This chocolate chia seed pudding will satisfy your chocolate craving and the kids’ request for dessert. You don’t have to tell them it’s actually kind of good for them!
Have you tried chia pudding yet?
I admit, when I first heard about it I was skeptical. I was never really a fan of tapioca pudding, and that is what I assumed it would taste like. Of course, being a curious foodie I started trying out some chia pudding recipes and experimenting with my own.
The first several times I made chia pudding it was ok, but not really thick enough. Enter coconut milk and dates. The two combined with the other ingredients help form a really nice, pudding-like texture.
You can blend the seeds in completely or leave them whole. I like them whole, but my kids prefer them blended.
Chia seed pudding is a healthy alternative to classic pudding. You can serve it for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast. One serving has about 300 calories, and a balanced amount of fiber, protein, sugar, and fat. (See nutrition label below).
If I was serving this for dessert I would probably make the portions a little smaller and make sure to include more room for fun toppings such as whipped cream or vanilla cashew cream and fresh berries.Sweetened with Medjool dates, this chocolate chia pudding makes a delicious snack, dessert, or even breakfast! Click To Tweet
Here is a closer look at the individual ingredients:
- These little nutritional powerhouses provide calcium, iron, fiber, protein, healthy fat, and antioxidants all packed into a little seed.
- Chia seeds can hold up to 12x their weight in water, making them the perfect long-lasting fuel and pudding former.
- There are both dark and light chia seeds; I like the light ones because they aren’t as obvious when they get stuck to your teeth! (And I can more easily sneak them into foods).
- Be sure to buy unsweetened and unprocessed cocoa or cacao. (Not alkali or Dutch-processed).
- Cocoa contains antioxidants known as flavanols, which may help lower blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance, and improve cognitive functioning.*
- It’s also a good source of iron and magnesium, two minerals important for both children and women.
- Dates provide a natural fiber-filled way to sweeten and thicken this treat. Be sure to buy fresh Medjool dates if you can. These dates are perfect to have on hand to sweeten smoothies, make bliss balls, and no-bake granola bars.
- If you don’t have dates–or a high-powered blender–use maple syrup. Although maple syrup is pure sugar, it’s less processed than granulated sugar. It’s also naturally sweeter, meaning that you can use a little less.
- Almond milk is a plant-powered alternative to cow’s milk that is rich in calcium. While it’s lower in protein than cow’s milk, adding in protein-rich ingredients such as chia seeds, to this pudding helps bring up the protein content.
- Look for almond milk that is fortified with vitamin D and doesn’t contain carrageenan.
- And, of course, you could sub any other milk that you prefer–cashew, hemp, and hazelnut are all delicious. Cow’s milk is great if you don’t need to avoid dairy and are trying to up the protein content.
- Or try making your own almond milk at home!
- Coconut milk adds a creamy texture to this treat. While it’s high in saturated fat, research suggests that the type of saturated fat in coconut appears to increase both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol, making it more neutral than bad. However, if you have high cholesterol or are concerned about cholesterol, use the reduced-fat coconut milk or just go all almond milk.
- ¾ cup canned full-fat coconut milk (use the rest in a smoothie or freeze)
- 1½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk)
- 4-6 pitted Medjool dates (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup)
- 2½ tablespoons unsweetened real cocoa or cacao
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chia seeds
- Combine coconut milk through salt in a blender until dates are completely blended. (If using maple syrup you can just whisk by hand).
- Mix in the chia seeds, blending until just combined. (Unless you want them totally blended, which many people may prefer).
- Divide into 4 glasses or bowls. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries
Coconut whipped cream
Vanilla cashew cream
Unsweetened coconut flakes