Basic Chia Pudding Recipe
Chia Pudding is nothing I grew up with; I can’t even remember when I heard the term for the first time at all. And it still took me years before I tried. Actually, Instagram pushed me to start using chia seeds because my feed was filled with the most delicious chia pudding ALL the time. So I gave it a try. And I loved it. Many people dislike chia of the gooey texture, but that’s the thing I like most about it. I love gooey food. What about you?
Besides, chia pudding is not gooey at all if you start with making a chia gel and mix it with coconut yogurt like in my Coconut Chia Parfait recipe. Although I am not eating chia pudding every day, it’s on my menu at least twice a week. Because of the high fiber content of chia seeds, chia pudding is very filling and comforting. And it’s so easy to make! All you need is a handful of ingredients and a bit of prep time ahead.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds originated in Mexico; the word chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. Long distance runners were using them as fuel.
They are high in
- omega-3-fatty acids
- Antioxidants neutralize and remove free radicals from the bloodstream, preventing chronic diseases.
- Did you know chia seeds contain a significant amount of protein? It’s comparable to other excellent protein sources like legumes.
- Niacin is part of the vitamin B complex and is important for a healthy cardiovascular system.
- Chia seeds are high in phosphorus, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. All these minerals are essential for a proper functioning of metabolic processes.
- Chia seeds are exceptionally high in fiber. They contain 37% fiber, which is easy to digest. Chia seeds prevent constipation, as long as you soak them in a proper amount of liquid. Because of the high fiber content, chia pudding is very satiable and keeps you full for hours.
- As almost everywhere stressed, chia seeds are very high in omega-3-fatty acids. Still, these omega-3-fatty acids seem to be only absorbable in ground chia seeds.
Basic Recipe for Chia Pudding
- Chia Seeds
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds come in two varieties: white and black. Black seeds are the ordinary ones, and if you have a closer look, you will spot some white seeds between them. By isolating the white seeds, crops with only white chia seeds are being produced. The color you choose is personal preference. White chia seeds look more delicate compared to their black twin, but there is no difference in the taste. Still, the black seeds are a little higher in antioxidants.
Chia seeds can absorb up to 10 time their weight in liquid, but I prefer a 1:8 ratio. You may use any liquid you want – any plant-based milk like almond milk, rice coconut milk or soy milk. Full-fat coconut milk makes your chia pudding creamier, but it turns it into a caloric bomb too! You can soak chia seeds in juice or even in tea. Soaking chia seeds in butterfly pea flower tea create a stunning blue color. Matcha tea is nice too if you like the taste.
Chia seeds have no flavor, so the chia pudding will taste like whatever liquid you use. You may add any sweetener of choice. I use erythritol most of the time, but you can add maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, date sugar, or raw cane sugar.
Fresh or defrosted fruits contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Chia seeds are high in fat and adding fruits reduces the caloric density of your breakfast. Add as much as you want – the more, the better. You prefer compote over fresh fruits? No worries, go ahead. An unsweetened compote is still better than no fruits at all.
Preparation is everything. You can’t wake up in the morning and decide to eat chia pudding immediately. Chia seeds need to absorb (a lot of, btw!) liquid to reach a gooey consistency. It’s best to prepare your chia pudding in the evening and savor in the morning. Add a handful chopped fresh fruits, and you are in H-E-A-V-E-N.
Chia seeds tend to form lumps. That’s why the preparation of chia pudding involves a lot of either stirring or shaking. I prefer to stir my chia pudding in the beginning and then once in a while. But it’s fine to fill it in a mason jar and to shake it now and then.
Basic Chia Pudding Recipe
Basic recipe for a perfect chia pudding. Make sure to prep your chia pudding in the evening, since the chia seeds need to soak for at least 8 hours.
- 3 tbsp chia seeds (28 g)
- 1 cup plant-based milk, unsweetened (240 ml)
- 1 tbsp sweetener of choice
- 1 cup fruits of choice chopped
In a bowl or jar, combine chia seeds and plant-based milk and stir vigorously for 60 seconds.
Add sweetener of choice and mix thoroughly. The amount of sweetener depends on the sweetness of your plant-based milk.
Allow to sit for 20 minutes, stirring once in a while to break up lumps.
Cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, top with your favorite fruits.
If you have less time, add another tsp chia seeds and allow to rest for at least 2 hours, stirring once in a while (the more often you stir, the faster your chia pudding thickens).
In Europe there is a recommended intake limit of 15 g per day – that’s less than some of my recipes ask for. The limit has been set because chia seeds are rather new on the market. They have not been tested for allergies or intolerances. In the United States, the limit is set to 50 g. In Latin America, there is not limit at all because chia seeds have been part of the diet for thousands of years.
And here is my recommendation: When you never ate chia seeds before, starty slow. Eat a few tablespoons chia pudding and wait how your digestive system is getting by. Chia seeds stimulate digestion and may cause digestive issues if you are not used to eating a lot of fiber. So it’s better to start with a small amount and increase quantity step by step.
Here is a video tutorial on how to prepare Chia Pudding, made by the Healthy Grocery Girl. She prepares original, vanilla, and chocolate chia pudding starting from a very simple basic recipe. She also shows how to prepare a berry chia pudding, using a berry smoothie to soak the chia seeds overnight.
To get more ideas which flavors to add to your chia pudding, watch this video by Anne Lee (Anneorshine). She uses white chia seeds which I often use too because they look very delicate. Anne prepares mango chia pudding (using mango juice), peanut butter chia pudding and a banana chia pudding.
Chia pudding is often prepared with coconut milk – if you want to give it a try, watch this tutorial by leaf. Coconut milk is quite high in fat and if you make chia pudding like this, serve smaller portions or eat it as dessert.
My favourite Chia Pudding Recipes
Coconut Chia Parfait
You don’t like the gooey consistency of soaked chia seeds?? Then you have to try my Coconut Chia Parfait recipe! It’s not gooey at all! Exactly the opposite, the Parfait is fluffy and creamy. Actually, this recipe is a recreation of a chia pudding I ate in London at Pret a Manger. It is made with coconut yogurt. So delicious, I swear! Click on the picture grab the recipe.
Blue Chia Pudding
Just in case you may not have noticed already: I am obsessed with natural food colorings, especially with wild blue hibiscus, also known as butterfly pea flower tea. There is no better way to create the most amazing blue than with wild hibiscus. On top of that, hibiscus is exceptionally high in antioxidants, which help to prevent heart diseases and diabetes. For the recipe click on the picture.
Layered Ombre Chia Parfait
Usually, I am not that much into pastel colors, but all the spring flowers in our garden inspired me to create this not only delicious but also beautifully layered ombre chia pudding. The trick is to add wheatgrass and beet powder to your chia pudding and top with a mixture of soy yogurt and mango puree. I am so in love with this! Click on the picture to go to the recipe.
Unicorn Chia Parfait
Here we go, Blue again. Pink food is another obsession of mine. I love to play with beet powder, which is very intense in color but mild in taste. You can add it to any breakfast dishes or desserts. For this recipe, I mixed it with plant-based yogurt. Pomegranate jewels, rose buds and zebra primulas are a perfect decoration for this unicorn chia pudding parfait. For the recipe just click on the picture.
Superfood Chia Pudding
‘Superfood’ is a big word, I know. Actually, every plant-based food is a superfood from berries to greens. But powdered veggies, fruits or even cacao are specifically high in antioxidants and deserve to be referred to as superfoods. Can you guess the ingredients in this Superfood Chia Pudding? It’s wheatgrass, cacao and beet powder. For the recipe just click on the image.