Easy Tasty Gluten-free Chia Pudding

I grew up under the watchful eye of a stay at home mother, an architect father, a sassy housekeeper, a posse of siblings and a dog named Tiger. In other words, my babysitter was The Brady Bunch, aka channel 5.

Every day at 5pm, rain or shine, before my actual parents came home from work I would curl up in my parents’ bed with a Tab (or Pepsi Light) and a pre-dinner snack of bologna and Kraft American cheese. Stacked. Cheese, bologna, cheese, bologna, cheese, cut into a 4×4 grid with 16 toothpicks, one in each square. For real.

I wish I could say that this was my TV for the day (or the least healthy thing I ate but that’s another story) but prior to this I also watched two hours of soap operas and continued to watch TV while I did my homework, then through dinner, after dinner, before bed and even while I fell asleep. I had a TV in my bedroom…and my bathroom. It was the norm at the time. My parents did the same thing, as did most of my friends. We are the TV generation.

chia dr samantha

But even though I was allowed as much TV as I wanted, my parents had a hard and fast rule that I was not to ask for anything because I saw an ad for it on TV. What this meant was that I would never, ever, be the owner of a Chia Pet.

Now as an adult even though I could have as many Chia Pets as I want, I put the seeds to a much better use . . . 

Chia Pudding

Be sure to plan in advance for your chia pudding craving as it takes at least 2 hours to set, ideally longer. Many recipes have a variety of ingredients and various sweeteners but I like to keep it basic so I can doctor it up to my whim and fancy. Below you’ll find my basic recipe for chocolate chia pudding, for those who know they want chocolate sweet goodness.

Basic Chia Pudding

• 1/3 cup chia seeds
• 2 cups any kind of milk or faux milk. I like to use Pacific hemp milk but you could also do this with coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, you name it.

chia pudding dr samanthaHow to Make it:
1. Put the milk in a mason jar or other jar with a lid.
2. Slowly pour the chia seeds into the milk.
3. Shake well.
4. Refrigerate and leave for at least 2 hours. I like to leave it overnight.

If it’s too thin for your taste, add more chia and let sit another hour or so. Too thick? Add more milk. Note the amount you add so you can reproduce your favorite texture the next time!

Once it’s done you can add whatever you like to sweeten or embellish. I prefer less sweet so I’ll usually add just a dribble of maple syrup and some nuts. For my little one I might add bananas and hazelnuts with some cacao nibs. My husband likes blueberries and honey. Below is a list of optional add-ons but really there’s no limit to what you could put in there!

  • Fruit of any kind either mashed and mixed in or cut up into small chunks
  • Nuts of any kind
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut shavings
  • Sweetener- maple syrup, honey, stevia, coconut nectar, or even sugar. Pretty please for the love of health don’t use artificial sweeteners. Please.
  • Perky’s chia cereal (like grape nuts in texture…almost)
  • Vanilla or other extract (almond etc)

Chocolate Chia Pudding (instead of mousse!)

• 1/3 cup chia seeds
• 2 cups unsweetened vanilla Pacific hemp milk, coconut milk, or nut milk
• 2 TBSP coconut sugar
• 1/8 cup hot water
• 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 tsp natural vanilla extract

How to Make it:
1. Put the cocoa powder and coconut sugar into a mason jar
2. Add the hot water and whisk until the solids are completely dissolved
3. Add the vanilla extract and the faux milk
4. Slowly pour the chia seeds into the jar
5. Shake well
6. Refrigerate and leave for at least 2 hours. If you can shake it up every 10 minutes for the first half an hour the end result will be more smooth.

You can add any of the ‘extras’ above. We like crushed cashews and shredded coconut! Chia is chock full of nutrients: fiber, calcium, omega-3 and more. Experiment and let me know how it goes!

This is an extremely healthy snack or dessert if you keep the sweet to a minimum (click here for my favorite tips and tricks to keep your sweet cravings at bay!).




Easy Tasty Gluten-free Chia Pudding

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