I’ve loved chia seed pudding since before it became a big thing on the internet. It’s easy to make and there are endless ways in which you can customize it. More importantly, it’s good for you.
I recently learned that chia seeds are indigenous to Mexico and Guatemala and that they were first cultivated by the Aztecs. Oddly enough, I learned this by reading about a chia seed cocktail on the Milagro Tequila website. Isn’t the internet just wonderful in terms of randomness? After reading this Wikipedia post, I also learned that the chia seed plant belongs to the mint family and that it has these beautiful lilac flowers.
If you’ve never used chia seeds before, the two most important things to know are that they don’t have much flavor and that they absorb liquids really quickly, making them a perfect thickening agent. Besides chia seed pudding, I’ve seen a lot of vegan bloggers use them to replace eggs in recipes.
I love having chia seed pudding for breakfast because you can prepare it on a Sunday night and then eat it throughout the week. My only problem with it has been that if I make it with alternative milks like almond or cashew milk, it’s not very filling. I can have a huge bowl in the morning, but I’ll still be starving by 10am, which is not ideal. My solution has been to mix them with foods that are high in fat and/or protein, like coconut milk and yogurt.
These three variations that I’m offering you here start with the same base made with the type of coconut milk that comes in a can. I then topped the breakfast ones with bananas and granola and with strawberries and almond butter. The dessert one is topped with a fancy pants wine-braised rhubarb concoction that’s super easy to make. I suggest adding a bit of your favorite toppings to the bottom of your serving vessel as well to turn it more into a parfait.
I decided to use rhubarb for my dessert version because it’s everywhere right now, and it’s just too beautiful and tasty not put to good use. I’ve used it before in the blog in this delicious rhubarb and strawberry granita, and I’m currently working on a rhubarb-flavored cocktail. Let’s just say that I’m a bit obsessed. Since it goes so well with strawberries and they are in season too, you could totally roast the strawberries alongside the rhubarb to get a slightly different flavor profile.
I should also mention that since coconut milk has such a high fat content (they are good fats, so no need to worry) a little bit of this pudding goes a long way. I found that the half pint jars that you see featured here are the perfect portion size. I also love that you can easily store them in the fridge or take them to work to have later as a snack.
Chia Seed Pudding Three Ways (Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar)
This flavorful chia seed pudding can be customized in many different ways, contains no refined sugar, and is also gluten-free.
- For the pudding:
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 2 cups canned coconut milk (1 can)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
- For the roasted rhubarb:
- 1 pound fresh rhubarb, cut into 2 inch logs
- 3 tablespoons of honey (or to taste)
- ½ cup of rosé wine (I would recommend one that's on the sweeter side)
- Step 1 For the pudding: put all the ingredients for the pudding in a medium-sized bowl or measuring cup and whisk together. Let it sit for at least two hours to overnight. If it becomes too thick, give it another good whisking before you serve it. Top it with diced bananas and granola and diced strawberries and almond butter like I’ve done for breakfast, or with some delicious wine-roasted rhubarb for dessert
- Step 2 For the roasted rhubarb: preheat your oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the rhubarb, honey, and wine. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch baking pan and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft but not mushy.
- Step 3 Let the rhubarb mixture cool before spooning it over your pudding, ice cream, or all sorts of sweet treats. It will keep in a sealed contained in the fridge for 3-5 days.