Chia Trial #3: Chia vanilla pudding (dairy free)


I was so prepared to dislike this recipe. More than dislike. Loathe, really, or despise even. I was pretty sure, in fact, I was going to use the word "hate". It's a wonder my premature antipathy wasn't self-fulfilling prophesy, in the end. But that would be ridiculous, over something as pedestrian as pudding.

Even chia pudding...boasting the power of once ubiquitous Chia Pet fame turned "It" fuel chia seeds, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and containing healthy doses of  fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin, molybdenum and zinc.

It turns out, happily, I didn't hate the pudding. I won't pretend I loved it.  But I liked it. I was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps I might have loved it, had I followed Martha's directions properly. Instead, I went cheap, swapping almonds for cashews, coconut oil for butter, and extra vanilla extract for the vanilla pod.

As I prepared it, this chia pudding isn't what you'd call dessert, but it could be breakfast, sweetened by a handful of dates, or a nice power snack. It's got a texture and taste that's slightly nutty (from the nuts), and also a bit bubbly, like tapioca. The dates and vanilla lend a pleasing, mild sweetness that isn't overdone, but if you wanted a bit more indulgence, a drizzle of maple syrup, as suggested by Martha's original recipe, would be nice, too. We served with blueberries, but the fruitful possibilities abound. ;)

Being so dubious from the onset, I took the original recipe, altered and halved it, and that was plenty. Although if you do stick to the Martha plan, maybe you'll want more indeed. Who knows, I may find out. I'm not head over heels, but I do think that I will make this again.

Chia Vanilla Pudding adapted from this recipe from Martha Stewart

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2  cup almonds, soaked in water for 2 hours to overnight
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4  dates, pitted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • berries or sliced fruit to serve, as topping (about 1 cup)
  • Optional: maple syrup, for drizzling
  1. Set chia seeds aside in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Drain and rinse almonds. Add almonds, water, dates, cinnamon, coconut oil,  and vanilla extract to a blender or food processor. Process until well mixed, about two minutes, and pour into bowl with chia seeds; whisk well. Let mixture stand for 10 to 15 minutes, whisking every few minutes to prevent chia seeds from clumping (pudding will thicken quickly). Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
  3. Whisk pudding and divide into four bowls. Top with berries, and drizzle with maple syrup if desired.