Even though there are already two chia puddings on my website (here and here), I wanted to offer you this Earl Grey flavored version because it’s quite different from the other two — much more subtle and elegant enough to be served as dessert.
Earl Grey tea is a black tea blend that is flavored with oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange. In addition to being delicious and refreshing (my favorite 3 pm pick-me-up), Earl Grey and oil of bergamot may have some health benefits, studies indicate:
- Antioxidant properties: Bergamot contains several antioxidants that may help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. (Article here.)
- Lowering cholesterol: Some studies have suggested that bergamot may help lower cholesterol levels, which could be beneficial for heart health. (Article here.)
- Improving mood: Some research has indicated that bergamot may have mood-boosting properties, potentially due to its content of compounds like linalool and limonene. (Article here.)
- Improved body composition: One study found that bergamot extract supplementation helped reduce visceral fat, total and LDL cholesterol in people with high visceral fat stores and mild hypercholesterolemia (Article here.)
Consuming moderate amounts of bergamot, as a flavoring in tea or food, is generally considered safe. However, like many foods, bergamot taken in large quantities or high concentrations may cause adverse effects.
- Bergamot contains psoralens, compounds that can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use sunscreen and limit exposure to sunlight when consuming bergamot regularly.
- Some animal studies have suggested that high doses of bergamot extract may have toxic effects on the liver. I recommend against taking bergamot supplements and suggest you ingest it only as a tea or food flavoring.
- Some people may be allergic to bergamot and may experience allergic reactions such as itching, rash, or swelling. If you have a history of citrus allergies, be careful when consuming bergamot or using products that contain bergamot oil.
Be aware of these potential risks and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Earl Grey Chia Pudding
- 2 cups milk dairy or plant milk (for vegan version)
- 3 Earl Grey teabags
- 6 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract preferably alcohol-free
- 2 tsp maple syrup or more, to taste
- a few drops liquid stevia optional
- ½ oz walnuts coarsely chopped
- 1 serving protein powder my favorite animal-based protein supplement is AGN Roots' whey protein isolate from grass-fed Irish cows; my favorite plant-based protein powder is Wilderness Poets' hemp protein powder
- Toppings such as mixed berries, fruit coulis, plum compote, a pinch of finely grated lemon zest (untreated), etc.
- Heat the milk in a small pot over medium-high heat until it is just about to boil. Remove from stove top.
- Place the teabags in the hot milk, cover and infuse for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard.
- Add chia seeds, vanilla extract and maple syrup to the hot milk and mix with a balloon whisk.
- Add protein powder (if using) and whisk again. Let rest for 5 minutes, then whisk again.
- Cover and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
- To serve, top with berries, coulis or other fresh or stewed fruit.