For a long time, I resisted the chia seed pudding craze. I thought people had just been reading too many running books or spending too much time in health-food stores, and it couldn’t actually be that good.
(Kinda like goji berries — who actually likes those?)
Then somehow, I came into possession of a bag of chia seeds. Pudding seemed like the easiest (and potentially most appealing) way to use them up, so I gave it a shot — and, wow, am I glad I did!
Chia seed pudding is now one of the most-loved “desserts” in our household, and it’s infinitely (yes, infinitely) healthier than ice cream, real pudding, or anything else you might consider similar. The texture of chia pudding can take a little getting used to, given that they are tiny seeds, but it won’t take you long to get over that part.
Besides tasting great, chia seeds are packed full of omega-3 fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, calcium, and other essential minerals. So not only are they not bad for you, but they’re actually doing good stuff in your body.
I mix this recipe up in the afternoon and it’s ready in time for a dinner dessert or a morning breakfast. If you put it in small individual containers, it can even be an on-the-go snack. Try it yourself and discover the surprise of chia seed pudding.
For ease of portion control, you can also mix everything in a big bowl and pour out the mixture into small mason jars or containers while it is still room temperature. Let it set in the individual containers, and then just grab and go for a great snack or dessert in your lunchbox.
Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding
I mix this recipe up in the afternoon and it’s ready in time for a dinner dessert or a morning breakfast. If you put it in small individual containers, it can even be an on-the-go snack
- 1 15oz can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sweetener of your choice see below
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Possibly up to 1/2 cup water depends on the thickness of your coconut milk and preferences
Put coconut milk, vanilla, sweetener, and cinnamon into a dish that you can easily cover and mix very well. Make sure all the coconut lumps get broken up and the liquid is smooth.
If your coconut milk seems thick already, then add 1/4 or 1/3 cup of water. If your coconut milk is thin, skip this step.
Stir in chia seeds and mix thoroughly. (You can also just combine steps one and two, and throw everything into a blender, especially if you don’t prefer the “seedy” nature of chia seeds.)
Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to let gel. I usually let it sit overnight.
Serve in individual bowls or mugs. Top with sliced fresh fruit, nuts, and/or shredded (unsweetened) coconut.
The sweetener options are pretty endless with this recipe, so I encourage you to experiment. This recipe can be compliant on Kickstart, Lifestyle, or Performance levels depending on which sweetener you choose.
Here are some options that will work:
- 1/3 teaspoon of powdered or liquid stevia
- 1/3 cup date puree
- 1/3 mashed bananas
- 1/4 teaspoon monkfruit extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Note: the date puree and bananas will also act as thickeners, so if you choose them as sweeteners you may need to add more coconut milk and/or water to the recipe.
Also, try these flavor variations:
- Mix in 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Mix in 1/2 cup fresh fruit
- Add 1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
- Add 1 teaspoon maca powder
- Use 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon in the ingredient list
- Use almond extract (or any other flavor extract) instead of vanilla