Looking for a healthy alternative to sugary pudding and yogurt? Chia seed pudding is a versatile and tasty option you’ll want to try! Read on for some delicious recipes and variations on this classic treat.
I was introduced to chia seed pudding when I traveled to Colombia, and I’ve never been the same since. Chia seed pudding is much healthier than regular pudding and tastes great with fresh fruit! This is the perfect snack if you’re craving a creamy, versatile, and customizable treat. The best part: chia pudding has so many more nutrients than traditional pudding, and it’s gluten-free (and dairy-free if you use plant-based milk!)
Chia Seed Benefits
Chia seeds provide a ton of nutrients for relatively few calories. These include fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, manganese, phosphorous, and magnesium. And they make fun, wacky plants, too– shoutout to FamilyApp’s Bob Ross chia pet.
It’s the perfect grab-and-go snack or breakfast you can meal-prep the night before! The variations and additions are endless. All you need is 3/4 cup milk, 3 tbsp chia seeds, and any liquid sweetener of your choice for the pudding base. Dairy-free, plant-based milk like coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew milk work best, but you can also use dairy milk if you prefer it to be nut-free. Make sure it’s full-fat milk for the best flavor and consistency.
You can add any sweetener you’d like, whether that’s maple syrup, dates, agave nectar, or stevia. You can even try it unsweetened if you’d like! With the three basic ingredients, this meal or snack is easily grain-free!
If you don’t like chia seeds’ tapioca-like texture, you can still achieve a gel-like consistency by using ground chia seeds. This also makes it more likely that your body will process the chia seed’s beneficial nutrients and fiber!
How do you prepare it? Mix up your ingredients and leave them in a mason jar overnight for a silky-smooth pudding-like consistency, but at the very least, it will need 2-4 hours to set.
Tips for Making Your Own Chia Seed Pudding
While chia seed pudding is extremely simple to make, it may take some trial-and-error to find the right consistency. Here are a few tips:
- Add liquids first. Then add chia seeds so they will mix easily.
- If there are lumps, stir with a fork. It’ll be good as new.
- If it’s too thick, add a little bit of milk and stir.
- If your pudding’s too runny, try chilling it for longer. You could also try using a ratio of 4 tbsp chia seeds with 3/4 cup milk instead.
- If you use dairy milk, you might have to add a bit more milk in the morning. Dairy milk can be a bit thicker than plant-based alternatives.
- If you want to use more than one type of milk in your pudding, like almond and cashew, stick with varieties that have similar densities and fat contents. That way, the overall pudding texture will be fairly even throughout.
- If you like warm pudding, go for it! Heat it in a microwave or on a stove with a splash of milk.
Perfect Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the chia seeds and milk, syrup, and vanilla to a bowl or jar and stir.
- Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir again once the seeds have started to gel.
- Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Stir the chia pudding before serving and add your favorite mix-ins and flavors!
Basic Chia Pudding Recipes
Here are a few ways to take that basic chia seed pudding recipe and make it even better.
Vanilla Chia Pudding: Add an extra dash of vanilla extract to your chia seed pudding to get a rich, vanilla flavor. Fresh fruit, nuts, and granola are great in this recipe to make a grab-n-go breakfast on busy mornings.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding: You can add cocoa powder or semi-sweet chocolate chips to make your chocolate chia pudding. This pairs especially well with mix-ins like coconut flakes, almonds, and granola. Whether you like chocolate in the morning or are looking for an indulgent but not-too-sweet chocolatey afternoon snack, this is perfect! I’m waving goodbye to those sugary cups of pre-made chocolate pudding and making this my new go-to.
Peanut Butter Chia Pudding: Peanut butter gives a great protein boost to keep you full throughout the day and adds a sweet and nutty flavor and creaminess to your pudding. Try it drizzled on top, or mix it into your pudding!
Vanilla Greek Yogurt Chia Pudding: Adding Greek yogurt to your chia seed pudding can add some beneficial probiotics and make it extra creamy!
Our Favorite Recipes
Place 16 oz of fresh strawberries 1-1/2 cups of coconut milk, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tbsp vanilla, and 3/4 tsp grated lime zest in a blender and blend until smooth. Place 1/2 cup of chia seeds in a large bowl, pour the strawberry mixture on top, and whisk thoroughly. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then whisk again. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to three days. Stir before serving. Spoon into individual bowls or cups and garnish with coconut flakes, lime zest, strawberries, slivered nuts, cocoa nibs, or fresh mint.
Chocolate Chip Banana
I’m dubbing this recipe “Chocolate Chia Chimp Food.” Blend 2 tbsp of almond butter, 3/4 of a banana, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 packet of stevia, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Then, mix in 1/3 cup of chia seeds. Place in the fridge for 4 hours, then top with sliced bananas and cocoa nibs (or chocolate chips).
Pumpkin Chia Pudding
You don’t even need to wait until fall to try out this pumpkin-perfect chia seed pudding recipe. Mix 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in a bowl until completely combined. Place in a covered container and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Açai is one of the superfoods we can’t get enough of. Buy it in powdered form for some additional antioxidants to your fruity chia seed pudding. Mix 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 3/4 cup of almond milk, 2 tsp açai powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Place in the fridge for 2-4 hours until thickened. Then, spoon the first later into the bottom of a mason jar. Next, in a blender, blend 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1/2 frozen banana, and 1/2 cup of almond milk. Carefully pour your cup on top of the chia pudding.
Other Recipes/Flavor Combos
- Matcha: Honey, matcha powder, and a pinch of sea salt.
- Maple-Walnut with Oats: Chopped walnuts, rolled oats, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Raspberry-Chocolate: 70% dark chocolate and fresh raspberries.
- Apple-Cinnamon: Vanilla extract, unsweetened coconut flakes, 2 apples, cored and chopped, and cinnamon.
- Pomegranate-Vanilla: Honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and pomegranate seeds.
- Mango-Coconut: Unsweetened shredded coconut, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, and fresh, dried mango.
- Piña Colada: Sweetened shredded coconut and pineapple sauteed in brown sugar and butter.
- Blueberry-Lavender: Blueberries, 1 tbsp lavender buds (dried and culinary-grade), Medjool dates, and vanilla extract.
- Vanilla-Chai: Pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, a pinch of ground cloves, and a pinch of freshly ground pepper.
Try Your Own Chia!
Have you ever tried chia seed pudding? Share your favorite recipes with the people you love on FamilyApp! Get your chia on!