This recipe for chia seed pudding comes together quickly with just a few steps and “cooks” itself in the fridge overnight. We let the food processor, blender, or a quick stir do all the work on this vegan dessert, then viola, you have a delicious pudding that gives you a nutritious punch. We also review the benefits of chia seeds here so you get familiar with this super food. The best part? This recipe gives you several flavor options so you can keep revisiting it to reinvent your chia pudding with new versions – or setup a chia seed pudding “ice cream” bar for your next party.
How can something so small be a superfood?
It turns out that those little seeds are packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of other good-for-you things. Yes, all in that tiny, ancient seed. The Mayans and Aztecs thought so highly of the chia seed that they gave it the name “chia,” which was the Mayan word for “strength” because of the strength and energy it provided. That’s what’s in a name, but what’s in a chia seed?
To begin, one serving of chia seeds is 1 ounce, or two tablespoons. They are easily incorporated into many foods. You can add them to hot cereal or baked goods, sprinkle them on cereal, yogurt, or veggies or any dish you want to have a little crunch, or blend them into a smoothie. Because they absorb water so well, your smoothie may gel somewhat if not consumed right away. This absorption also makes them ideal to thicken sauces or use as an egg substitute in many recipes. I often add just a few teaspoons to my overnight oatmeal or in a baked good, but this recipe for chia seed pudding features the chia seed instead of disguising it. Here are just a few of the good things you’d get out of those two tablespoons:
|What||Amount||FDA daily suggestion|
In 2000 calorie/day diet
(dietary fiber 10-11 grams)
|Fat||9 grams |
(5 are Omega 3s)
|Protein||4 grams (14%)||50 grams|
|Iron||12%||18 mg for menstruating women; |
8 mg for other adults
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, contain potassium and B vitamins, and have amino acids that help your body process protein. Finally, they are considered a whole-grain food. They may help fight inflammation, but the studies are inconclusive so far.
Some information about Chia seeds
- They don’t have extra calories, for one. One serving of chia seeds contains only 137 calories, and, if you subtract the fiber as calculated by the professionals at Healthline.com, that’s really only 101 calories per serving.
- Chia seeds are naturally gluten-free.
- Are not GMOs.
- Are usually grown organically, so they don’t contain pesticides, aren’t fertilized with sewage, and aren’t radiated.
- Because their dietary fiber is so high, chia seeds only have 1 gram of digestible carbs in a serving, making them a very low-carb food.
Fun fact: the first Chia Pet was a terracotta human head, and that catchy jingle was thought up in a Chicago bar. In the 1970s, Chia Pets were introduced, and I doubt anyone thought about eating the seeds that came with their kitschy Christmas gift. In fact, eating those particular seeds is not recommended because they aren’t clean enough for the FDA to approve them as food. Today, however, chia seeds are considered one of the “superfoods.”
Flavor? You pick!
You may have noticed that this recipe name doesn’t specify a flavor. That’s because the flavor in this treat is entirely up to you! I’ll provide the base recipe for chia seed pudding, and you get to decide on the added ingredients to create your own favorite flavors. Just like the Baskin Robbins 31 flavors, I’m convinced you won’t be able to pick just one!
Please let us know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comments!
Overnight Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 1/2 cup dairy-free milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup agave see flavorings
- Choose your flavor from the list below and make any alterations necessary.
- Combine everything but toppings in a blender or food processor. Blend for approximately 2 minutes, you want a very smooth consistency.
- Pour into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours (see notes).
- Mix in flavorings well to combine.
- Serve in individual ramekins or small bowls. For a very special occasion, whip heavy cream for a whipped cream dollop on top.
- Chocolate Nightcap: 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 2 teaspoon Godiva chocolate liqueur (for an adult treat)
- Peppermint Patty: 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil (not extract)
- Chocolate Vanilla with Cinnamon: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract, and ½ tsp Penzeys China Tung Hing Ground Cinnamon
- Chocolate Almond: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon Penzeys almond extract, and ½ c. toasted slivered almonds sprinkled on top
- Dark Chocolate: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon. chocolate extract, and shaved dark chocolate on top
- Chocolate Coconut: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract, and ½ c. toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (sprinkled on top or mixed in)
- Power Chocolate: the above, plus 2 servings of your favorite chocolate protein powder and 1/2 cup more almond milk
- Maple Walnut: substitute real maple syrup for the agave syrup; lightly toast ⅓ cup chopped walnuts in a toaster oven and sprinkle on top
- Vanilla: 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (not extract)
- Mounds: lightly toast 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut in a toaster oven (monitor closely!); stir into pudding; top with grated dark chocolate (I use a small grater and large bar such as Ghiradelli or Lindt)
- Almond Joy: use the same ingredients as Mounds, but also stir in 1/2 cup toasted chopped almonds
- Mint: ½ teaspoon peppermint oil (not extract); top with grated dark chocolate
- Elvis: add 1 medium banana and 1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter to food processor mixture
- Eggnog: 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg. ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Gingerbread: substitute 3 tablespoons dark molasses for the agave; add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
- Pumpkin pie: reduce milk to 1 cup; add 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves--bonus points for the extra fiber from the pumpkin!
- Blueberry pie: reduce milk to 1 cup; add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and 2 teaspoons of Penzeys pie spice to food processor mixture
- Mango: reduce milk to 1 cup and agave to 2 tablespoons; add 1 mango to food processor mixture
- Chia seed pudding has a texture similar to that of tapioca pudding. If you don’t own a food processor or blender, you can stir by hand until well mixed. This method may be less smooth.
- Be sure to squash any lumps of cocoa powder.
- This recipe will keep up to 48 hours.