Food / Food as Science / Online Issues

The Vegan Athlete: Fad or Lifestyle?

Art by: Joanne Raptis

Coconut Chia Pudding

ARTICLE BY JOHN HAO, PHOTOS BY AMELIA EDWARDS | FALL ISSUE 2014

Culinarian Magazine is excited to start off its blog for issue 1 of this year’s magazine, Food as Science, with the first in a series by our resident vegan, John. These simple recipes are perfect for everyone from the hardcore vegan to the current skeptic to the dorm chef. 

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The number of individuals adopting a vegan diet is growing faster than ever, partly thanks to investigations that have shed light on the drawbacks of the standard American diet. Individuals are searching for alternatives to meat and dairy based on a desire to know how one’s diet can impact animals, the environment, and themselves. While many people doubt that being vegan is nutritionally viable, many dedicated athletes like ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek thrive on a vegan diet.

Getting the right nutrition from plants has become even easier with the rise of super foods such as kale, açaí berries, quinoa, and chia seeds. The first recipe in this three-part series will be focused on one of the most popular superfood that can be found in just about every supermarket and health food store. Chia seeds have been used since the 16th century and the eponymous Chia Pet, but thanks to celebrities like Dr. Oz and Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run, chia has been added into our meals. Mixed into a smoothie, granola, or any juice, it’s the perfect snack for quick and long-lasting energy without the heaviness of protein bars or the sugar crash from energy drinks.

 

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding 

Adapted from Domesticate Me, January 2014

Serves 4

Chia delivers a rich helping of fiber, B vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, a complete protein, and Omega 3. This ultimate vegan snack can be your fuel to power through a workout or cool down afterwards!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Method

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the chia seeds, coconut milk, agave syrup, vanilla extract, and kosher salt.

Whisk the mixture thoroughly until all the clumps are broken.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 4 hours.  Stir occasionally during chilling period and right before serving to prevent more clumps from forming. Serve topped with desired garnish.


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