Chia Espresso Energy Cups

Perfect for a quick breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up, these chia cups offer up a powerhouse of sustained energy and nutrition. Designed to be whipped up in batches, they will make a great addition to your meal prep routine for the busy work week ahead.

Ingredients:

3 cups almond milk (or flax, hemp, hazelnut, cashew)

1 cup espresso (or preferred coffee of choice)

2 scoops plant based protein powder (I used vanilla)

1 tsp vanilla extract

12 tbsp chia seeds (3-4 tbsp per cup)

*Makes 4 servings

Chia cups are really such fun to improvise with. If you wish to increase the coffee ratio, by all means. I know I have before. The chia seeds thicken in any liquid, so the proportions of milk to coffee aren't super important. A 50/50 ratio obviously delivers a more mocha-like punch. You can also intensify the flavor by using a chocolate or chai flavored protein powder. Yum. I think the first time I made this, I used vanilla almond coconut milk, sliced strawberries, berry protein powder and acai powder with the chia seeds. You get the idea. Once you get the hang of making them, you'll know what and how much you want in them.

For this coffee version, add the milk, coffee, vanilla and protein powder to your Ninja or blender and gave it a good spin. Exactly the same method as making a protein shake in the morning. Add the contents to 1 cup mason jars and then add  the chia seeds to the jars.

The secret is somewhere between 3-4 tablespoons of chia for each cup. 3 tablespoons will result in a slightly more fluid pudding; 4 tablespoons will make it quite dense. The consistency is entirely up to you. Place lids on the mason jars and give them a good shake and then a stir, as the seeds like to be stubborn and clump together along the bottom. After about 5-10 minutes, open up the jars and stir them again, to make sure the seeds are behaving and remaining separated. You'll already see your liquid thicken at this point. Place them in the fridge and give them another stir at about the 20 to 30 minute point and then let them work their magic overnight. By morning, they will be ready for you. I added a couple of dairy free cacao nibs and some cacao powder for an eye-pleasing finish.

Again, the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity. They serve as a fun switch-up to the daily monotony of a protein shake, plus the added benefits of all of the omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium that you get with the chia seeds, which are especially important when following a conscious, plant-based diet.

Enjoy!