Basic Raw, Vegan Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding: Step by Step Instructions and Recipe!
July 30, 2013

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Lately, I’ve been getting a bunch of questions about how I make my basic chia seed pudding, spurred on by the many photos of chia goodness that pop up on my Instagram feed (hey, have we met on Instagram yet? If not, let’s–you can find me here). I eat a lot of chia seed pudding. A whole lot. It’s probably my favorite breakfast, and I also tend to make a lot of it at once, which means I frequently enjoy it as a snack, too. My ch-ch-ch-chia tab features all of my favorite recipes, but to be honest, the chia pudding I make most often isn’t any of those. It’s my simple, plain, vanilla chia pudding. And I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to post the recipe and a little how-to.

What I’m about to share will make four servings of chia seed pudding. If you want to cut this recipe in half, you can, and heck, if you want to go crazy and double it, you can do that, too. But what you need to know is the basic ratio of chia seed to liquid that will yield perfect results. For me, it is:

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3 tablespoons:1 cup–that’s what you need to remember! The liquid can be any plant milk, but coconut water and juice are great, too.

When I’m making a single serving of chia pudding at a time, I usually just stir the cup of liquid and seeds together. I wait a minute or two, then stir again. I stir again five minutes later, and five minutes after that. After that, I just let it sit for an hour or two before enjoying. Usually, I’m prepping chia pudding for breakfast, so I let it sit overnight in the fridge. In the morning, I’ll add a tablespoon or two of extra almond milk if necessary.

When I make a bunch of servings at once, though, it’s much easier to make chia pudding in my blender. Here’s what you’ll need to make four servings at a time:

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*You can find a vanilla bean tutorial here.

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I add my almond milk, vanilla, and maple syrup to my blender and blend them up. Then, with the blender on a very low setting (the lowest setting in a regular blender, or about a 2 or 3 in the Vitamix), I add the chia seed.

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It blends up without getting stuck together, and it’s a fast way to mix things up. (Thanks, Elizabeth, for this tip!!)

I transfer the whole thing to a mixing bowl and–just as with a single serving–I give it a stir.

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I give it another stir a moment or two later. I stir it five minutes later, and five minutes after that. Then I let it sit for an hour (thirty minutes will be enough time if that’s all you have) before transferring it to storage containers.

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I usually get about one quart and one small, half pint jar. For me, that’s about four servings.

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I very often pack up chia seed pudding as an afternoon snack when I’m either at work or working from a coffee shop; it’s particularly great with blueberries, cacao nibs, or goji berries.

And here’s the chia breakfast that got so much love on Facebook and Instagram last week: a parfait of 1 heaping cup vanilla chia pudding, two tablespoons of my “buckwheaties,” two tablespoons of shredded coconut, and fresh blackberries.


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It’s as beautiful as it is delicious–and fun to eat. Here it is, in snack size!

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I like any berries on top of a chia pudding, but local blackberries have been particular giant (and delicious) lately.

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So, that’s my plain chia pudding process. Of course, you can add just about anything you like: ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, protein powder. This dish is easy to customize.

Hope this has been helpful. What’s your favorite chia flavor? I always like getting new ideas!

xo

 

 

Categories: Breakfast, Raw

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    158 Comments
  1. Hi Gena! First things first, I absolutely ADORE your blog. What a beautiful space you have created here! Second, I am doing a vegan snack round-up post, do you mind if I link back to this recipe and maybe a couple of your other chia puddings? 🙂

  2. I used a recipe that said 1/3 cup seeds to 1 1/2 cups almond milk.
    I did not use the blender or do the stir 5 min then 5 min thing and this morning, soupy pudding.
    too much milk? not enough seeds? I shook the jars this morning before leaving the house hoping for thicker pudding later. Is this savable?

  3. I let mine sit overnight. I’m confused on the blender method…When you use the blender, do you make it and eat it in the same time frame? Or does it sit for an hour first, then you blend it?

