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Desserts

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Recipe Is a Must-Try Healthy and Indulgent Treat — Preps in 5 Minutes

Plus, nutritionists spill the amazing health benefits of chia seeds.

Picture this: you’re up late at night and craving something sweet. But finding something in the pantry that’s both indulgent and healthy can often feel like an impossible task. If this struggle feels familiar, don’t be too discouraged. We’ve got the perfect recipe for you: chocolate chia seed pudding. This creamy, chocolatey treat satisfies any sweet tooth and nourishes the body thanks to one incredible superfood: chia seeds. One spoonful contains a ton of fiber, protein and healthy fats. And we love how this pudding takes just 5 minutes to prep and one night of chilling. So, take this as your sign to have dessert for breakfast, a snack or any time of day. Keep reading to learn more about chia seeds, expert cooking tips and fun ways to customize your jar. Here’s everything you need to make chocolate chia seed pudding.

What are chia seeds?

chia seeds
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Chia seeds derive from Salvia hispanica, a species of flowering plant in the mint family native to Central America. They have a long history of culinary and medicinal use dating back to ancient civilizations. These tiny, oval-shaped seeds have a mild, nutty flavor that many compare to poppy seeds. Their high soluble fiber content allows them to absorb liquid and expand in a process known as hydrolysis. When soaked, the outer layer of the chia seed swells and becomes gelatinous, creating a a thickened texture similar to pudding.

Chia seeds add texture to a variety of savory and sweet recipes. Seriously, you can put them in anything. Popular choices include smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt and baked goods, as well as beverages or main courses for added nutritional value. You can find them in most grocery stores or online retailers, often in the bulk section or with other seeds and grains.

The health benefits of chia seeds

They may be tiny, but chia seeds have a ton of super powers. Often referred to as a “superfood,” chia seeds boast a ton of essential nutrients, making them a power house of health benefits.

First, chia seeds are high in antioxidants. “[They] protect your cells from free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage cell structures and contribute to aging and diseases,” explains Dalia Beydoun, MS, RD, at DSB Nutrition. Additionally, they’re high in fiber (“a whopping 10 grams in 2 tablespoons”). “This can aid in digestion, promote a feeling of fullness, and help with weight management,” adds Beydoun.

Chia seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Beydoun notes that the fatty acids “improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and lowering cholesterol levels.” Finally, chia seeds “pack 6 grams per 2 tablespoons” of protein, which is
“essential for feeling full and helping with muscle growth and repair.”

How to make chocolate chia seed pudding

Pudding might be one of the easiest (and indulgent) recipes you can make using chia seeds. And chocolate pudding? That seals the deal. This fuss-free recipe has taken the internet by storm, becoming a viral sensation on social media by health enthusiasts and celebrities alike. Its widespread popularity can be attributed to its simplicity, accessibility and nutritional value. And it looks as good as it tastes. Many users have even posted their own variations of the recipe, complete with vibrant toppings and creative swaps. Check out this TikTok video below for a glimpse into the trend.

@fromoliviaskitchen

Think you don’t like chia pudding? Blend it! #chiapudding #blendedchiapudding #chocolatepudding #chocolatechiapudding #chiaseedpudding

♬ original sound – Olivia’s Kitchen

So, how do you make this dessert? According to Food Blogger Yumna Jawad at Feel Good Foodie, you only need a few simple ingredients: chia seeds, milk, natural sweetener and cocoa powder. “Make sure to use fresh chia seeds, so they absorb the liquid and plump up. You can use black or white chia seeds to make overnight pudding,” says Jawad.

All these ingredients get whisked or blended together, then poured into a jar or storage container. It’s important that you stir the pudding well before putting it in the fridge. This ensures the chia seeds distribute evenly and don’t stick clump or stick to the jar. “There shouldn’t be any clumps left. Wait about 10 minutes and give it one more last stir,” says Jawad.

