Basic Chia Seed Pudding With Flavor Variations
This is my super easy, fun go-to food when I want a quick breakfast, snack or dessert. If you’re not familiar with chia, it is the same Ch-Ch-Ch Chia of chia pet fame. But chia was legendary long before then.
Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and chia seed was known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle to give them energy and endurance.
I love chia seeds and use them all the time. Chia seeds are mini powerhouses packing more calcium than milk, more antioxidants than blueberries and more Omega-3 than salmon! They also are an excellent source of fiber and iron.
I soak mine at least 2 hours or overnight to get the most out of chia. They swell up and hold 12 times its weight in water and develop a gelatinous coating. This makes it much easier to digest, but also allows your body to access the dense nutrients inside the seeds. If you choose not to soak them, then they can also absorb water from you during digestion. So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.
Their texture can take a little getting used to. If you are familiar with tapioca pudding it has a similar texture. But chia seeds are so versatile and make a great protein-packed addition to many recipes because of their ability to thicken and gel.
But the best part is, they TASTE good!
Basic Chia Seed Pudding
Basic chia seed pudding is a simple and delicious way to easily get the benefits of chia seeds. It takes minutes to make and has enough protein and nutrients to be a quick, on-the-go breakfast option or a yummy dessert.
Personally, I love this with fresh fruit or shredded coconut for breakfast or as a delicious low-sugar dessert.
The Basic Chia Seed Pudding Recipe:
1/4 – 1/3 c chia seed (depending upon how thick you like it)
1 c unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp Natural Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Place all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake or whisk until seeds are distributed throughout. Store in the refrigerator. Come back in ten minutes and whisk or shake the jar once again. (Chia seeds have a tendency to clump if you don’t do this). Then wait at least 2 hours for the chia to fully hydrate or wait overnight and enjoy!
Basic Chia Seed Pudding Recipe With Flavor Variations
Keep chia in your diet without getting bored by trying these great flavor variations. If you are adding spices or chocolate, etc you will need to blend these into the liquid (milk and sweetener) first before whisking in the chia seeds to keep the flavor from being uneven:
Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder
Fruit: 1 c fresh or frozen organic strawberries, blueberries, banana, raspberries – whatever you like. Place these on top or layer with chia pudding and serve in a glass dish so that you can see the layers.
Replace the vanilla in the basic recipe with these flavor variations:
Chai: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder and a pinch of cardamon and cloves for a chai flavor
Matcha: Add 1 tablespoon Matcha Green Tea Powder to the mix for a bright green chia pudding naturally
Cherry: 1 Tbsp concentrated Montmorency Tart Cherry juice, you can find this in Whole Foods or in health food stores. Lots of antioxidants here and tastes so good.
Orange: 1/4 tsp orange oil (be very careful with orange oil – a little goes a long way. You might also substitute with 1 tsp of orange extract though the flavor will not be as full bodied).
Lemon: 1 tsp lemon extract or 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
Blended vs. Whole Chia Seeds
There are two texture options for chia seed pudding. I prefer to keep the chia seeds whole because I enjoy their texture, but if you prefer a smoother texture that is similar to “regular” pudding, a blended version may be your preference.
Either way, this recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make. Here’s the difference:
- For blended (smooth) pudding, just dump all the ingredients in a high speed blender or immersion blender and blend until smooth. I recommend doing this with chocolate, cherry, or matcha tea (the colored options) as the simple vanilla recipe will have a grayish color when blended.
Please let me know in the comments below what your favorite flavor version is and whether you like yours whole or blended. And if you liked this recipe be sure to share this with a friend.