Basic Chia Seed Pudding
February 18, 2010

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Hey all!

So pleased with the huge reaction to Brendan’s interview. Keep the entries coming — I can’t wait to award a lucky reader with a copy of Thrive Fitness!

A few days ago I posted some of my favorite raw or semi-raw breakfast options. I mentioned that chia seed pudding is a quick and easy breakfast choice, and a few of you wrote in to ask whether or not I have a recipe for it. Well, I do, and I’m happy to say it’s a simple one! The truth is that there’s not much to chia pudding: you simply want to mix one part chia seeds with two parts liquid (almond milk is the easiest choice), stir, and wait. Over the course of thirty minutes to an hour, the chia seeds will gelatinize and the pudding will thicken up nicely. You can add whatever sweetener or spices you like to the mix: cinnamon is a lovely addition, and so is cocoa (or cacao) powder. I always add a bit of stevia and a hint of vanilla to my basic mix, which is as follows:

Gena’s Basic Chia Pudding (yields 3-4 servings)

3/4 cup chia seeds
2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 pitted dates
Tiny dash salt

Simply mix the ingredients together, and let them rest for a few moments. Stir the mix well with a fork every five minutes or so. At first, it’ll seem far too liquidy, but over the course of thirty minutes the chia seeds will plump up, till the pudding resembles tapioca pudding, like so:

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It will taste mild and delicious. Here, along with a cup of coconut water (those are glass bottles from Organic Avenue, which I reuse at home all the time!), it made for a perfect pre-workout snack:

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Chia seeds, in case you were wondering, are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, & copper.  In fact, they contain 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus, and 4.6 times more potassium per 100g of edible portion than milk, and have 6 times more iron per 100g of edible portion than spinach, 1.8 times more iron than lentils, and 2.4 times more iron than beef liver. To this, add a high protein composition (19-23%) and the fact that they can aid in hydration for physical fitness, and you have a very nourishing snack indeed!

A little bored by this recipe? Check out my buddy Kristen’s holiday chia pudding, or my own chocolate peppermint chia seed pudding.

Chia pudding, like so many raw concoctions, may sound daunting, but in reality it’s as painless and simple as can be. Hope you all get a chance to try it, and love it!

xo

Categories: Breakfast, Gluten Free, Raw

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    117 Comments
  1. I was wondering the same thing last night actually, I had the option between canned coconut milk & skim milk. In the end I just used skim milk and it worked out fine! 🙂

  2. Terrible recipe for a first timer. Can really harm a person’s intestinal tract and lead to intestinal and bowel discomfort and constipation.

    “Most producers and resellers of chia recommend a daily dose of 2 tablespoons, although some recommendations have been as high as 6 tablespoons of chia seeds per day. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that these dosages (2 – 6 tablespoons) may be way too high for some people. If you experience constipation or any other form of intestinal distress after consuming the standard recommended dose of chia seeds, consider adjusting the amount to 1 to 2 teaspoons.”

    Also this chia to liquid ratio recommendation should be about 1:9. This recipe is close to half! My source is sited below. Health and abundance to all.

    Source: http://www.healwithfood.org/constipation/chia-seeds-cause-relief.php#ixzz3OXWpe0YB

    • I’ve actually come to the same conclusion, Sylvie! I’m glad you left this comment, because it compelled me to update the recipe to include dates 🙂

  3. What kind of chia seeds do you use? Mine didn’t plump up that big…. still very tasty though. I added cinnamon, vanilla extract, and some vanilla creme stevia drops. YUM. Close your eyes and tastes like rice pudding!

  4. Really trying to add healthier choices, I am willing to give this pudding a go. I have not used chia seeds before, and I am confused ; I see it says, the seeds “plump up”, in addition to them “passing whole” if not chewed properly. Having had a bout of diverticulitis a couple years ago that gave me a colon hole, I avoid most seeds, especially the tiny ones. When soaked as indicated and the seed plumps up, does it still require a lot of “chewing”. I am not accustomed to chewing pudding!

  5. Once I tried Chia Seeds in my smoothie, Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, enjoy the taste. Love Chia Pudding too, along with almond milk.

  6. I just bought liquid stevia, but haven’t used it yet. How much do you put in yours? I don’t want to mess it up. 🙂

  7. Any further info on the iron content? Are we sure there’s iron in chia? How do we know? Thanks for helping me look into this, chia pals.

