I was introduced to chia seed pudding a few years ago and instantly fell in love. A healthy alternative to regular pudding? Yes, please! I love "healthifying" my favorite foods that are not so healthy for you so this was right up my alley. I tried a few chia seed pudding recipes and started to develop my own. Most of the recipes I found did not have protein added to them so I decided to boost mine with protein. Chia seed protein pudding packs a healthy punch. It's loaded with healthy nutrients which makes it a great option for either breakfast or a healthy dessert.
Chia Seeds are a good source of plant based omega-3s, fiber calcium and iron. They also have small amounts of phosphorous, manganese, potassium and copper. I love their "crunchy" texture. They almost remind me of tapioca but they're much healthier for you.
Chia seeds can be eaten raw or cooked. I recommend eating them after they've either been soaked (like in a pudding recipe) or cooked because these seeds expand once they've been hydrated. Eating them dry can lead to them expanding in your throat which may give you a slightly weird feeling. One of the big benefits is the fiber content which will help give you a feeling of fullness leading to better satiety.
Chia Protein Pudding Recipe 1: Vanilla, Almond + Coconut
8 T Chia Seeds
2 C Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
2 T Madagascar Vanilla Extract (I love this vanilla extract because of it's deep flavor.)
4 T Shredded Coconut (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)
2 T Maple Syrup (or honey)
4 Scoops Protein Powder (I used grass-fed whey vanilla but you can use your favorite animal or plant based protein powder – about 20g per scoop)
4 T Almonds
* If you like a creamier taste, use vanilla flavored almond milk or toasted coconut almond milk by Califia farms to get a richer taste.
– Mix seeds, almond milk, vanilla extract, coconut and maple syrup until fully combined.
– Add in protein powder and mix in with a whisk to break it up. Keep mixing until you do not have any clumps of protein powder in mixture.
– Pour evenly into 4 cups and place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
– Take out of refrigerator and give each chia seed protein pudding a stir to make sure the chia seeds are fully incorporated (sometimes they're sink to the bottom).
– Return to refrigerator and let sit for a few hours or overnight until mixture has become pudding or gel like.
– When ready to eat, sprinkle almonds and extra coconut on top and enjoy.
Chia Protein Pudding Recipe 2: Double Chocolate Cacao
4 Scoops Chocolate Protein (animal or plant based)
4 T Cacao Nibs (plus extra to garnish)
4 T Chocolate Covered Hemp Seeds (you could use semi-sweet chips but you will not get the benefit of the hemp)
2 T Maple Syrup or Honey
8 T Chia Seeds
2 C Almond Milk
* If you like chocolate + peanut butter, add 1 T of peanut butter (or almond butter) to the mixture for that chocolate + nut flavor.
Use the same how to instructions as above for the Vanilla, Almond, Coconut pudding.
Once the pudding is finished, sprinkle cacao nibs on top and enjoy!
I make these recipes often for breakfast because they're an easy make ahead meal prep option. Then you can eat quickly or grab and go before heading out the door. I also enjoy them as a snack or healthy dessert if I'm craving something a little sweet. Enjoy them however you like and feel free to get creative with the recipes as you see fit.