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Chia Pudding – swell

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding with mangos and blueberries

Chia Pudding with mangos and blueberries

Remember Chia Pets?  Actually, they’re still going quite strong, aren’t they?  (That Chia Obama is, uh, really something else.)

I’ve recently learned that not only can you decorate some terra cotta with wet chia seeds and watch it grow, but you can soak them in water or milk, add a few spices and sweeteners, and eat them as a pudding, too!  (In Mexico, chia seeds are often mixed with water or juice to make a drink called chia fresca.)  Chia are super-tiny little seeds with neutral flavor that are generally considered a “dietary supplement” but have a few food applications as well.

Chia has the ability to hold many times its weight in water, and as it soaks it becomes gelatinous … in the case of some homemade almond milk, I think it’s very much like tapioca pudding.  Only unlike tapioca, chia are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids (in fact, the highest-known vegetable source of omega-3s!) and a 1-oz. serving contains about 4g of protein.  And you don’t have to cook chia seeds to hydrate them, making them raw-friendly.  Hurray!

While I bought my seeds at the co-op in bulk, I’ve seen canisters of them in a few grocery stores around town.  You only need 1/4 c for this recipe, so a little goes a long way (should the canister seem rather expensive, that is).

The longer you soak the chia seeds, the softer they become.  I found them perfectly edible after about 20 minutes of soaking, but they do have a bit of a “crunch” to them.  Leaving them overnight in the refrigerator made them wonderfully soft and the almond milk almost thick enough to stand a spoon up in!  Of course, if you’ve never been a big fan of tapioca pudding, you probably won’t like this.  But if you are, this makes a really lovely alternative.  Experiment with different spices and fruits!

Chia Pudding (serves 1-2):

1/4 whole chia seeds

1 c almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 banana (optional – if your milk is unsweetened)

2-3 dates, pitted (optional – if your milk is unsweetened)

a few dashes cinnamon

a pinch of salt

chopped fresh fruit to top (optional)

Place the chia seeds in a bowl or covered container.  If using the banana and/or dates, blend them in a food processor or blender with the milk, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour this mixture over the chia seeds and stir well.  Let it soak on the counter for at least 10 minutes until thickened, or cover and soak in the fridge overnight.  Stir again before serving, and top with fresh fruit and another dash of cinnamon or spices.

31 Responses to “Chia Pudding”

  1. jd says:

    This is such a cool post! Not only are the pictures gorgeous, but I learned something new by reading it, too :)

    Although I’ve never seen chia seeds before, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for them now. I really can’t wait to give this a try…


  2. Jeff Ferguson says:

    Great post! I love chia. In fact I just bought a 5kg bag! That should keep my chia pudding cravings satisfied for a while.

  3. Courtney says:

    This sounds great! I have gotten chia seeds from the Wedge before, but I ground them up to use as egg replacers and I keep them in the freezer. Did you grind the chia seeds before making the pudding? Or did you use whole ones? I am excited to try this–even if I do have to buy new (unground) chia seeds!


    • a-k says:

      Whole chia! I have heard about grinding them and using them as egg replacers, but I’ve never actually done it. I love the little gray globes of chia in this pudding – so cute and mystical!

  4. Diann says:

    What a fantastic idea! I have some ground chia seeds, but I don’t think I’ve seen the whole ones.

  5. Julie Hasson says:

    Yum! I’ll have to pick some up and try this out. I love tapioca pudding!

    The chia seeds I’ve seen around Portland are very pricey. They seem to be much cheaper on the web.

  6. That looks great! Chia seeds are such a fun food to work with, I love how they gel!

  7. You are the first person who has been successful in getting me on board with chia seeds! You have me convinced…that pudding looks awesome!!!

  8. DJ says:

    the first thing I thought upon seeing that was ‘tapioca’! I like the sound of chia seeds – you can add them to smoothies too, I believe.

  9. Melisser says:

    Whoa! They sound so interesting & you make them look tasty!

  10. Mandee says:

    Hiiiii! We can totally be raw buddies cause my bf isn’t vegan or raw! And I use your blog for inspiration too, I might try this chia pudding, I’ve never had anything like it :) xox

  11. Jodye says:

    I’ve never tried chia before, but I am mighty curious. And I love pudding, so this looks like an excellent starting point!

  12. caitlin says:

    I made this this morning…terrific. I soaked mine overnight in sweetened hemp milk and still got the crunch, but the consistency was great. Topped with fresh banana and blueberry…uhh i want more. Thanks for this recommendation.

    • a-k says:

      I’m so glad you tried it! It’s so easy to make, and pretty good for you too. When I make a larger serving it gets to sit for an extra day or two in the fridge and gets super soft, which is pretty nice. I just made one with carob … yummy!

  13. KiKi says:

    Chia is illegal in Germany, what a bummer !!!!

  14. justine says:

    mmm that looks tasty!

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  16. TheWestCoast says:

    I soaked 1/4c water with 2t chia for 24hrs and applied them to my chia pot but wondered what to do with the 75% leftover! Thanks to your post, I added stevia and ate it like pudding. I was concerned that not having refrigerated them may’ve been a problem, but I thought I’d try it anyway. BTW They still have a bit of a crunch even after a day of soaking.

    PS Why would Germany ban them?

    • a-k says:

      Glad you found a way to use up some leftover seeds (though I wouldn’t recommend using the seeds that come with a chia pet). I’ve had some batches have a little crunch… I suppose it’s soft enough for me the next day. As far as Germany banning chia seeds, I have absolutely no idea why they would.

  17. [...] I made it last night and it couldn’t have been simpler. I got the recipe from the blog Swell Vegan and it was so goood! I halved the recipe and didn’t have a banana but followed the rest of the [...]

  18. [...] get at my normal grocery store for cheaper. I was actually looking for Chia seeds after seeing this chia pudding post over at Swell Vegan. Now I’m wondering if I’m supposed to buy them in a gardening [...]

  19. Love, love, love this stuff! Thanks, I’d never heard of them before ;)

  20. [...] been wanting to make this for a month now after seeing the recipe on Swell Vegan. I finally ordered some chia seeds after figuring out I would never find them at a store.I blended [...]

  21. [...] first read about chia seeds on Swell Vegan and after doing some research on these little guys, I decided to buy my own bag of chia seeds.  [...]

  22. [...] For a visual or what a chia pudding looks like (except in this pic the seeds aren’t blended), check out yet another chia pudding version at the delightful simply vegan blog. [...]

  23. Amy says:

    I just made this pudding last night with coconut milk and bananas and it was AWESOME! It’s my first time on your site and the first recipe that I found, but needless to say I’ll definitely be back.

  24. [...] A big thanks to Swell Vegan for the inspiration on this dish and for a GREAT base recipe! [...]

  25. Julia says:

    I sent this recipe to my boyfriend, since he’s a runner and into “superfoods”. He is now absolutely obsessed with this recipe and said he could “eat it every morning for the rest of my life.” He loves SwellVegan! :) Just thought you should know!

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