  8. I’d like to know about growing my on seed to eat. Were can Ipurchase seed to develop or does this seed grow if planted? Fresh is what I am looking for.
    Thanks

  9. I’m sure it’s extremely healthy, but something about chia pudding just looks like insect larvae to me. -_-

  10. […] super easy & you can make it with coconut or almond milk. It even works for breakfast too. Basic Chia Seed Pudding I hope you get some answers 09/15/2009 DX A1C Sept 2009 7.7 . March 2012 5.2 A1C Nov 2009 […]

  11. Would it be too much if one person consumed the whole recipe for breakfast? Are there any health concerns regarding eating too much chia? I’m looking to gain weight, the healthy way.

  12. My sister turned me on to this chia seed pudding and it is wonderful I couldnt help notice that 95% of the comments are from women is this some kind of girls club or are men to dumb to eat healthy? I think you girls are keeping this secret (just like victoria,s) to yourselves Dont worry its safe with me

  13. You mention chia seeds have 2.4 times more iron than beef liver, but chia seeds have 6.4mg iron ber 100g and beef liver has 5.79 mg per 100g, did I misunderstand? Sorry I wasn’t sure what you meant by ‘edible portion’. Thanks for any help 🙂

  14. Mine didn’t come out like this, the seeds didn’t expand as big as yours ): but it still tasted good (: thanks for the recipe

  15. Do I need to make the chia pudding with non-dairy milk? Or can I use regular skim milk? Every recipe I’ve seen uses non-dairy…I am on the path of healthy eating, but am not planning on making the switch from dairy to non-dairy milk.

  16. I was a little afraid to try chia pudding because I just didn’t see how it would taste good. But…..I tried a chocolate one and it was delicious! (Basically, the same as this recipe but add cocoa powder.) Even my husband liked it. Who thought of this? Genius!

  17. Just made up a chia pudding. With almond milk and vanilla as the base. Added chocolate nibs, coconut shreds, blue berries and golden berries. A real superfood desert.

  18. I first grind my chia in a coffee grinder until powdery and then add the other ingredients. It comes out very smooth, just like a pudding.

  19. Chia seeds are very good. I do think that the pictured pudding reminds me of what frog eggs might look like soaked in chocolate milk, but I’m sure that it’s very good. In fact, I’m going in to try making some now!

  20. Dear All:

    I am currently reading ‘Born to Run.’ It is about ultramarathoners and a tribe of Mexican natives in the Sierra Madres. In it, chia pudding is mentioned as the source of energy that the natives use to replenish during their very long runs. They run as a way of life.

    As a male, does the high iron content have any negative health consequences. I have read that males higher heart disease issues may be related to higher iron content in their blood.

    It is recommended that males of reproductive age donate blood which will help mitigate the negative consequences of a higher iron content in their blood.

    Any comments are greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    Ruben Dario

    • I would hazard a guess that the correlation you refer to is at least partly related to the fact that many people who have heart trouble are also people who eat very high levels of red meat, which is heme-iron rich. I don’t know whether or not non-heme (plant) iron has the same risks.

      I would welcome anyone else’s feedback on this, but I’d say you don’t have to worry about chia seeds.

  21. This was the first chia recipe that I have ever made & it was yummy! Just made a second batch adding a little more vanilla and cacao powder. Cannot wait. Thanks!

  22. I’m just looking into chia seeds and wanted to provide a link I’ve found on nutritional information. You stated chia has more iron than liver, but this says there is no iron.

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

    This is important to me. I just ordered some from Amazon as a protein replacement as hemochromatosis has cropped up in my family.

    I didn’t compare any of the other nutrient values.

  23. I keep seeing these seeds mentioned but until i stumbled upon your site I’ve not known what to do with them. Thanks so much for all the pudding variation suggestions!

    One thing – is that a Plastic Straw in your coconut water? Please say it isn’t so. I discovered Glass Dharma straws last year and have never looked back. http://www.glassdharma.com for your evil plastic reducing needs!

    Cheers 🙂

  24. I love chia pudding! I’ve gotten my husband hooked on it as well. We mix up two separate bowls at night, let them “marinate” in the fridge until morning and then stir some berries in and go. It’s fast, super healthy and it really keeps me satisfied until lunch time.

  25. This sounds interesting! But I’m confused, on So Delicious’ facebook page, you said you used So Delicious coconut milk, but on this post it says you used almond milk. Which one should I use?

  26. Thanks for the inspiration! I am brewing some now for brekkie!
    had a great chia pudding here in Byron Bay (Australia) a few weeks ago and ever since I have been craving chia pudding!
    Their version had goji berries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, rose water, coconut cream, dried dates, mango and strawberries…..YUUUUUUM!

