Despite their tiny appearance, chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, fiber and protein. Plus, these minuscule ingredients are simple to make into a pudding because they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water! Not only does this make chia seeds a great starting point for breakfast, a healthy snack or textured dessert, but it also means that they will help you stay hydrated. Try making one or all of these chia seed pudding recipes — and don’t be afraid to put your own spin on them, too.
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11 Must-Try Chia Seed Pudding Recipes
1. Vanilla-Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding
Homemade almond milk makes this pudding more special than most. After soaking the chia seeds in this luscious liquid, the mixture will attain a creamy texture sort of like tapioca pudding. Top the bowl with as much fresh, seasonal fruit as you like and add some nuts for a bit of crunch. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn
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2. Vegan Berry Chia Tahini Pudding
This healthy breakfast starts off like most chia seed puddings, by combining the seeds, almond milk and a bit of sweetener. But this dish is anything but ordinary! Tahini stands in for more typical nut butters here, lending a nutty, sesame flavor that makes this dish much more interesting than other similar recipes. Photo and recipe: Ksenia / Breakfast Criminals
3. Cherry Chia Seed Pudding
A cashew cream topping is the perfect cap to this dessert-appropriate creation. Cardamom and vanilla add flavor, while fresh bing cherries contribute sweetness and juicy bite. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn
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4. Winter Chia Pudding with Sour Cherries and Blueberries
You’ve used gallons of almond milk. You’ve tried coconut milk. But have you ever used walnut milk? That’s the base for this dish. Blitz it with sour cherries, goji berries, acai powder and Medjool dates, and you’ll make a tasty, fruity liquid that chia seeds are just aching to soak up! After letting the mixture rest overnight, layer with berries and enjoy. Photo and recipe: Chris / Tales of a Kitchen
5. Matcha Chia Seed Pudding
If your matcha obsession knows no bounds, then you’ll want to try this matcha flavored rendition of the classic. Need any more proof that the antioxidant-packed powder is everything right now? Check out these 14 matcha recipes. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn
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6. Pistachio Chia Pudding
Like pistachio ice cream? Then you’ll love this recipe. Start with homemade pistachio milk (yep, that’s a thing), flavor with cardamom and vanilla, sweeten with maple syrup, and enjoy without any guilt. Photo and recipe: Autumn / Autumn Makes and Does
7. Chocolate Chia Seed Superfood Pudding
Think of this as step one in your ultimate dessert. Once you have the pudding done, it’s extremely easy to alter and make your own. You can use the dairy-free milk of your choice and add an intense chocolate flavor with raw cacao powder. Now comes the fun part: Sprinkle some cinnamon or cayenne if you like spice. Top it with your favorite fruit, or put on some whipped coconut cream for a more decadent treat. Photo and recipe: Beth / Tasty Yummies
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8. Mango Chia Pudding
If you’ve ever dreamed of a healthier, more inventive version of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, this recipe is your new best friend. The bottom layer is a simple blend of frozen mango and water. On top, hemp milk, chia seeds, dates and vanilla make a sweet and creamy mixture. Top with chopped macadamia nuts. Photo and recipe: Ashley Neese
9. Caramelized Banana Chia Seed Chocolate Crème Brulée
Crème brûlée has never been so easy! Instead of wrestling with making a classic crème base, this one uses Greek yogurt, milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup and chia seeds! Perfectly caramelized banana slices create a sweet topping. Not only is it quicker to make than the traditional recipe — it’s much healthier, too. Photo and recipe: Kylie / Yeah…immaeatthat
10. Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Seed Pudding
Peanut butter and jelly make everything better, and this chia seed pudding is no exception. Use the jelly of your choice — grape, cherry, strawberry, whatever you prefer. Natural peanut butter will mix in easier, but traditional creamy is a good choice if you prefer more sweetness. Photo and recipe: Megan Green / My Bacon-Wrapped Life
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11. Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding
To all you Pumpkin Spice Latté lovers — this is just about to replace your coffee habit. Pumpkin puree adds a few health benefits to this recipe, nearly doubling the amount of fiber compared to a chia pudding sans fruit or veggies. Plus, it increases the amount of protein by about two grams. Photo and recipe: Green Evi
And when you tire of pudding (if that’s even possible), check out these 14 unexpected chia seed recipes!
Originally published November 2014. Updated December 2016.