Starting fresh: snack edition


Chia seed pudding is a healthy and nutritional snack with very little prep time. This version was made with almond milk, cinnamon and honey for extra flavor.

Mia Brann, Author

The clock striking midnight on Jan. 1 is a fresh start, a new beginning and a time to reinvent and revive.

The month of January is notorious for bloated promises to oneself about creating a pure, new life, a life that is impossible to achieve overnight. For some reason people decide that just because a new year falls upon them, they will have the power to resist their largest temptations and faults, whether it be to stop procrastinating or to rid their diet of junk food. Eating healthy is quite the overused new year’s resolution, but it can be promising if dedication and perseverance are paired with some quality leafy greens. Planning to eat healthy and actually doing so means more than just writing down your resolution in a brand new 2018 planner; it means actually working toward the goal and incorporating new things into everyday life. Even if this health kick only lasts a month or two, open up to a new year with a new palette. Try out these trendy and delicious light snacks to kickstart 2018. Ditch the guilt of not fulfilling a new year’s resolution for a fresh, clean meal.

I enjoy chia seed pudding because it’s effortless to make and tastes great. The texture takes some getting used to, as the chia seeds form a gel-like consistency when the pudding sets. Add fruits, nuts or chocolate as a finishing touch before eating. Works well for breakfast or a light dessert.

Fruit leathers are a childhood favorite of mine. Any fruits and/or veggies can be used to individualize the recipe to one’s own liking. The texture is similar to store bought fruit roll-ups, but slightly more tacky. Use up leftover or frozen fruit to create this great snack for lunches on-the-go.

Both recipes below can also be found at


Chia Seed Pudding


  • 2 cups coconut milk (homemade or natural)
  • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (or less) maple syrup (or sub any sweetener)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder


  • For Blended/Smooth Version: Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.
  • For Whole Chia Seed Version: Blend all ingredients except chia seeds in a blender until smooth (including any added flavors, fruits or chocolate). Whisk in chia seeds.
    Pour mixture into a jar or glass container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to let gel. Stir or whisk a few times within the first hour to help it gel evenly.
  • Pour mixture into a jar or glass container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to let gel. Stir or whisk a few times within the first hour to help it gel evenly.

Fruit Leathers



  • 2 medium beets, peeled and steamed until soft (optional, sub 1/2 cup extra strawberries if you don’t use beets)
  • 4 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries (defrost if using frozen)
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (optional) or 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon, lime or orange juice


  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (or use a dehydrator)
  • Puree the cooked beets (cooled), strawberries, honey/maple syrup/dates, and citrus juice in a blender until completely smooth. If using frozen defrosted berries, the liquid will be thinner. If using fresh berries, you may have to add a couple teaspoons of water to get the mixture smooth enough to spread. The mixture should be pourable but not thin enough to run off the baking sheet.
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats (safe at low temperatures).
  • Pour/spread the mixture evenly onto the two lined baking sheets.
  • Place in oven and cook until firm and no longer sticky to the touch (3-4 hours in most ovens).
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Cut into strips and roll up with parchment paper. Store in an air-tight container until ready to eat.
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container for up to a week (fridge) or two months (freezer).