  4. I just recently tried the chia seed pudding thing because I’m not really into puddings so much, but I tried a small batch and loved it. So last night I made a big batch of Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with coffee and Almond milk as the liquid and added maple syrup and cinnamon and a bit of Stevia (cause I like my sweets!) I think I’m hooked. I made the mistake of adding this caramel sauce this morning and almost ate the whole thing. Oops! I’m really going to try this vanilla version next. I love that with the ratio I can add whatever I’m craving at the time. Is there a liquid that doesn’t work? Like fruit juices? I might try some of those next.

  5. I like to use hot chocolate mix and almond milk to make my chia pudding. Love the flavor. Calories are high though.

  6. Chia seeds are amazing. Always fascinated by how they will spread an even distance from each other in minutes when put in water or almond milk. I haven’t been able to get family members to try that and I doubt they believe me about how chia does that. I like cocoa with chia seeds but have never tried maple syrup before. We really enjoy a little chia seeds in a smoothie with avocado. It is like creamy ice cream.

    I do like the idea of fruit. That blackberry looks oh so delicious.

  7. Hi, I think its important to grind the chia before adding water as otherwise the hard part of the seed doesnt digest while only the soluble fiber is absorbed. Thanks for the recipe though I will try it with ground chia 😀

    • you don’t need to grind chia seeds to consume it. it’s the flax seeds that needs to be grinned.

  8. I never follow online recipes and I tried this and love it! I can’t wait to try a few more!

  9. Hiya – sorry if this has been asked before but what’s the shelf life of chia seed puddings? I made mine with almond milk and chopped tinned cherries last week – it still seems ok but wondered how long I should keep it in the fridge for? Thanks : )

  10. Okay – everyone has their own style – the basic pudding was terrific. But, today I changed it up …. I used Cashew, Almond and Hazelnut bend – 2 cups plus an additional cup of heavy whipping cream. I used Agave nectar for sweetener…. At the end, I added a few slivered almonds for display – Yum!

  11. I have recently taken my 15 month old off all dairy and was looking for an alternative to her morning yoghurt. This is perfect and she loved it. I use calcium enriched almond and oat milk so she isn’t missing out on her calcium intake.

  12. I used your ratio this morning, but my pudding ended up like a brick!! 3 tbs chia to 1 cup coconut cream. What happened? I added goji berries, shredded coconut & a tad of maple syrup. Disappointed to say the least because I love the pudding when it’s done right.

    • Coconut cream is a lot thicker than most ‘mills’ so would result in a much thicker pudding. Try coconut milk instead, or any other thin milk. You can always then stir in a bit of coconut cream for extra creaminess.

  13. About to make this… Do I need to leave any room in mason jar for the pudding to expand overnight?

    Thanks!!!

  14. CHIA seed are the best. Honestly I am a man that is not to inspired by this type of food usually but this one is killing it….. Even better than a real pudding. Definitely worth the try!

  15. Fantastic! I love chia seeds but haven’t ate them in a long time. I know they have many healthy benefits, after seeing this I will try to make this during the weekend.

  16. Hi. I just discovered chocolate chia pudding with banana, cocoa powder, chia seeds and coconut milk. I just started eating paleo and I love the pudding. I was a little concerned about what I read on chia seeds. Have you noticed anything off when you consume a lot of them? My thought is if its natural its good regardless of what you read unless’ your’ body doesn’t like it. Thanks …great blog. Jacqueline

  17. I’m just beginning to incorporate more raw foods into my diet and I add chia seeds to my green smoothies but never tried chia pudding. I just made a batch and It’s Delicious! Thank you Gena.

  18. Always looking for great snack to take with me I am very busy & it looks like a great snack you can make quickly. Also to the person that said syrup does not come raw, I am in Littleton, CO and we get raw syrup even at the grocery store.

  19. Halved the recipe, used brand new in a bad chia seeds, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, followed instructions, let sit overnight and it was a watery mess. Not sure why people are having varying results.

  20. Wonderful! Thank you for the instructions, I can’t believe I still haven’t tried making chia seed pudding 🙂 As soon as I get some chia seeds, I’ll try this out. Meanwhile, I was wondering if it’s possible to make puddings with any other seeds? Like flax seeds?

      • I wish I read your comment before…. I have also tried with Flax and it was a mess… lol still taste great but no chance to stand lol!

