What's For Breakfast: Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

I could have just as easily categorized this as a "What's For Lunch" or "What's For Dessert" post, as it works just as easily for those meals. Heck, vanilla chia seed pudding would even make a nice filling mid-afternoon snack. Truth be told, I've eaten this pudding as lunch for the past two days -- it makes an excellent post-workout meal. (I like to pop out over the lunch hour to catch a class at the local Y --  I currently have a nice four-day-a-week class schedule going this session with a 30-minute boot camp class on Mondays and Wednesdays, a weight-training class on Thursdays, and a spin class on Fridays. I should probably skip over the fact that I have dubbed my class-free Tuesdays as "Muffin Tuesday" as I head out in the early morning for a quick trip to Golden Harvest for some groceries, my favorite "healthy" morning glory muffin, and then get a latte from Crimson Cafe (I'm on a nonfat hazelnut latte kick of late, though -- rather embarrassingly, I must admit -- I miss my nonfat pumpkin spice lattes with a passion.))

But I digress ... I recently picked up Giada De Laurentiis's new cookbook, Giada's Feel-Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets from the library. Along with Giada's tips for healthy living, the bulk of this book is dedicated to delicious recipes. The first recipe that caught my eye was for chia seed pudding. I am a huge fan of chia seeds -- they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber -- and typically mix them into my yogurt and granola breakfast bowls. If you plan to eat this pudding for breakfast (which I highly recommend), you should prep the pudding the night before for the best texture. Chia seeds turn a bit gel-like when mixed into a liquid (apparently they can absorb up to 10 times their weight in liquid?!) which makes for a lovely pudding texture with just a teensy bit of crunch.

I can't tell you how excited I was to see a ginormous display of organic strawberries at Golden Harvest the other day; I happily grabbed two pints. (I like to think that the arrival of strawberries is a harbinger of spring; though our just-barely-over 0-degree temperatures of late don't quite jibe with that wish.) After hulling, quartering, and giving them a quick mash, fresh strawberries make an ideal topping for a serving of vanilla chia seed pudding. You can even opt to layer the pudding and strawberries for an even more fruit-filled treat.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (printer-friendly version)
makes 4 servings

1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup hulled and chopped strawberries, lightly mashed
ground cinnamon
chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Stir in the chia seeds. Let stand for 30 minutes. Stir to redistribute the seeds, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator over night.
2. Spoon the pudding into 4 small glass jars or bowls. Top with the strawberries. (Alternately, you could alternate layers of pudding and strawberries.) If desired, garnish with chopped nuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.

(adapted from this Giada De Laurentiis recipe)


  1. Ooh, this sounds amazing. I think chia seeds and almond milk are a match made in heaven.

  2. Yum! I will be trying this and sharing it with my clients and online community Susan :)


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