Chia Pudding

April 18, 2012

For most of us, we can’t think of the word chia without thinking of Chia Pets – those enigmatic, ceramic, living dolls that were a hallmark of 1980s culture. Who would have thought that those funny Chia Pets use some of the most nutritious seeds around?

These tiny seeds are powerhouses of nutritious energy, extremely filling and relatively low in calories. Chia seeds are remarkably high in omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. They’re full of soluble fiber which is what makes them expand into a gelatinous pudding of sorts when they are soaked in liquid. With a high concentration of easily digestible protein, these little seeds fill you up and keep you energized. Some people call them the perfect food for athletes and dieters alike.

These seeds figured prominently centuries ago in Mayan, Incan and Aztec cultures, where they were valued as an endurance food, and even used as currency. (Chia is the Mayan word for strength.) Its a wonder to me why so many athletes are carrying around those weird packets of alarmingly colored, artificial-protein gel. Here’s a nice tip I’ve learned – soak chia seeds in water and use that as a fuel for your workouts. When I’m out for a long run, especially during my distance races, I bring along with me a drink of soaked chia seeds. It is a naturally perfect energy food.

Making this sweet, comforting and healthy snack (or breakfast, or dessert) couldn’t be easier. Simply pour the ingredients into a bowl, stir, walk away long enough to fold your laundry, do the dishes or maybe call your mom, then come back and it’s done. Or stir it up at night before you go to bed, put it in the refrigerator, and you’ll wake up with your energizing breakfast ready to go as you run out the door.


Chia Pudding

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups nut milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Place the chia seeds, milk, agave and salt in a bowl (add vanilla and cinnamon, if desired) and stir well, so there are no clumps and all the chia seeds are coated in milk.
  2. Let this set at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate. This pudding will keep well in the fridge for days.

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  • Ena

    Ha! It just so happens I bought a package of chia seeds some time ago and was recently pondering what to make with it.

    • Katie

      Glad I could help solve that conundrum for you :) Chia seeds are always great to have on hand. Since I do a lot of vegan baking I like to use them as an egg replacer – just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 1/4 cup water. Allow them to sit for about 20 minutes and they’re set!

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  • chia pudding is amazing. Your pictures are beautiful !

    • Katie

      Thank you Lysa for the kind words. And you’re so right, chia pudding is soooo good! :)

  • This sure does look yummy, I might use coconut syrup instead of agave – do you think that will work.? Thanks for the recipe, the possibilities are endless :)

    • Katie

      Thanks for stopping by Kristin! You can use whatever sweetener you wish for added sweetness. I’ve even used maple syrup in this particular recipe and it was mighty tasty. Coconut syrup sounds good though – I’ve never tried it but I love anything coconut. Your blog is lovely by the way.

  • Wow, this sounds amazing. A healthy dessert I don’t have to feel guilty about! I’m off to buy some Chia seeds now :-)

    • Katie

      I’m glad you’ve found some inspiration Stephanie! This is always my go-to snack for something simple, yet filling. It also helps that it tastes so good and sweet. Makes for the perfect dessert as well. You’ll have to let me know what you think of it.

      • Yes! It’s very filling! My husband I both love it…I just have to get used to the texture! :-)

        • Katie

          Tested and approved :) I’m so glad you two enjoyed it.

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  • Ro

    I tried chia pudding for the first time today at a vegan restaurant and LOVED it! Came straight home to google recipe and found your page. Will try this tomorrow… Thank you for posting! :D

    • Katie

      Thanks for stopping by Ro! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the recipe :)

  • Sonja

    The Chia Pudding is soooo delicious! I envision myself eating this a lot…breakfast, snack, dessert, etc.

    • Katie

      Its one of my favorite go-to breakfast, snack, dessert items as well :) I should probably go make some right now…

  • I just made this, it’s sitting in the fridge. I cant wait to try it!! Thanks!

    • Katie

      Hi Mandi! So glad you decided to make the recipe. How did it turn out?

  • Sue

    I just tried your chia pudding – it’s fantastic!

    • Katie

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sue! It’s one of my favorites.

  • AninKa

    Hi Katie, thank you for this post! I am wondering how easy it is to properly chew the chia seeds so I get all the healthy what is inside them? Thank you!

  • Lori Hanken

    How do you keep the seeds from clumping? I am having a hard time getting rid of the clumps.

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