I think chia pudding is either love or hate for most people. The texture and the consistency must be what throws people off because the flavors can be amazing! If the texture does bother you at all, I recommend making it in the blender instead of stirring it. Chia seeds are a potent source of nutrition. They are high in fiber, protein, and calcium while also being a great source of B vitamins, iron, phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium. Just 2 tbsp of chia seeds have the same amount of heart-healthy Omega 3's as four ounces of salmon.
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that we need in our bodies. Each day our body provides us with a wide array of subtle symptoms to tell us what it needs. These are the symptoms of an essential fatty acid deficiency:
Rough, dry or scaly skin
Ddry, dull or ‘lifeless’ hair
Soft or brittle nails
Cracking/peeling behind the ears
Raised bumps on the skin are particularly characteristic
Chia seeds are a simple and fun way to boost your nutrition without having to take a supplement. They also help you feel full because they absorb almost 10 times their weight in liquid. Aside from pudding, you can add them to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, fruit salads, and in your baked goods. Let's start with the pudding!
1 cup nut milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp-1 T sweetener depending on preference (agave, maple syrup, honey)
scant 1/8 tsp salt
Whisk all ingredients in a container. If desired, you can blend everything together now, which will result in a smoother consistency the next day. Cover, shake, then refrigerate overnight. The next day, it will be nice and thick. The pudding will keep 4-5 days refrigerated, so feel free to make a larger batch and portion into individual containers. I have also made it in the morning for an afternoon snack so don't feel like you have to make it overnight.
The reason I didn't recommend a set amount of sweetener is because it isn't completely necessary so it is totally a personal preference. I have done this recipe with no sweetener and put it in the blender with a banana and it was perfect! So the sweetener depends on the other flavors you may experiment with.
If the pudding is runny, it may be the type of nut milk you are using is a little thin. Just add another sprinkle of chia seeds in, mix it up and it should only take 15-30 minutes to thicken up.
Here are some ways to quickly and easily change up the recipe:
Strawberry Coconut: Use coconut milk in the base recipe, and garnish with sliced strawberries or layer the pudding in a glass between layers of chopped berries. You can always throw one to three strawberries into the blender with the pudding recipe to make it more flavorful.
Blueberry Pie Chia Pudding: Stir in 1/4 cup mashed or pureed blueberries or blueberry yogurt. Add a dash of cinnamon and tiny sprinkle of cardamom if desired.
Peanut Butter: Stir 1-2 tbsp peanut butter or powdered peanut butter into the base recipe.
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: Stir in mini chocolate chips and 1/4 cup mashed banana. I like to pan fry the banana in coconut oil first so it caramelizes, adding natural sweetness.
Chocolate Fudge Chia Pudding: Add 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips and 2 tbsp cocoa powder or your favorite chocolate protein powder to the base recipe.
I think you can see by these flavor profiles that Chia Pudding can be a light, refreshing snack or a decadent dessert without the guilt!
I have an entire board on Pinterest with more chia recipes you can check out. Some of the flavors you will find there include: Pina colada, chocolate orange, snickers, coconut mango, and lemon curd! I hope you try it out and enjoy.