Learn how to make chia pudding with a basic recipe, plus get fun ideas for how to build your own ideal bowl of healthy chia seed goodness.
What is chia pudding?
If you’ve never had chia seed pudding before, you are in for such a treat! Chia seeds soak up moisture and plump up, yielding a texture similar to tapioca pudding, but with smaller pearls. To thicken chia pudding, all that you need are the right liquid-to-chia-seed ratio and time. Thick, rich chia pudding is all about waiting.
Here is a basic recipe for how to make chia pudding:
Yields 2 servings
How to Make Chia Pudding
This is a skeleton recipe for how to make chia pudding. Mix and match your add-ins to create all kinds of fun flavor combinations!
8 hr, 5 Prep Time
8 hr, 5 Total Time
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup plant-based milk of your choice
- 1/4-1/2 cup fresh, dried, or frozen fruit
- 2 tablespoons nut or seed butter (Puree with the milk before mixing.)
- a pinch to 1/2 teaspoon spices (ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon are all good ones to try)
- 2-3 tablespoons nuts or other seeds
- 2-4 tablespoons coconut flakes
- Combine your chia seeds, plant-based milk, and mix-ins of choice in a pint jar. Stir to combine.
- Seal the jar, and give it a good shake. Stick it into the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. If you can remember to give the jar an extra shake now and then as the seeds are soaking, that will help it set more evenly.
- When the pudding has thickened, give it a good stir, and serve cold. You can sprinkle on extra mix-ins when you serve, if you like!
How long does chia pudding last?
Chia pudding keeps for about five days in the fridge. You can make one big batch or divide into individual jars for quick grab-and-go breakfasts or single serving desserts.
That long shelf life is handy, because you do need to let your chia pudding set up for four to eight hours, to give the seeds time to plump up. You can make a batch of chia pudding on Sunday night and eat it for breakfast (or dessert!) all week long.
Why eat chia pudding?
There are lots of ways to add chia seeds to your diet, but chia pudding is one of my favorites. I like chia pudding because:
- It solves a problem. It’s hard to sneak in a healthy breakfast on busy mornings, and chia pudding is an easy-to-make convenience food.
- Chia seeds are good for you. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Read more about the proven health benefits of chia seeds here.
- It solves another problem. Chia pudding is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without spiking your blood sugar. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber which helps your body handle any sugars from the fruit or added sugar in your recipe.
- It’s easy to make. The active prep time for most chia pudding recipes is about five minutes. Just add your ingredients to a jar with an airtight lid, stir, seal, shake and refrigerate. The hardest part about making chia pudding is waiting the four to eight hours it needs to set.
What to Add to Chia Pudding
I think of chia pudding as very similar to overnight oats. It’s a vegan breakfast recipe that you make the night before, and the mix-ins are even pretty similar. Here are some fun ideas:
- fresh, dried or frozen fruit
- a pinch of ginger, cloves, cinnamon or other spices
- nuts or seeds
- nut or seed butter – Puree the nut or seed butter with your liquid before soaking.
- coconut flakes
- extracts, like vanilla extract
Really, the sky’s the limit. When I’m thinking about mix-ins for chia pudding, I like to start with a favorite dessert recipe as inspiration. A pie, cookie or cake can give you ideas for fun flavor combinations. You can mix and match bases and mix-ins to create your own custom flavors or use one of the chia pudding recipes below.
Chia Pudding Recipes
This creamy chia pudding recipe is packed with gingerbread spices and sweetened with dates and blackstrap molasses.
Start your day with a healthy chocolate treat! This is a simple chia pudding recipe starring plenty of cocoa powder.
Coconut milk is the base for this flexible chia pudding recipe. You can add any fruits you like to the mix!
There are so many delicious, tropical flavors in this chia pudding recipe! It’s especially delicious if you can get your hands on the optional passionfruit that she uses as a topping.
Chia pudding is the base for this hearty breakfast bowl recipe. It’s sort of like chia pudding-meets-smoothie-bowl.
This is like a chocolate covered banana dipped in coconut, but in chia pudding form. It’s date-sweetened, so there is no refined sugar at all in this decadent recipe.
Start your day with some sneaky greens! This chia pudding recipe uses spinach to get that vibrant, green color. But don’t worry – like a green smoothie, it’s also packed with fruit to offset the taste of greens.
Before I went vegan, Almond Joy was one of my top three favorite candy bars. Now, I can enjoy the almond-chocolate-coconut flavor in chia pudding form.
Creamy chia pudding starring bright, citrusy flavors are such a lovely way to start the day. It’s like eating pie filling for breakfast!
If you love matcha, you’ll love it in chia pudding! This is another date-sweetened recipe, so it’s totally free of refined sugars. You can also add berries or other fruit as mix-ins for some extra sweetness, if you like.
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Cocoa powder image via Thinkstock. All other images by recipe authors, used with permission..