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  22. Delicious combo:
    Blend a knob of ginger, dash of cinnamon, vanilla and stevia with almond milk, run through a sieve, and use as the liquid for your chia pudding! (I topped mine with bananas)

    Chai Chia Pudding!

  23. I made my chia pudding before seeing this easy recipe…I’m wondering if mine is salvageable? I used 1/4 chia to a cup of liquid and only stirred once before stirring the next morning. Your recipe is MUCH more clear. Mine was kind of clumpy in the am and I was planning to use as a yogurt substitute in smoothies, so I ran it through the blender. Now it is kind of “goopy” and gritty in texture. I thought that the chia seeds would get more “tapioca” like? Was I mistaken? Any tips for salvaging the last of my chia? Can I add more almond milk 2 days later or will it just float?

  24. I just tried chia pudding for the first time and was excited to make it for myself. I thought I followed the instructions perfectly, except used raw organic honey, and it is not thickening up like the pudding I tried. Any suggestions, or did I buy inferior chia?

  25. Gena, this weekly reading feature is such a favorite of mine! I completely agree with you about the protein issue. It deserves more attention, especially to those most sensitive to high carbohydrate diets, though I am on board the vegan side of it. Thanks for sharing these links!:)

  26. Thanks so much for this recipe, I love it! I’ve been experimenting with chia seeds lately and although I’m not vegan, I’ve been looking for a vegan version of chia pudding.. I’ve actually seen several that involve dairy, and I do not do well with it, so I make my own nut milks (cashew/coconut). Now I can enjoy chia pudding with made with my nut milk :))

  27. My favourite chia pudding is with coconut milk on a base of softened dates so when you dig down you get the dates as a natural sweetener… Yum
    … But I will try yours, it looks good

  28. Hi this looks and sounds delicious is it always cold? Because it sounds a bit like rice pudding that can be hot too?

    • Alice, I’m not sure chia pudding heats as well as rice pudding would. But you can definitely serve it room temperature!

  29. Awesome! My son who needs the calories added whip cream, walnuts, extra maple syrup, and blackberries. I just added the blackberries and it was SUPER YUMMY! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I buy my seeds at Costco it truly is the best deal.

  30. […] thing to get right with your parfait is the chia seed mix. I got my chia-to-liquid ratio from Choosing Raw – 3 tablespoons of chia seeds for every cup of liquid, and I always let it soak for at least […]

  31. I cook a banana with raw almonds on the stove top with coconut oil butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to put on top!!

  32. Looking forward to trying this one, thanks. Our family love chia pudding with homemade almond milk, cut up strawberries and topped with manuka honey. The strawberry flavour goes through the entire pudding, and with the fresh almond milk, it taste like strawberries and cream!

  33. I love this! I’m new to raw food and expanding my knowledge everyday-your site is especially helpful. How long will this last prepared in a jar?

  34. First of all, thank you for such an awesome blog; full of resources and amazing recipes! Now, for my question… Do you have this actual recipe somewhere? You usually write out recipes for everything in addition to screen shots, but I don’t see it for this one; and I’m visually impaired, so no screen shots work for me! 🙂 Sure, I can easily make a batch with the ratio you provided, I’m just wondering what all you actually used here in recipe form. Thanks for all that you do! Have a fabulous day!

  35. I’ve just started making this recently, with the addition of a little vanilla protein powder. It’s become a very convenient snack, and most importantly, it tastes delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

    • Try it with unsweetened coconut milk, add some agave to sweeten, and flavor with rose water or citrus blossom water instead of vanilla ( can find both in Mediterranean food stores) – simply delicious and delicate. Enjoy – Rachel

  36. I personally just use vanilla coconut milk, chia seed and raspberries in mine. Raspberries are enough sweetener and the vanilla favor in coconut milk. I love this at night when I am craving a snack but do not want to blend making noise…

  37. I can’t wait to make this for work snacks, but just wondering how long the shelf life is / how long it keeps for??
    Thanks : )

  38. Am I the only one thinking that it is tasteless?
    I even added some more date syrup…but nothing….no taste at all…apart from the sweeteners i used…. 🙁

