I used to dismiss chia pudding as Instagram eye candy that nobody needs, but once I began to ponder its many advantages, I changed my mind. Now I eat it at least twice a week and recommend it to all my clients. Here’s why:
- It’s ridiculously quick and easy to prepare, no cooking required, just a bit of gentle mixing. Honestly, your ten-year-old can make this!
- Can be made in large batches and refrigerated for several days, thus obviating the need to make breakfast from scratch every morning. Easy to pack and carry in your lunch box.
- Provides high-quality protein (assuming you’re making it with yogurt and kefir, as I do here)
- Contains super-healthy fats, including the precious omega-3 fats most of us don;t eat enough of
- Provides healthy carbs that won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
- High in fiber, which helps with intestinal transit and feeds our gut bacteria
- Packed with probiotics from yogurt and kefir
- Supplies prebiotics (fibers and starches that feed our gut bacteria), such as seeds, nuts, berries
- Gluten-free (if you care about that sort of thing; many need to)
- Can be dairy-free if you replace yogurt and kefir with plant milk and protein powder (not my preferred course of action as protein powder is pretty processed, but helpful if you’re allergic or intolerant to dairy)
- Super versatile — you can vary the flavors to suit your mood and the time of year. In the winter, I often add pumpkin-pie spices; in the summer, I add strawberry puree to the pudding. And at any time of year, you can add things like peanut powder, Japanese matcha (powdered green tea), vanilla or whatever else strikes your fancy to change things up. (I recommend making a large batch of the base pudding – shown below – and adding flavors to each individual serving so you’re not committing yourself to eating umpteen servings of the same flavor.)
- One of the few tasty ways to enjoy chia seeds, which are a good thing to eat on a regular basis because of these 11 reasons
Need I go on? I think not. So, without further ado, I give you:
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup Greek yogurt plain, whole
- 1 cup kefir plain, whole
- 1 tbsp nut butter all nut butters work, such as almond, peanut, hazelnut; I love RX's vanilla-flavored almond butter in this recipe
- 2 tsp vanilla extract ideally, alcohol-free as this dies doesn't get cooked
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup berries or other low-sugar fruits such as apricots, peaches, kiwi
- Place kefir, yogurt, almond butter, vanilla extract and almond extract (if using) in a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine. Stir in the chia seeds until evenly distributed. Transfer to a container with a lid that seals tightly.
- Refrigerate overnight. When ready to eat, top with fruit and nuts and enjoy.
- Scatter with a tbsp chopped nuts, toasted coconut shavings or grain-free granola.
- For a fruit-pudding effect, “smoothify” fruit in a blender with yogurt, kefir and almond butter and then stir in the chia seeds (add the seeds after blending the other ingredients; if you grind them in the blender, they can taste bitter).
- Replace almond butter with peanut butter and 1-2 tbsp defatted peanut powder (like PB2) and top with low-sugar strawberry spread for a “PB&J” flavor profile.