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, a five-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 bring to work.
- Provides high-quality protein.
- Provides a significant amount of calcium.
- Contains super-healthy fats, including the precious omega-3 fats most of us don’t eat enough of.
- Provides low-glycemic carbs that won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
- Packed with fiber, which supports intestinal transit, healthy gut bacteria and balanced blood sugar levels.
- Brims with probiotics.
- Supplies prebiotics (fibers and starches that feed our gut bacteria).
- Can be dairy-free if you replace yogurt with plant yogurt and high-quality, minimally processed protein powder (I like Wilderness Poets’ hemp protein powder).
- 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 or raspberry puree to the pudding. And at any time of year, you can add flavorings like peanut powder, Japanese matcha tea (powdered green tea), vanilla, cocoa or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Need I go on? I think not. So, without further ado, I give you:
Creamy Chia Pudding
- 5 oz strawberries fresh or frozen. For a deeper color, combine strawberries with other berries, like blackberries or blueberries.
- 7 oz Greek yogurt plain, unsweetened, full-fat
- 1 tsp almond butter unsweetened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Lakanto (monk fruit sweetener) or maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup mixed berries fresh
- 1 tbsp walnuts, chopped or grain-free granola; my favorite brand is Autumn's Gold
- Place strawberries, yogurt, almond butter and and vanilla extract in a blender and process into a thick, smooth mixture. Pour into a container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Add chia seeds and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least two hours, ideally overnight. Don't worry about how runny the mixture it is -- the mixture will thicken significantly.
- When you are ready to eat, spoon the chia pudding into a bowl and top with 1/4 cup berries and 1 tbsp chopped nuts or grain-free, low-sugar granola.
- Nearly 400 calories may be a bit too big of a breakfast for a petite or sedentary person who eats 1,500-1,600 calories a day, but just about right for a larger or more active person who needs 2,500 calories or more. Listen to your satiety signals: If a full serving is too much for you, eat a smaller serving and stretch this into two meals.
- For a PB&J flavor profile, replace the strawberries in the base mix with 2 tbsp defatted peanut powder (e.g., PB2) and top with coarsely mashed, fresh strawberries (sweetened, perhaps, with a smidgen of maple syrup or monkfruit sweetener) and some chopped, roasted peanuts.