    • What kind of milk did you use? It’s very good with almond milk but I also have added in a bit of vanilla extract or almond extract. I also like it with half the liquid being a cold coffee and half being almond milk then I add a spoonful of unsweeted cocoa powder! You can add PB2, peanut butter, honey, agave, vanilla, almond, ANYTHING! Experiment and you will love it 🙂

  39. Sorry guys, this recipe made me super disappointed. I HATE watery oatmeal, pudding, soup etc… I knew intuitively that 4 cups of almond milk seemed like a lot. The pudding turned out too damn thin and watery!!! I waisted 4 cups of expensive milk. This recipe is really bad. I tried others that are way better. You should have said that it makes a thin consistency. SUCKED BIG TIME!!!

    • You must have done something wrong. I use this recipe every day and never have thin pudding. In fact, I’m eating some right now and it’s extra thick and perfect!

  40. Made this with home-made almond milk and it turned out fantastic – thanks for the recipe!

  41. Lovely photos and a spot-on ratio of liquid to chia too. I like a small amount of this before going for a run in the morning, I find it stops my blood sugar crashing without weighing me down. Thanks again!

  42. I’m new to eating healthy and gluten free, so I’m not on the raw foods bandwagon exactly. Anyway, I had Chia Seed Pudding at a restaurant once, and loved it, so I thought I’d try it out and bought chia seeds and googled and found you. Anyway, thanks so much for the ratio! I just made some with 2 cups almond milk, 6 tbs chia seeds, 1/2 tsp cardamom and 1 tbs rose water, and 2 tbs agave. I added more agave than you used syrup because I’m still a bit of a sugar addict! Its in the fridge now and I’m excited for it to be done!

  43. I make my own almond milk.. so we tried 3 cups of vanilla almond milk, 6 dates for sweetness, the recommended amount of chia seeds and 1 teaspoon of ceylon cinnamon. Soooooo yummy. Kids really like it!

    • Ooh, that sounds good. I used unsweetened almond milk and added a bit more maple to the mixture and then for breakfast this morning topped it with blueberries, strawberries, a dollop of vanilla yoghurt and some agave, but would’ve like it a bit sweeter.

      I LOVE dates, so will add that to the mix next time. Thanks for the tip.

  44. […] Chia SeedsThese seeds, which are actually in the mint family, are full of nutrients like dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. And thanks to their fibrous husks, they can actually create a jelly-like consistency. Try them as a thickening agent to up the nutrition profiles of jams, puddings and smoothies. […]

  45. […] Another superfood wonder breakfast, chia seed pudding. Chia seeds are full of good fats, protein, Omega 3s and 6s, fibre and they are fabulous for detoxifying. This one is good to prepare the night before and you can just wake up, grab it from the fridge and enjoy. There are a million variations of chia pudding, but here are a few ideas, such as Chai Chia Breakfast Pudding or this simple Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding. […]

  46. LOVE this, especially storing it in pint jars — I’m trying to think of ideas of easy portable (and healthy) snacks to take to work and this looks like the perfect solution. Thank you so much!

  47. I love pudding and I love being healthy so this recipe is a win win win for me! See how I wrote it 3 times. haha I can’t wait to try this recipe out! YUM

  48. How thick should this be? I did it overnight in the
    Fridge. It was thin like buttermilk. Not thick like
    A pudding at all.

    • It should be thick like pudding…definitely not watery at all. Did you accurately use the liquid:seed ratio? I have read that bad chia seeds (black I believe but google it) do not work well in things like this. Also, what liquid did you use?

      • Hi There,

        It should be thick like a custard topping. Hope that helps.
        I also used black chia seeds in mine using the above ratio and it worked out perfect.
        Used almond milk, but will use coconut or soy next time.

        How long can it stay in the fridge?

  49. I had an amazing chia pudding that used cashew milk, coconut meat and was topped with toasted coconut and hemp seeds- it was super rich and decadent but the coconut flavor was brilliant.
    Usually my basic chia pudding is similar to yours here but i stir in a handful of raw oats and top with semi frozen blueberries and their juice

  50. Gena this is such perfect timing! With all the foods I love to eat, I have yet to try chia pudding and it has been on my mind all weekend, and then this! Got a massive jar of chia and this couldn’t be easier. Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks!