  27. I used the black chia seeds, but they didn’t “plump up”.
    Does this pudding only work with white seeds?

  28. so today was my first day making Chia Seed Pudding, and boy did i fall in love! It was so easy to make, and i have been looking for that perfect breakfast bowl when i need something a little more hearty then just fruit or juice or green smoothie.
    My question is after you make it can you store it in the fridge and for how long? Because i cut your portion in half and used 3/8 cup chia and 1 cup milk and that still was a lot for me, very very filling.
    And do you add your stevia and salt in the beginning or as you go?

    🙂

  29. I thought the pudding was amazing- but I had to add about an extra 1/2 cup of almond milk because it got too thick.

  30. I was inspired by your post and made some chia pudding the other night. It was very tasty! I had to use quite a bit more liquid than the 2:1 ratio. That was alright though, I just kept stirring in more almond milk til it wasn’t quite so sticky. I sweetened it with agave and added a little cardamom. It was so yummy that I went back to the store the next day and bought more chia seeds. Thanks for the post!

  31. Thanks for sharing this — I just got my first bag of chias the other day (I had to go to three NYC WF’s before I found any!). I definitely want to try it with cocoa of some sort!

  32. Thanks for the timely recipe! I just received my first order of chia, and was at a bit of a loss for ideas. Perfect timing!

  33. Chia pudding does sound super easy and it’s way more nutritious than I though! I’ve never tried chia seed before but when I get around to it I’ll definitely give the pudding a try.

  34. Hi Gena! 🙂 I’ve been a regular reader of your blog for a while now, but I’ve never commented, so I thought I’d let you know that I just made your chia pudding today, and I love it! I’ve made chia pudding several times before, but I’ve always made it with cashew milk instead of almond. I really like it your way! To make things interesting, I added a couple drops of peppermint extract and a sliced banana. It was SO delicious!

    Oh, and your zucchini wraps are in dehydrating in my oven right now. They smell so yummy, I can’t wait to try them with some walnut “meat”, avocado, sprouts, and Kristen Suzanne’s hemp nacho cheez sauce! 🙂

  35. this is so similar how i make my chia! i almost never let it soak longer than 10-15 minutes. i just figure it continues to soak in my belly. 🙂

    another fun thing is to make a smoothie and then pour a bunch of chia in after it’s blended and let it soak in.

    never fear anything about chia, even the price! there’s tons of places to get it cheaper online–in the grocery store it tends to be pricey.

  36. Yay…I just found chia seeds at a specialty store on our way home from vacation. They weren’t cheap, so I don’t have too many, but this looks delicious!

  37. I’ve made chia pudding before – or at least tried to – but I found that it really didn’t thicken up as much as I thought it would. It was very soupy for most of the night in the fridge. Do chia seeds go bad?

    K

    • if you add shredded coconut to it it will thicken to a bread pudding consistency. I put a bit TOO much coconut and its almost dough like XD.

  38. great quick recipe, thanks! i loved kristen’s holiday pudding, but this one’s perfect for when you don’t have time to grind nuts. 🙂 question for you: i give my toddler chia, and noticed recently his poop had seedy shtuff in it the next day. sorry to get graphic, but i was wondering if that means he’s not digesting it or not absorbing the nutrients from it and i should grind it up first? he definitely likes the texture of the whole seeds in liquid better, though. :/

    • DEFINITELY grind them up for yourself as well as your little one. Our bodies do not digest seeds well. You can test that on yourself if you use your imagination, LOL!!

    • Olivia,

      It’s inevitable that we won’t fully digest some of the chia seeds: unless you chew them thoroughly, they’ll be indigestible. For that reason, toddlers — who might not chew as well as we do — should probably have chia in blended form. I’d stick this all in the blender pre-serving. It’s totally OK NOT to blend it, but the nutrients won’t be absorbed well unless you do, or he chews 🙂

      Gena

        • Hi Margaret/All

          I’ve been searching the internet for an answer. I noticed this morning that the Chia seeds that I added to my freshly juiced carrots, went through me undigested 4 hours later. Excuse the crudeness, but it did look like the whole tablespoon was in the loo. Chia is expensive so I can’t afford to waste my money. I’ve been adding them to green smoothies which seemed fine, or I didn’t notice them in the loo. I have Multiple Sclerosis, so try to look after my health and chia seem like a dream “super food” I really can’t afford to keep purchasing if they are just flushing through. Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂

          • Karen,

            Some likely do pass through whole, but that’s not a reason to avoid chia! Some of the seeds are typically well digested (of course this depends on the individual), but if the whole seeds feel like a gamble to you, you can grind it and eat it ground, as you would flax.

