Super-Nutritious Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
Using coconut milk, this creamy and sweet vanilla chia seed pudding takes less than 5 minutes to prepare (win!) and packs a big nutritional punch! Nourish your body at breakfast with this simple recipe, or enjoy the chia pudding in the afternoon as a nutritious and filling snack topped with fruit.
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding:
Have you ever tried chia pudding? If you haven’t, you’re in for a [super nutritious] treat!
If you’ve read my blog post all about seeds, then you’ll know that I’m a big fan of chia seeds. As a dietitian, I get pretty excited about foods that pack a nutritional punch, which is why I have several healthy and wholesome recipes with chia seeds here on my site, including gluten-free chia pudding, vegan chia pudding, and high-fibre chia pudding recipes.
This Vanilla Chia Pudding makes an easy nutritious breakfast recipe, and it only requires 5 ingredients and 5 minutes to make!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny, oval-shaped seeds that are typically a dark grey colour (almost charcoal-looking) with black and white spots. They are the edible seeds of the flowering plant Salvia hispanica.
Fun fact: chia seeds have the ability to absorb 10x their weight in liquid (!!).
What is Chia Pudding?
Due to their ability to absorb liquid, when you mix chia seeds together with a liquid like coconut milk (or any milk), the mixture thickens up as the liquid gets absorbed, leaving you with a creamy, thick, pudding-like consistency. This is why I love using chia seeds in my overnight oats as well!
Generally, it takes about 4 hours for chia seeds to expand and absorb liquid fully. This is why I recommend that you let your chia pudding set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Bonus: chia seeds are naturally gluten-free, vegan and nut-free, so just about anyone can make and enjoy chia seed pudding!
Is Chia Pudding Healthy?
Absolutely! Chia seeds are super nutritious, and because chia pudding consists of mainly chia seeds, chia pudding is generally very healthy. It’s rich in fibre, healthy fats, essential minerals, and even offers some plant-based protein.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:
- Chia seeds are a great source of fibre, with 11 grams of fibre per 2 tablespoons. The type of fibre that chia seeds are rich in is soluble fibre, which can help to lower cholesterol, regulate digestion, and keep you feeling full.
- They are also a good source of a specific type of healthy fats, called polyunsaturated fats. The variety of polyunsaturated fats that chia seeds offer includes omega 3 fatty acids, which may play a role in heart and brain health.
- Chia seeds are also a source of various essential micronutrients, including minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. 2 tablespoons of chia seeds offers 10% of your daily recommend calcium and iron intake. This is great if you follow a plant-based diet, because both calcium and iron tend to be nutrients of concern.
- These little seeds also offer some plant-based protein. 2 tablespoons of chia seeds offer 4 grams of plant-based protein, which isn’t too shabby! While I wouldn’t rely on them as your main protein source at meals, but they can definitely add a boost.
How to Make Vanilla Chia Pudding:
Making chia pudding is easy as pie – or should I say easy as pudding? It takes less than 5 minutes to whisk 4-5 simple ingredients together and then you leave it in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to let the chia seeds do their thing.
Tip: After placing the chia pudding in the fridge to set, give it a good stir approximately 1-2 hours later. This will help to prevent the seeds not setting properly, which can result in a more runny, soupy mixture.
The chia pudding ratio is usually four parts liquid to one part chia seeds (4:1), so 1 cup of liquid and 1/4 cup of chia seeds. Or 1/2 cup liquid and 2 tbsp chia seeds.
The result is a creamy, sweet, pudding-like dish that can be enjoyed as breakfast to fuel your day or as a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth and nourish your body.
How to Serve Chia Pudding:
A lot of people ask “should chia pudding should be served warm or cold?”. Personally, I like to enjoy my chia pudding cold, but think it would be just as delicious served warm (just warm it up in the microwave) for a cozy breakfast option. Let me know if you try it!
As for toppings, you can customize chia seed pudding however you like, which is another reason why I love it. Here are some things you can add to your Vanilla Chia Pudding when serving:
- Fruit: I like to use tropical fruits like mango or kiwi, but chia pudding is also delicious with berries (I love raspberries) or banana slices.
