Did you know it's possible to make pudding without any cooking at all? Sounds crazy, right? Well today I'm going to share a with you a recipe for chia seed pudding using just a handful of ingredients. It may not be quite the same as the pudding cups you buy at the store, but I promise it's delicious in its own right and totally breakfast worthy.
Photos via Edible Perspective
Today we're going to learn how to make chia seed pudding!
Are you familiar with chia seeds? They've been around for thousands of years but have just become much more mainstream in the past few years. You can find them at many different grocery stores, even in bulk at Costco!
Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds that are a nutritional powerhouse. They're loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and are very easily digested. They also absorb more than 12 times their weight in water! That fact is the exact reason why chia seeds are perfect for making pudding. They absorb whatever liquid you put them in and thicken things right up!
Maybe you've come across a recipe for chia seed pudding in the past. Maybe you've even tried one out. Most chia seed puddings are made by stirring together chia seeds, milk, and any other flavor additions you choose (ie: cocoa powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup, bananas, dates, coconut, etc.). You can combine everything together, set it in the fridge to thicken, and your pudding is ready to eat in just a few hours.
However, when you leave the chia seeds in the milk in their whole-seed form it creates a sort of gelatinous texture once they absorb the liquid. While I know many people who love this texture I am not one of them. It's a little too gelled for me. To conquer this texture issue I simply blend the ingredients together which results in a smooth and creamy pudding.
Typically I create a chia seed pudding with bananas for extra creaminess, but today I went a different route with one of the recipes. Since it's summer I wanted to utilize in season produce. This called for peaches and sweet cherries!
While it may have taken three trials to perfect, the effort was definitely worth it. The key is to not use much additional liquid since the fruit has so much natural juice that it releases when you blend.
After blending everything together in just a few minutes you're ready to send your pudding mixture off to the fridge. It will thicken tremendously as it sits, so I recommend leaving it for at least a few hours or overnight.
If you're in the mood for something with a bit of chocolate and peanut butter I highly recommend checking out my chocolate peanut butter creamy chia seed pudding. Using chia seeds to make pudding is such an easy and healthy alternative that's perfect for a busy workweek. The kids will love it, too!
And if you want to make a dessert version just sweeten it up at bit or add a few fun toppings like chocolate chips and coconut!
The second version I made was one of my go-to blends with peanut butter and banana. The texture for the Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Pudding is a bit thicker and creamier with a heartier flavor, while the Cherry Chia Seed Pudding is a little thinner with more of a refreshing flavor.
I would probably choose the peanut butter banana version for breakfast and the cherry peach as an afternoon snack. What about you?
Cherry chia seed pudding (vegan, gluten-free)
Yields: approximately 12 ounces
- 1/2 heaping cup sweet cherries (pitted)
- 1 1/2 medium ripe peaches (pitted)
- 1-3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup (if desired)
Place the cherries, peaches, and 1 tablespoon of orange juice in your blender and blend until fully smooth. Add just a touch more orange juice if necessary to keep things moving. You want to keep the mixture thick.
Place in storage container and stir in the chia seeds. Seal and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Pour into your blender and blend until fully smooth. Taste and add maple syrup for more sweetness. Serve immediately with desired toppings, or seal and chill to eat at a later time. Can be stored for about 2-3 days.
Recipe notes: If you want a creamier texture you can add 1/2 of a banana to the mix but you will lose some of the peach flavor.
Peanut-butter banana chia seed pudding (vegan, gluten-free)
Yields: approximately 8 ounces
- 1 medium banana
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup (if desired)
Place the banana, peanut butter, and milk in your blender and blend until fully smooth.
Step 2 & 3: Same as above.