  51. I have so been into chia pudding for about 2 weeks now – All because of you by the way! So I had to share this – for my liquid I used one over ripe banana, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 tsp vanilla and some cardamom. Used 3 tbsp chia seeds based on your formula. It was so awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  52. Love how you’ve broken down the steps and provided some really great diagrams. Makes it really easy if someone has never done this before!

  53. Lovely! I’m crazy about chia pudding. This is a fantastic tutorial, Gena!

    You’ve inspired me to create a blog post of my personal favorite chia pudding recipe this weekend 🙂

  54. I do like plain vanilla with homemade cashew milk, but I have been wondering about blending berries into the milk before soaking too. Thanks for laying down the all important chia to liquid ratio though! Very helpful 🙂

  55. My first visit to your page and I’m super excited to try this recipe. I have one question: do you let the mixture rest out on the counter or in the fridge between stirs and while setting? Please advise.
    Thanks so much!
    e

    • If it’s only for a few hours, I’ll let it sit outside the fridge. If it’s all day or overnight, I put it in the fridge. Welcome, Erica!!

      • I just made this and my GOODNESS the flavor is REMARKABLE! What a marvelously beneficial treat! Thank you so much.

        Oh…I usually work with hemp hearts…using these chia seeds should come with a warning…my blender jar is now speckled from within! 🙂 Not fun to clean, but worth it.

        Be well!

  56. Terrific primer and photography! I haven’t ventured into chia pudding territory yet for some reason, but this cinches the deal. Excited!

  57. great tutorial Gena! i love chia pudding and it’s many varieties, but i’ve never made it in bulk in my blender, what a great idea. i’ve been enjoying mine lately with cinnamon, local georgia peaches, and goji berries. mmmmmm.

  58. Thanks for the great instructions. It makes a lot of sense to do a large batch and use the blender too. As I make mine before bed and leave overnight to sit I only stir them once the pudding can end up a little clumpy. I usually keep the base simple and stir in fresh fruit and sprinkle on some coconut or seeds like you 🙂

  59. Also, since chia seeds are such a huge part of your diet, you must be buying them in bulk, yes? I’ve also heard that not all chia seeds are the best quality (surprise, surprise). The only ones I’ve ever used were Spectrum. I would love to know where you get yours from. Thanks so much! 🙂

    • I just finished making my vanilla chia pudding using two cups of homemade kefir and two cups of coconut water. I’ll let it set overnight then I’ll top with a couple of tsp. of ground flax seeds, some coconut flakes and blueberries.

      • You can easily add some raw chocolate chip into that and it could be the best dessert of 2014! Love Chia Seed Pudding! Raw and Vegan way to go girls!

  60. ok random question. us raw enthusiasts get it that you have to soak and dry the buckwheaties. how come other bloggers not-so-into raw food just eat them plain? doesn’t this cut up their insides? i suppose this is more directed to the universe out there than you. 🙂

      • Guys, I have the same question. I cannot imagine unsoaked, uncooked buckwheat! So, I really don’t know, but I share your bewilderment.

        • If you soak, sprout, and then dehydrate the buckwheat groats, they wind up being crunchy with enzymes already activated– easier to digest and assimilate nutrients too! 🙂

  61. I’m addicted to your hemp chia pudding. Looks like it’s time for me to branch out! Thank you!!

  62. I LOVE chia pudding and need to add buckwheat groats to the top of mine after seeing your photo above. My favorite flavor is definitely vanilla just because I normally add fruit on top of my chia pudding and the vanilla is a great flavor with any type of fruit.

  63. Oh my gosh, your photos get better and better! Just read all the way through, and loved it. Favorite combination is vanilla and powdered cardamom topped with strawberries, and we have local ones right now. Also tried blending up cherries with the almond milk this weekend. Interesting, but not astounding. I did top with buckwheaties (your recipe) and eat it anyway!