- Nut butter: Peanut butter and almond butter are favourites of mine, but it would also be delicious with a creamy cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option!
- Coconut: I like using shredded coconut, but crunchy coconut flakes would add great texture to chia pudding too.
- Granola: Try my White Chocolate Orange Granola or Vegan Pumpkin Granola in the fall!
- Chocolate chips: You can’t go wrong with a sprinkle of chocolate chips when that sweet tooth strikes!
How to Store Chia Pudding:
Chia pudding is super easy to store! Just keep it sealed in an airtight container in your refrigerator, and it will keep up to 5 days in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can also freeze chia pudding (yes, chia pudding is freezer-friendly!) in freezer-safe containers. It will store well in the freezer up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it in the fridge, and give it a good stir before serving.
This Vanilla Chia Pudding is also great for meal prep! To make several servings, double or triple this recipe (the recipe below makes 2 servings), and spoon the mixture into to-go containers (or mason jars) with fruit or as is. Store them in the fridge, then grab and go!
Tips & Tricks:
- If you don’t like the texture of chia seed pudding, try blending it up before serving! The result is smooth, creamy and free of that seedy texture that many people dislike.
- Alternatively, you can make chia seed pudding using milled chia seeds and blend all of the ingredients together in a blender before allowing to set, and then serving.
Connect with Hannah Magee, RD!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you try it, let me know what you think by leaving a rating and a review in the comments below. Oh, and be sure to take a photo and tag me on @hannahmagee_rd so I can see!
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Super-Nutritious Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/4 cup chia seeds, (learn chia seeds' nutrition benefits)
- 1 cup light coconut milk, can sub with any other non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 pinch salt, optional
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Transfer to 2 an airtight container or mason jar and refrigerate for minimum 4 hours or overnight.
- After approximately 1-2 hours in the fridge, give the mixture a good stir then place back in the fridge until minimum 4 hours have passed.
- Remove from fridge, add optional toppings, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Mine did not set up!
I’m sorry to hear that Diane! It could have been a variety of things.
– did you leave it in the fridge to set long enough?
– did you make sure to stir/shake everything together well before putting in the fridge?
Mine didn’t either. I added 2 more tablespoons and voila! Problem solved.
love this recipe i have made this countless times thank you
I love this Vanilla Chia Pudding! This dessert is so delicious and healthy! Thank you so much for sharing!💕
Thank you! So glad you like it!
I haven’t tried this yet, but I will soon. But quick question, is this a dish I can “meal prep” for like a few days, or something that has to be eaten within a day?? Thanks!
Yes absolutely, chia pudding is a great meal prep recipe! It will last in the fridge for at least 5 days. 🙂
I did not see the nutritional information.
Hi! What coconut milk do you use?
Hey there! I use canned coconut milk! Sometimes light, sometimes full-fat. You could also use the coconut milk from the carton if you like.
This is delicious! I use unsweetened oat milk. So good!
I’m so happy to hear! Thank you Kara. 🙂
Do you have to use maple syrup how about agave? Will it still be healthy? Have a sweet tooth.
You can definitely use any sweetener you want! It will still be healthy. 🙂
Super Nutritional with no nutrition information. 🤔
Hi Autumn, while I don’t personally provide the exact nutrition breakdown for my recipes, I have described in the post body the nutritional benefits of the chia seed pudding. If you would like to view the nutrition breakdown per serving, you can easily input the recipe into a calculator like MyFitnessPal. 🙂
Thank you , my husband loved it !
Thanks Michelle, I’m so happy to hear!
Mine didn’t set but it tastes really good plus I added some cinnamon. Not sure how the chia seeds can absorb all the liquid to thicken it up? I stirred really well both times but still runny!
Chia seeds are high in soluble fibre, so when they combine with liquid the two mix together and create a thick, gel-like consistency. Because of their soluble fibre content, chia seeds can absorb 10x their weight in liquid! This is why they can thicken it.
Sorry yours didn’t set up – may I ask how long you let it sit?