Chia seeds are a delicious and nutrition-packed treat. We use them all the time here in the Sweat Nation Kitchen. Chia seeds, you can think of them as mini powerhouses packing more calcium than milk(you want less dairy anyways), more antioxidants than blueberries(excellent add on), and more Omega-3 than Salmon.
Their texture can make your treat interesting, they're so versatile and are a great protein-packed addition to many recipes because of their ability to thicken and gel.
What is Chia Pudding?
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 option.
Imagine how much you'd enjoy it with some chopped soaked nuts, fresh fruit, or even chocolate shavings for breakfast or a delicious dessert.
Chia Seed Pudding Variations
The beauty of this recipe is that there are dozens of ways to customize it. You can change the flavor, the texture, the sweetener, the color, and practically any other part of the recipe and it is almost impossible to mess up. I’ve included the basic vanilla coconut chia seed pudding recipe that we use as our base, but you can try these variations:
Different or Less Sweetener
If you can’t have or don’t want to add the maple syrup as a sweetener, you can easily substitute stevia (no glycemic) or leave the sweetener out entirely if you like the natural sweetness of coconut, vanilla, and chia.
You could also easily substitute dates or banana(my favorites) in the blended version of this recipe or honey in the whole chia seed version. Experiment and see what your family likes best!
Mix up the Flavor
I like the basic vanilla chia seed pudding. If you want to spice it up more than vanilla, here are some great flavor options you can try:
Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the blended version of this recipe and/or add chocolate flavored stevia
Strawberry: Add 1/2 cup fresh strawberries to the blended recipe. Or, try blending fresh strawberries into a juice and use as part of the liquid in the whole chia seed recipe chai: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder and a pinch of cardamom and cloves for a chai flavor.
PB&J: Add 3 Tablespoons each of natural Peanut or Almond Butter and Jelly or Jam of choice. Blend into recipe if using a blended version. For whole chia seed variation, blend the peanut butter and jelly into the coconut milk before mixing in the seeds.
Pecan Pie: Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon powder to the base recipe and an optional 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. Mix 1/2 cup of chopped toasted pecans into the finished pudding.
Matcha: Add 1 tablespoon Matcha Green Tea Powder to the mix for a bright green chia pudding naturally (great idea for St. Patrick’s Day!).
Blended vs. Whole Chia Seeds
There are two texture options for chia seed pudding. I prefer to keep the chia seeds whole because I love 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 the whole seed version, just leave the seeds whole and whisk the ingredients together. If you are adding flavors (strawberries, PB&J, spices, 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.
For blended (smooth) pudding, just dump all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. I prefer to do this with chocolate or colored options as the simple vanilla recipe will have a grayish color when blended.
Up the Protein
I love to add a little more protein to this recipe, especially if it is going to be a breakfast recipe. I add 2-4 tablespoons of collagen powder or Garden Of Life Protein. This adds more protein and skin/hair boosting-collagen.
How Long Can You Keep Chia Seed Pudding?
This recipe uses all-natural ingredients and is not processed food. It tastes best within two days after it is made. The ideal time to eat is the day after making it for the best flavor. I prefer to make it at night to have it ready the next morning.
This delicious pudding vanishes so quickly in our house that I don’t know if it will last longer than 4 days. I would recommend only making the amount you plan to eat over a 2-3 day period for the best flavor and freshness.
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
prep 5 mins - total 5 mins
Here's What You Need
2 cups coconut milk (homemade or natural)
1/2 cup Chia Seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (or less) maple syrup (or sub any sweetener)
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
For Blended/Smooth Version: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.
For Whole Chia Seed Version: Blend all ingredients except chia seeds in a blender until smooth (including any added flavors, fruits, or chocolate). Whisk in chia seeds.
Pour mixture into a jar or glass container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to let gel. Stir or whisk a few times within the first hour to help it gel evenly. I prefer to make this at night to have ready for a fast breakfast the next day. It is also great to make in the morning for a delicious pre-made dessert at night.