What is chia seed pudding?
Chia seed pudding is simply a mixture of chia seeds and milk (preferably, non-dairy), that is allowed to sit at least six hours in the refrigerator. This soaking method allows the chia seeds to soak up the liquid and create a pudding.
Chia seed pudding is a fantastic make-ahead breakfast or snack. It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, and easily keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. For this reason, it is perfect for meal-prepping! It just comes down to getting the right proportion, mixing it thoroughly, and letting it refrigerate! Then you can add in whatever flavors you want to customize it.
What are the ingredients?
- Chia seeds were originally grown in Mexico. The seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. Today, they are valued for the same reasons, and are often considered a ‘Super Food’.
- Chia Seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, calcium, potassium, magnesium, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Prepared properly, they are very easy to digest. Chia seeds must be soaked before eating. They are highly absorbent. For this reason, if they are eaten dry (without soaking), they can absorb moisture from inside your esophagus and create a blockage. This is why we soak them first, or make puddings, or blend them into smoothies, or mix them in with yogurt! Avoid sprinkling these on salads or other dishes – try other seeds instead.
- They are also a source of manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and copper.
- Chia seeds can easily be purchased online from companies like Amazon or Vitacost. You can also find them at most grocery stores in the health foods section. I like this Nutiva brand of chia seeds, because it is organic and non-GMO.
- To make chia seed pudding, you can pretty much use any non-dairy nut milk you like. I particularly enjoy unsweetened original almond milk (no added sugars), but have also made it with homemade coconut milk (get a recipe here), and a coconut/almond milk blend. Cashew milk, macadamia nut milk, soy milk, hazelnut, pecan… the list goes on and on. I’m sure they are all delicious!
- Why use nut milk? The great thing about nut milks is that they have zero cholesterol, no to very little saturated fats, and they are naturally lactose free (great for those of us who are lactose intolerant)! They are also much lower in calories. If you feel like you are missing out on protein, they have protein-fortified plant-based milks (most often, cashew based).
- If you are allergic to nuts, you can try rice milk or oat milk.
- Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup. You don’t need much – only 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp – or a drizzle on top. Your sweetener can be added before soaking, or after.
- Vanilla. Again, a very small amount – Around 1/8 tsp – Vanilla can be added before or after soaking.
- I highly recommend adding flavors to your chia pudding. Chia seeds do not have much of a flavor, if anything – it can be quite earthy! A small splash of vanilla covers that right up.