe’s.
1 cup + 1/4 cup milk, divided (you can use regular milk or a dairy alternative)
3/4 cup wild blueberries
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Measure 1 cup milk into a pint-size jar
- In a small food processor, combine remaining 1/4 cup milk, wild blueberries, and honey and blend until smooth. Add to the jar with the milk.
- Add chia seeds and lemon zest to the jar, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight, shaking occasionally to keep the chia seeds well distributed. The chia seeds will absorb the liquid and swell, giving the mixture a tapioca-like consistency.