            G

        • Margaret, if one looks at poop and it is full of black seeds, it’s obvious that the chia seeds passed right through undigested. Ergo, they’re not being digested unless they are ground, either by teeth or some other process.

          Obviously, a toddler isn’t going to chew them, and there are many other people who aren’t going to be able to chew them, for whatever reason, so they should be ground or one might as well skip a step and flush them down the toilet, because they’re too expensive to be used solely as fiber.

          • do because we see corn, we don’t digest any of it? how’d humans survive on corn for so long?

      • yeah, he’s definitely not chewing – slurps it all right down, lol! 😀 ok, blending it is. thanks!

  39. Thank you for this recipe! I have been putting chia seeds in smoothies and such, but am still a little afraid to make chia pudding. I’m not sure about the texture, although I do like tapioca. Maybe i’ll have to give it a try! You have such a wonderful website, I really enjoy using your recipes. My favorite, that I still go back to, if your pizza cheese – http://healthylaps.com/2010/01/29/not-cooking-up-a-storm/.

  40. I made your chocolate chia seed pudding and it was very, very tasty. The chia seeds are weird, but in a good way. Like nothing else I’ve ever tried…probably closest in texture to tapioca pearls but smaller.

  41. Basic, easy, simple, good. Perfect!
    This is how I make mine, too. But enjoy it w/ vanilla almond milk and a few drop of liquid vanilla stevia (or agave). Just give it that ‘nilla pop in my mouth that I enjoy 🙂 And for husbands or others who are a little sketchy w/ chia seeds, after the pudding sets up in the fridge and “develops” you can pop it in the freezer and anything “ice cream-like” is less daunting I’ve found for the newbies 🙂

  42. I’ll have to give this a try – I’ve been hesitant because I hate slimy things (like tapioca) but it sounds like the nutritional benefits are worth the risk!

  43. i have a massive tub of chia seeds that i have virtually untouched. thanks for the basic recipe…it makes it less intimidating for newcomers like me. im going to give it a shot with coconut milk, its become my nonmilk of choice…im friggin obsessed!

    • I tried it with coconut milk and it was awesome!!! I’m new to all this, but I’m trying everything I can to get away from meat. I want to be healthy. I have been off of meat for about 1month now and I feel so much lighter and happier.

  44. It was indeed Kristen’s Holiday Chia Pudding that got me into chia. Holy moly is that stuff good. I don’t think I’ve ever done a pudding like yours though, made exclusively of chia and liquid. I tend to think of it as an ingredient to add to others, which most often leads to me forgetting it entirely, so I am a pretty piss poor chia user. This needs to change!

  45. Have yet to try chia but it looks really interesting.. I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I’m shopping and give this a try!

  46. I haven’t tried chia seeds yet because their consistency makes me a bit nervous. But since everyone has good things to say about them I am trying to work up the courage!

    • Ive been researching chia seed side effects and that one can be a side effect. Some people do fine on them while others get effects be it all the time or only temporarily while adjusting to it.

      The benefits far out way the effects i find, though listen to your body, it will tell you if it should be eating this or not.

      Ive just made my first batch of chia pudding and its “marinating” i tasted it and it was a bit bland so i added some freeze dried fruits i keep around the house for my parrots. i might add that pinch of salt, vanilla and sweetener. I don’t have any stevia so i might add agave nectar or a bit of honey to mine.

  47. Wow so simple. I’m a little afraid to try chia seeds just yet…they just look to jelly like 🙂 But when I do try them, and I will, I’ll be sure to give this recipe a go! Or maybe I’ll try the chocolate peppermint pudding, because that is a favorite combo of mine.

    I reuse my organic avenue bottles too. I love them!

  48. The chia seeds look alive!!! 🙂

    I love almonds and I’m curious to find out how much should I eat per day (if I already got some fat from avocado as well).

    • Want to share ur acai chia jam recipe? Sounds great. I am making guava jam and guava-passion fruit jam for holiday gifts. All fruits fm my yard. Try to reduce sugar use to no use depending on recipients. Being diabetic I stay away fm the sugar but have been fairly lucky using agave.

      • I would like to know more about this also please! Just starting to use chia seed and learning all kinds of good stuff.

  49. I love chia pudding. 🙂 In fact, I have some ‘marinating’ in the fridge right now, for my breakfast. (I put dried fruits in it to sweeten it up a bit)