I'll admit it. I'm not a fan of slimy foods. Oysters are not on my list. Ever. Yes, you can make your jokes. And I tolerate okra – only if it's fried. So many years ago, when I first heard of chia pudding, I wasn't jumping up and down with excitement about trying it – let alone preparing it, though I do love a good creamy pudding.
Then I was at a friend's house. preparing food for a party we were having, and my friend made this kick-ass chia pudding. It took a couple of tries to get the texture just right, but when he did – it was really incredible. And I was sold on the merits of chia pudding as a legit dessert. So was everyone at the party. Even the folks who would usually never eat something as organic as (ew!) chia pudding.
Chia, while only achieving fame in the ‘wellness cuisine' space in the past decade or less as a ‘superfood' has actually been a part of the human diet for over 5000 years – originally grown and eaten in Mexico. It boasts a powerful and balanced combination of proteins, carbs, fiber, and fats – including gut microbiome healthy fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. It's been shown to help improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels, creates a feeling of satiety, and may help with weight loss if that's one of your goals.
You can enjoy it a couple of times a week – and feel really good about it! Pregnant and trying to get more dates into you diet late pregnancy? Double the amount of dates so you get about 4 dates/serving and skip the maple syrup or just use a drizzle. It also only takes about 15 minutes of prep work – though you have to think ahead to soak your cashews for the cashew milk (truth be told, I've skipped the soak step when I've decided to make chia-pudding as a last minute having company over dessert).
This recipe is one I've developed based on an amalgamation of various chia recipes I've tried – and it's pretty much chia pudding perfection. Once you get the hang of this basic recipe, the sky's the limit on variations you can create.
While the seedy and texture may take a minute to get used to – the taste will blow you away – and my guess is you'll want more after that first bite!
I Can’t Believe It’s Chia (Pudding)Print Recipe
- Medium size mixing bowl
- 1 cup whole chia seeds
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1 cup whole cashews or cashew pieces ideally soak in cold water for 1 hour prior to preparing cashew milk, then strain and discard the soak water
- 6 Medjool dates pitted OR
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Wee pinch of sea salt
- Fresh berries to serve optional for topping on either the vanilla or chocolate version
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder optional if you want a chocolate version
- Place chia seeds in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
- Prepare cashew milk as follows: Place cashews in an upright blender, adding 4 cups of water, the dates and/or maple syrup and the vanilla extract.
- Blend on high speed for 4 minutes
- Pour liquid into the bowl with the chia seeds, whisk well.
- Let mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, whisking every few minutes to prevent chia seeds from clumping, pudding will thicken fast. If making a chocolate version, still your cocoa powder in once the pudding starts to firm up a bit.
- Place in the fridge and chill for 1 hour.
- Remove from fridge, whisk, and serve chilled topped with berries and a drizzle of raw honey or maple syrup if you'd like. If the pudding is thicker than you like it, thin with a little extra cashew milk.