Pictue: Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post.

- Serves 4

Chef's note: The pudding needs to be chilled for 4 hours before serving, and can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If the dates are hard, soak them in hot water for an hour to soften, then drain before chopping. 

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup raw cashews
5 soft dates, pitted and chopped 
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (may substitute regular unsweetened natural cocoa powder)
1/3 cup chia seeds (white or black)
Maple syrup (optional)
Cacao nibs, for garnish (optional)
Chocolate wafers, for serving (optional)

Method

Combine the water, cashews, dates, vanilla extract, salt, cacao powder and chia seeds in a food processor or high-powdered blender; puree until very smooth. 
Taste, and add maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until your desired sweetness level is reached.
Divide the pudding among individual cups or transfer to a large container, cover and refrigerate until cold and set, about 4 hours.
Garnish with cacao nibs and serve with chocolate wafers, if desired.

Adapted from Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood, by Wayne Coates (Sterling, 2012).