Chia Pudding – My New Obsession

chia pudding

We’ve been hearing a lot about chia seeds lately…you know, the ones that grow into plants on “chia pets”. These seeds are actually packed with health benefits.

I recently spotted a new product in the dairy section of Whole Foods, “Chia Pods”.  I tried all 3 flavors, mango, blueberry and banana, and the only one I really liked was blueberry.  Actually, I fell in love and I think it was the texture which reminded me of the tapioca pudding I ate way too much of as a kid.  At a steep $2.99 for a small “pod” I decided to try making this myself, especially since the only ingredients listed were chia seeds, coconut/almond milk and fruit. How hard could this be?

I started by googling chia pudding recipes and found that the proportion of chia seeds to liquid varied significantly in all the recipes.  For the next week, I had a refrigerator full of small bowls of chia pudding experiments.  I tried chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, coconut and cinnamon. Some were good and some were exceptional.

Chia pudding has to be the easiest pudding I’ve ever made and it’s packed with health benefits. The chia seeds expand in the liquid and create a gelatin-like texture which is very similar to tapioca. I also noticed that the chia seeds filled me up so much that I had less of an appetite. Hmmm…maybe they were expanding in my stomach as well.

Here are some benefits I’m quoting from a great article about Chia seeds posted on the Dr. Oz website:

Curb Snacking

“Chia seeds are super high in soluble fiber which, in addition to filling you up, has cholesterol-lowering properties and prevents the absorption of fat. Try stirring two tablespoons of “whole” or “raw” chia seeds into a glass of water and wait a few minutes, drinking them down before the seeds absorb the water and get hard. It’ll curb your mid-day cravings!” Have you ever tried those chia drinks that taste like jello (Whole Foods)?  They are really good, but wow are they expensive!

Sleep Better

“Like turkey, they contain the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan, which raises melatonin and serotonin levels and helps promote stable sleep. With more than twice the tryptophan of turkey, you’ll need just 2 ounces of chia seeds to help you snooze.”

Give Your Hair Luster

“This chia-seed shake provides a complete protein for your hair – containing all essential amino acids in an easily-digested form. Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, omega-3 oil, fiber and minerals, which all contribute to strong and shiny hair.”

Get the full recipe here.

Make Recipes Healthier

“Top it off with this recipe from the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Lifestyle Medicine. It gives you super cancer-fighting cabbage, plus a splash of inflammation-reducing omega-3s. Enjoy some coleslaw – without the guilt!”

Get the full recipe here.

After making chia pudding about 10 different ways this past week, I finally settled on the following basic chia pudding which produced the consistency I liked the most. Try your own and share your favorite creations with us!

My Favorite Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk, coconut milk or other favorite (I prefer the unsweetened organic ones in a box, not can)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or use agave, honey or stevia, adjust to preferred taste) note: if using sweetened milk, you may want to leave the additional sweetener out. I found when using organic frozen blueberries that I preferred no additional sweetener.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients and refrigerate. I found this easy to just shake up in a glass container with a lid. Cover and refrigerate overnight or whenever it reaches desired thickness. Note: it’s best to whisk or shake again a few times during the first hour which prevents the chia seeds from clumping up. Top with favorite fruit, if desired.

Favorite Options:

  • Stir in blueberries (used frozen organic) after mixing other ingredients
  • Use chocolate almond milk for a delicious flavor
  • Mix in some Shaklee 180 (or your favorite protein powder) for a healthy breakfast or snack

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks Nancy! I’m going to try this! Love how you experimented with your recipes to get it just right, so you! :)

  2. I’ve had your chia pudding and it’s awesome. I like the texture and the fact it’s not overly sweet like most puddings.

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