Once it’s mixed, the pudding gets covered and left to cool for at least a few hours or preferably overnight (if you’re patient enough). The overnight refrigeration, however, gives the chia seeds enough time to swell and gel, resulting in the rich, velvety consistency. This recipe almost does the work for you so you can enjoy it first thing the next morning.

For another healthy chocolate pudding recipe, check out Protein Chocolate Pudding.

How to customize chis seed pudding

Chocolate chia seed pudding can be entirely customized. Feel free to substitute your favorite products or experiment with different flavors. For example, any type of dairy or non-dairy milk can be added. For natural sweeteners, many like to use maple syrup, honey, stevia or vanilla extract. Other popular add-ins include spices like cinnamon or nutmeg and greek yogurt.

Any cocoa powder works well in this recipe, but if you want an even healthier bite, look for unsweetened variations or 100% cacao. Cacao powder is the non-processed version of cocoa powder with no additives and a ton of extra nutrients. But the two are generally interchangeable. Cocoa powder alone is rich in antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. You can also swap out the cocoa powder for chocolate protein powder or try other fun flavorings like matcha powder (a mellow, earthy flavor) or fruit puree.

Expert tips for chocolate chia seed pudding

Once prepared, chocolate chia seed pudding can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Before serving, give the pudding a stir to recombine any separated ingredients and ensure a creamy texture. If you want, you can portion the pudding into individual servings for easy grab-and-go snacks or breakfasts throughout the week. Here, other expert tips for preparing chocolate chia seed pudding.

1. Adjust the ratios

Depending on if you prefer thick or thin pudding, you can change the ratio of chia seeds to milk. Add more chia seeds than milk for a thicker consistency and less for thinner.

2. Use a blender

If you don’t enjoy the texture of tapioca, consider blending your mixture before cooling. While not required, this option creates a more creamy, smooth texture.

3. Freeze it

You can freeze any chia pudding and thaw it in the fridge. Remember to use a freezer-safe bag or glass jar. “Portion into individual serving size containers and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge for 6-7 hours or overnight for a quick snack,” advises Jawad.

Quick Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

If you consider yourself a “choco-holic,” chocolate chia seed pudding might be your new favorite dessert. Plus, it makes eating chia seeds more like a reward than a chore. Jawad’s 5-minute recipe uses only wholesome ingredients including nut milk and maple syrup. It’s also gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free and vegan!

Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

chocolate chia seed pudding recipe
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Active Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: overnight preferred, or at least 4 hours
  • Yield: 2 servings
  1. Vigorously whisk the milk, chia seeds, cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a medium bowl or storage container, being careful to incorporate any cocoa powder sticking to the sides and bottom. A blender also works well.
  2. Cover the chia pudding and refrigerate until thick and creamy, at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  3. Give it a good stir and then divide into two servings. Top each bowl or jar with preferred toppings and enjoy.

Customize your chocolate chia seed pudding

One of the best things about chocolate chia seed pudding is its versatility to suit everyone’s preferences. Get creative and customize your pudding with a variety of toppings and mix-ins for an anything but boring bite. We’ve got a few ideas to get you started, but really, the options are endless.

You can also check out this video recipe from The Cooking Foodie below for additional variations, including strawberry, coffee and coconut!

1. Fresh fruit

Add a burst of sweetness and color to your pudding by topping with fresh berries, sliced bananas or diced mango.

2. Granola, nuts and coconut

Elevate the texture with some crunchy granola, chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts and shredded coconut flakes.

3. Whipped cream

A touch of airy, whipped cream contrasts well with creamy pudding. You can also use different flavors like coconut whipped cream.

4. Dark chocolate chips

What’s better than more chocolate? Intensify the rich flavor with some bitter notes from dark chocolate chips or a chopped bar.

5. Peanut or nut butter

Take your pudding to the next level by drizzling creamy peanut or nut butter on top. A classic combination that no one can resist.


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