How to Make Paleo Chia Pudding
Am I super late to the chia pudding party? Yes, very (fashionably) late. But that party is still just as fun as it was a couple of years ago when it got going, right? Maybe?... I don't know.
I'm going to show all of you fellow late-comers how to make this easy paleo breakfast tonight so that you can eat it tomorrow.
You know why this is a good idea? Because I feel very on top of my shit when I remember to make a a batch of this stuff on Sunday night. On Monday morning, all I have to do is spoon a portion into a container, throw on whatever fruit and/or nuts are within reach and go. It's what an adult would do.
So really, you might also call this a guide to getting through your mornings like a grown-ass woman who doesn't hit snooze 5-6 times and never-ever eats a Larabar and calls it breakfast.
What are chia seeds?
Well... remember Chia Pets? Chia seeds are baby Chia Pets.
Not kidding. (P.S. they still make Chia Pets.)
More than that though, they are the nutritious little black seeds of a desert plant that grows in Mexico. That plant is actually a member of the mint family, but the seeds don't taste minty.
The history of chia seeds is really interesting because they were a substantial part of Aztec and Mayan diets. In Mayan, the word "chia" means "strength," and Mayan messengers and Aztec warriors used to bring them on the road to keep up their energy on long journeys. That makes a lot of sense since they are easy to store and each tiny seed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium and other vitamins.
What is chia pudding?
The basics of chia pudding are pretty simple. You put chia seeds together with some kind of milk/yogurt/smoothie-like thing and then let it hang out overnight. The seeds form a sort of gel when mixed with liquid. In the morning, you have a creamy, protein-packed breakfast that breaks up the same ol' scrambled eggs routine. Or the Larabar routine, if you're me.
Overnight Paleo Chia Pudding
paleo, gluten-free, whole30, vegan, vegetarian; serves 4
- a medium-sized bowl (one with a cover, if possible)
- a spoon or fork
- a fridge
- one sleep
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- pinch of sea salt
- optional: 2 T maple syrup or honey (more or less, depending on how much sweetness you like)
- Decide on your mix-ins. This is the fun part. I have lots of ideas on flavor combinations below!
- Shake the can of coconut milk well. Open it and pour it into a medium-sized bowl. At this point, you'll also want to add your sweetener and mix-ins.
- Stir in the chia seeds and let the bowl sit for 10 minutes. Stir again (I usually use a fork) and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set.
- When you're ready to eat, spoon a portion of the pudding into a bowl and top with whatever you want.
- A lot of people do that Pinterest-y mason jar thing where they pour the pudding mixture into individual jars before refrigerating it to set. Normally I would think this is cheesy and impractical, but it's actually a great idea because they are very portable.
- If you like your pudding thinner or thicker, just adjust next time by using less chia seeds or add some extra nut milk or Greek yogurt.
- For the Whole30, leave out the maple syrup or honey!
Chia Pudding flavor combinations I love
My usual paleo chia pudding recipe is easy enough to memorize. I use it as a base for all kinds of mix-ins and toppings. You can really customize it to what you like best and what you have in your fruit basket at the moment. No more boring breakfasts.
- My Everyday Chia Pudding: 1/2 tsp ground cardamom + a smidge of vanilla bean + sliced peaches + pecans
- Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding: 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice + candied walnuts (reduce coconut milk by 1/2 cup)
- Blueberry-Lemon Chia Pudding: 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + a bit of lemon zest + fresh blueberries + sliced almonds
- Chocolate-Banana Chia Pudding: 1/8 cup cocoa powder + a spoonful of sunflower butter + sliced bananas
- Turmeric Milk Chia Pudding: 1/4 tsp ground ginger + 1/4 tsp ground turmeric + drizzle of honey + shredded coconut
Let me know what you put in and on your chia pudding — I need some new ideas!