Chia seeds are a quick and healthy way to thicken recipes because they are unique in the way that they plump up dramatically and form a viscous gel, kind of like tapioca. They can be used to make a simple jam, to throw in smoothies, for overnight oats, and best of all, to make chia puddings like this Chocolate Chia Pudding with Blueberries.
They are also full of wholesome goodness because they have omega 3 fatty acids, are high in fiber and even have protein and minerals, as well. Be sure to read my article, “Chia: Small Seeds with Big Nutrition,” that gives you all the lowdown on why including chia seeds in your diet is a good thing to do.
While chia seeds come in both a lighter color and an almost black color, it doesn’t really matter which you use in a recipe unless you’d like to keep color consistent, like in a lighter pudding, you might want to use the lighter chia seeds.
Chia seeds take about two hours to swell up enough to thicken a pudding so plan ahead if you’d like to serve it for dinner. For this recipe, all you need to do is add the seeds to your favorite plant milk along with the flavorings and chill the pudding in either individual serving bowls or in one larger bowl. Then set in the refrigerator to chill.
Don’t forget to get creative with the toppings. Just about any bite-sized fruit, either fresh or frozen, will work and you can sprinkle on a little cinnamon, cacao nibs as well as nuts or seeds.
These little beauties are also great for meal prep. They can be frozen (using jars made for the freezer) for several weeks and popped out and thawed when ready to use. Be sure to leave some room at the top for the pudding to expand.
It’s fun to use different jars for serving your chocolate chia pudding, too. I especially like the wide-mouth 8-ounce jelly jars with a vintage fruit design which you can find in most hardware stores, Target or Amazon.
Or these Wrek jars, that hold about 1 cup, also work well.
Here are my other chia recipes:
I hope you’ll experiment with your own pudding ideas and discover how great chia seeds are for a whole food, plant-based diet.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Chocolate Chia Pudding with Raspberries! If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!
Chocolate Chia Pudding with Blueberries
- In a medium-sized bowl, blend the cacao powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup and vanilla with a little plant milk until you get a paste.. Then add the rest of the milk. Stir to combine. Taste and if you'd like it sweeter, add more maple syrup or Stevia.
- Add the chia seeds and stir. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until the chia seeds swell, stirring once in a while to blend.
- When the mixture is pudding-like, put into individual serving dishes and top with blueberries or another of your favorite fruits and a few slivered almonds or just leave in the bowl and refrigerator for 4-5 days.