Chocolate Chia Pudding is a delicious combination of chia, chocolate, almonds, coconut, and almond milk, and it does double duty as both breakfast and dessert! It's super easy to make! You just throw all of the ingredients together in a jar, and pop it in the fridge overnight. And like magic, your breakfast is waiting for you in the morning. This delicious recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
I've been snacking on chia pudding in the afternoons lately. It's super easy to make. I just throw a bunch of ingredients into a jar on Monday and I have I have snacks for the week at the ready. It pairs nicely with summer fruits like berries and cherries.
What are Chia Seeds?
Cha-cha-chia! I'm sure we're all familiar with the jingle that seems to run on a constant loop on TV during the holidays. I grew up thinking that chia was what you needed to turn a terra-cotta lamb into a plant. Little did I know back then that I was actually sprouting tiny little nutritional powerhouses.
Chia seeds are small black and white seeds Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant from the mint family that can be found in central and southern Mexico. They may also come from the related Salvia columbariae plant that is native to southwestern United States and Mexico.
Chia seeds turn gelatinous when they're mixed with a liquid. That gel can be used as an egg replacer, but it can also be the base of a delicious pudding. Because it's so nutritious, it's become a popular breakfast dish. Since it's a pudding, it's makes for a healthy dessert option, too.
Because of the combination of almonds and shredded coconut, this pudding had me singing another jingle from my childhood: “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.” So I’ve nicknamed this recipe “Almond Joy.”
What You Need
- Chia seeds
- Non-dairy milk
- Raw cacao powder
- Slivered almonds
- Shredded, unsweetened coconut
- Agave nectar or maple syrup
- Almond extract
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
How to Make Chocolate Chia Pudding
This recipe couldn't be easier to make. You simply throw all of the ingredients together in a jar or a bowl with a lid, give it a good shake, and pop it in the fridge. It takes about two hours for the seeds to gel. If the seeds are sticking together, use a fork to break them up.
How to Customize Your Chia Pudding
It's easy to customize this recipe to your liking!
- If you don't like chocolate – gasp! I don't understand how anyone could not like chocolate! – you can omit the cacao and use a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- You can add fresh fruit to your pudding. Cherries pair really nicely with chocolate.
- If you have a nut allergy, you can use a nut-free nondairy milk and use sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead of almonds.
- You can create an indulgent dessert by topping your pudding with cashew cream and cacao nibs.
Cacao vs. Cocoa
Cacao is made my cold pressing raw cocoa beans. It’s said to have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering insulin resistance. It’s also a mood booster, and who couldn’t use a little jolt of happiness?
Cacao powder can be pricy, although I’ve found it reasonably priced at Trader Joe’s. You can also buy it relatively inexpensively in bulk on Amazon. If you can’t find it, dairy-free cocoa powder can be used instead, but keep in mind that cocoa powder has been roasted at a high temperature and doesn’t have the same health benefits as cacao.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
They might be tiny, but chia seeds sure are mighty when it comes to nutritional benefits. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium, among other things. Some of their health benefits include:
- Heart Health – Because of their combination of antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3s, chia seeds may help reduce LDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and lower blood pressure.
- Bone Health – Chia seeds are high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein, which all are known to protect bones. In fact, they contain more calcium than dairy products.
- Blood Sugar Stabilization – The fiber content of chia seeds may help lower blood sugar, which could benefit those with type-2 diabetes.
- Reduction of Inflammation – Since chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, they may reduce inflammation in the body.
How Long Does Chia Pudding Last?
Because this recipe can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, it's a great make-ahead meal. It will last for about 5 days in the fridge.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl or mason jar. Cover and store in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
Other recipes made with chia that you may enjoy include:
- Blueberries and Cream Chia Pudding
- Overnight Oats with Mixed Berries and Chia
- Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding Parfaits