Mind your C’s and Q’s

C is for Chia seeds. I am like a kid with a new puppy, I just can’t put it down.

I am fast learning as a head and necker (that is, a head and neck cancer patient) that Chia seeds are worth their weight in gold. Today’s experiment involved not only Chia seeds but Powder Me powders and here’s what happened.

Mixed Berry and Chia Seed Pudding

I can hear the groan from here, but trust me this pudding is something meant for breakfast but I snack on it throughout the day and it could double perfectly as a dessert after dinner. I have dysphagia and with the recent removal of my PEG I have to go it alone now in terms of eating orally.

It is still hard to swallow, so this cold, slippery pudding is just right Goldilocks. Pictured here are white chia seeds ( you will note the addition of the red powder does not turn the pudding red, there are no nasty food colourings in our powders) and I first really took notice of them when I started adding them to my smoothies. They create a thickness and slippery fullness that makes them ideal for swallowing.

Now, before they censor me, this is important because avocados are so expensive. Four avocados will set you back almost $16 dollars in Australia, so I mix up it up using avocado and chia seeds every second day or so. Both make smoothies creamy, thick and delightfully decadent.

Chia seeds are the tiny black seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family which comes from Central and South America. Today I used a white variety and the seeds, no matter the colour, pack a nutritious punch. High in fibre, protein and omega 3 fatty acids they contain a lot of the nutrients we head and neckers need after radiotherapy.

We are constantly told to eat calories, eat protein, eat fat. Now for the first few months I did that with icecream. Believe it or not, that’s not sustainable and unless you can afford top shelf icecream constantly – I found the cheaper brands made me cough and aspirate. I also didn’t want to be eating all that sugar. Like I said, not sustainable. But to have this easy reach cold pudding in the fridge that takes minutes to make is great.

Has a mouth feel like frog spawn – I am guessing !

Here’s the recipe

1 cup (250 ml) water mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of protein powder (vanilla or plain) I use 180 Nutrition (Australian and no added nasties – that’s a whole other blog)

¼ cup (35 g / 1.2 oz) whole white chia seeds

2 teaspoons of Powder Me Mixed Berry powder

And or 6 strawberries

2 tablespoons natural yoghurt or coconut milk or coconut yoghurt

1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

2 teaspoons of coconut sugar (optional)


  1. Combine water and chia seeds into a bowl and stir gently for 3 minutes.
  2. Set aside for 20 minutes allowing the seeds to form a soft gel appearance.
  3. Puree the strawberries, turmeric & mixed berry powder until smooth in a blender. If you are not using fresh fruit just turf the powders in the bowl with the water and chia seeds.
  4. Spoon pulp into a bowl.
  5. Add  3 tablespoons, natural yoghurt, coconut milk or coconut yoghurt.
  6. Mix through until combined.
  7. Divide between 2 serving bowls. I put mine in one larger glass bowl with an airtight lid and put it in the fridge.
  8. Garnish each pudding with a sprinkling of mixed berry powder and drizzle with a light drizzle of coconut milk.
  9. I added some cinnamon and frozen fruit for the image.

Q is for Quinoa –

Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is an herbaceous annual plant grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds; the seeds are rich in protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. Source: Wikipedia It’s great for people looking for gluten free and the rest of us? Well, I am still experimenting with it. I don’t mind eating it if someone else has prepared it into a wonderful dish or a salad made of it with fried haloumi and lemon juice, then I’ll eat it.

I am yet to wax lyrical about it. Give me time, I’ll find something worth while writing about. In the meantime try the pudding. Ten out of ten.

Published by The Food Manifesto

I am a life explorer, food forager, choice crusader, eco educator, leader, teacher and head and neck cancer survivor. I've loved food all my life, my mum taught me good eating habits and how to cook nutritious food with loads of flavour. As a little girl I lived next door to a wonderful cook Pat Heidrich, I watched as she rolled pastry, filled cupcakes and prepared light as a feather sponges. My love of licking bowls and beaters started early. I grew up and explored my passion by studying cooking, trawling food markets, buying good equipment and experimenting with the tastes and cuisines I love. This blog is intended to share my passion, inspire you to try ...and fail, provide tips and every day good advice about cooking, shopping for ingredients, and planning menus for you, your family and friends. What's your food manifesto? talk to me about how I can help you.

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