Chia seeds have been gaining in popularity, what with chia-infused juices, kombucha, and even peanut butter popping up in grocery stores. Why the obsession? Well, many people like them for the nutritional benefits: they have healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, they’re high in fiber, and have vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and selenium. Regardless of whether you buy into the healthy-eating hype surrounding chia seeds, though, they’re still delicious in their own right. I also prefer their flavor to flax seeds – I think chia has a much milder taste. Plus, it’s much more versatile – flax pudding just wouldn’t be very delicious, would it?
I love making chia seeds into a pudding precisely because they’re high in fiber. It’s a filling snack and very satisfying when paired with some fruit or a handful of chocolate chips. It’s also super easy – there’s no cooking involved, the pudding is done in 20-30 minutes, and it keeps well in the refrigerator.
The texture isn’t for everyone, but if you like tapioca pudding, you will almost certainly like chia pudding. They are very similar in consistency, but where tapioca is squishy and chewy, chia pudding retains a slight, toothsome crunch when you bite into it.
Recipe for vanilla chia pudding follows after the cut!
- 2/3 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups whole milk (my preference, though you can use 2% or nonfat if you prefer), or milk substitute (unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk both work well here)
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar, depending on your personal taste
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
- Various toppings - mini chocolate chips, pomegranate seeds, clementine slices, and blood oranges are just a few of my favorites
- Whisk together chia seeds and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Combine milk and vanilla paste/extract in a separate bowl and stir to combine.
- Whisk the liquid into the chia seeds until well-combined.
- Every 5-10 minutes, whisk the chia mixture to prevent lumps from forming.
- After 20-30 minutes, the mixture should have formed a pudding-like consistency. If it's too loose, don't worry - it will continue to firm up over time.
- That's it! Serve in a cup with the toppings of your choice and enjoy!
- Chia pudding keeps for up to a week in the fridge.
- If it gets too firm, simply stir in some more liquid (milk or milk substitute) until it reaches your desired consistency.