Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding


In the category of breakfasts that verge on desserts, chia seed pudding is one of the healthiest options, if you can get past its slightly odd quality. When I think of chia, I inevitably think of Chia Pets (ch-ch-ch-chia!). But it turns out that, in addition to sprouting verdant faux-fur, the seeds are a good source of fiber, omega-3, calcium, antioxidants, and protein. Ancient Aztecs and Mayans used to eat them for their "magical" energy-boosting properties. Also, because the seeds absorb about ten times their weight in water, they're a perfect thickening agent for a nutrition-packed pudding.

I tried making my first batch of chia seed pudding this weekend, and I was surprised at how simple it was to prepare: just mix together the ingredients and refrigerate overnight. It's difficult to describe the texture -- it bears a faint resemblance to tapioca, with a little more crunch. After a few bites, I was hooked. I followed this Food Network recipe almost exactly, though I'd recommend halving or eliminating the maple syrup at the end; in-season strawberries are sweet enough! 


1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (+ 2 optional teaspoons for strawberries)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint strawberries


1) Whisk the almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl.
2) Whisk in the chia seeds.
3) Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes.
4) Give the mixture a quick stir and refrigerate overnight.
5) Slice the strawberries. (Optional: stir with 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.)
6) Spoon the pudding into containers and top with the strawberries.

The recipe serves 2-4; from my experience, it made a hearty breakfast for two, with no leftovers to spare. There are plenty of chia seed pudding recipes out there, so experiment away.