Basic Chia Seed Pudding

by Gena on February 18, 2010

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Hey all!

So pleased with the huge reaction to Brendan’s interview. Keep the entries coming — I can’t wait to award a lucky reader with a copy of Thrive Fitness!

A few days ago I posted some of my favorite raw or semi-raw breakfast options. I mentioned that chia seed pudding is a quick and easy breakfast choice, and a few of you wrote in to ask whether or not I have a recipe for it. Well, I do, and I’m happy to say it’s a simple one! The truth is that there’s not much to chia pudding: you simply want to mix one part chia seeds with two parts liquid (almond milk is the easiest choice), stir, and wait. Over the course of thirty minutes to an hour, the chia seeds will gelatinize and the pudding will thicken up nicely. You can add whatever sweetener or spices you like to the mix: cinnamon is a lovely addition, and so is cocoa (or cacao) powder. I always add a bit of stevia and a hint of vanilla to my basic mix, which is as follows:

Gena’s Basic Chia Pudding (yields 3-4 servings)

3/4 cup chia seeds
2 cups almond milk
Tiny dash salt
Stevia and vanilla extract to taste

Simply mix the ingredients together, and let them rest for a few moments. Stir the mix well with a fork every five minutes or so. At first, it’ll seem far too liquidy, but over the course of thirty minutes the chia seeds will plump up, till the pudding resembles tapioca pudding, like so:

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It will taste mild and delicious. Here, along with a cup of coconut water (those are glass bottles from Organic Avenue, which I reuse at home all the time!), it made for a perfect pre-workout snack:

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Chia seeds, in case you were wondering, are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, & copper.  In fact, they contain 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus, and 4.6 times more potassium per 100g of edible portion than milk, and have 6 times more iron per 100g of edible portion than spinach, 1.8 times more iron than lentils, and 2.4 times more iron than beef liver. To this, add a high protein composition (19-23%) and the fact that they can aid in hydration for physical fitness, and you have a very nourishing snack indeed!

A little bored by this recipe? Check out my buddy Kristen’s holiday chia pudding, or my own chocolate peppermint chia seed pudding.

Chia pudding, like so many raw concoctions, may sound daunting, but in reality it’s as painless and simple as can be. Hope you all get a chance to try it, and love it!

xo

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Serena February 18, 2010 at 5:47 am

I love chia pudding. :) In fact, I have some ‘marinating’ in the fridge right now, for my breakfast. (I put dried fruits in it to sweeten it up a bit)

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Shannon February 18, 2010 at 5:49 am

i just made an acai chia jam last night! i’ll have to try pudding next :)

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Papa December 9, 2010 at 5:53 am

Want to share ur acai chia jam recipe? Sounds great. I am making guava jam and guava-passion fruit jam for holiday gifts. All fruits fm my yard. Try to reduce sugar use to no use depending on recipients. Being diabetic I stay away fm the sugar but have been fairly lucky using agave.

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Amy February 18, 2010 at 5:56 am

mmm….looks good!

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 18, 2010 at 5:56 am

I’ve been wanting to make this! Those pictures are so cool!!!

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Ian February 18, 2010 at 6:21 am

LOVE chia pudding :D Glad you dedicated a post to it!

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kim February 18, 2010 at 6:24 am

The chia seeds look alive!!! :)

I love almonds and I’m curious to find out how much should I eat per day (if I already got some fat from avocado as well).

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Janna (Just Flourishing) February 18, 2010 at 6:44 am

Wow so simple. I’m a little afraid to try chia seeds just yet…they just look to jelly like :) But when I do try them, and I will, I’ll be sure to give this recipe a go! Or maybe I’ll try the chocolate peppermint pudding, because that is a favorite combo of mine.

I reuse my organic avenue bottles too. I love them!

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Lauren February 18, 2010 at 6:48 am

I am afraid of chia pudding..lol!! I’ve never made it, yours does looks good though.. hmmmmm! ;)

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Christie @ Honoring Health February 18, 2010 at 6:51 am

Every time I eat chia seeds, I feel like I retain water. Do I just need to drink more water when I eat them? I have a problem getting in enough water as it is :-/

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Camille November 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Ive been researching chia seed side effects and that one can be a side effect. Some people do fine on them while others get effects be it all the time or only temporarily while adjusting to it.

The benefits far out way the effects i find, though listen to your body, it will tell you if it should be eating this or not.

Ive just made my first batch of chia pudding and its “marinating” i tasted it and it was a bit bland so i added some freeze dried fruits i keep around the house for my parrots. i might add that pinch of salt, vanilla and sweetener. I don’t have any stevia so i might add agave nectar or a bit of honey to mine.

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Danielle (Coffee Run) February 18, 2010 at 7:02 am

Thanks for the recipe :) It looks so funny to me, but I’m sure it’s tasty!

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Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

That’s the first picture of chia pudding that I’ve seen that actually looks appetizing- I might give it a try now- thanks for the recipe!

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Heather (Where's the Beach) February 18, 2010 at 7:05 am

Interesting. I have not tried chia seeds yet.

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Angela @ A Healthy FIt February 18, 2010 at 7:12 am

Thanks for posting this! I’ve been reading about chia pudding and had no clue how to make it. My chia seeds better watch out! I see pudding in their future!

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Ashlei February 18, 2010 at 7:24 am

I LOVE chia seeds – so healthy and delicious!

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Ameena February 18, 2010 at 7:53 am

I haven’t tried chia seeds yet because their consistency makes me a bit nervous. But since everyone has good things to say about them I am trying to work up the courage!

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La February 18, 2010 at 7:56 am

Have yet to try chia but it looks really interesting.. I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I’m shopping and give this a try!

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Kenzie February 18, 2010 at 8:28 am

I’ve been waiting to start using chia seeds for once I knew what to do with them! So excited about this recipe!

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) February 18, 2010 at 8:59 am

It was indeed Kristen’s Holiday Chia Pudding that got me into chia. Holy moly is that stuff good. I don’t think I’ve ever done a pudding like yours though, made exclusively of chia and liquid. I tend to think of it as an ingredient to add to others, which most often leads to me forgetting it entirely, so I am a pretty piss poor chia user. This needs to change!

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elise February 18, 2010 at 9:23 am

i have a massive tub of chia seeds that i have virtually untouched. thanks for the basic recipe…it makes it less intimidating for newcomers like me. im going to give it a shot with coconut milk, its become my nonmilk of choice…im friggin obsessed!

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Dayna February 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

I am DEFINITELY going to try this. Chia seed pudding also looks perfect for breakfast when you’re camping. I found this video I want to share with everyone for Banana chia seed pudding cause this looks amazing:

http://vimeo.com/6228843

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Christine (The Raw Project) February 18, 2010 at 10:34 am

This looks great, something I’m going to try this weekend. Thanks!

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Janelle February 18, 2010 at 10:56 am

I’ll have to give this a try – I’ve been hesitant because I hate slimy things (like tapioca) but it sounds like the nutritional benefits are worth the risk!

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KRISTEN'S RAW February 18, 2010 at 10:58 am

Thanks for the link. :)

I’m at my mom’s house dog sitting right now and I left my chia seeds at home…. I want some chia pudding!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 18, 2010 at 11:06 am

Basic, easy, simple, good. Perfect!
This is how I make mine, too. But enjoy it w/ vanilla almond milk and a few drop of liquid vanilla stevia (or agave). Just give it that ‘nilla pop in my mouth that I enjoy :) And for husbands or others who are a little sketchy w/ chia seeds, after the pudding sets up in the fridge and “develops” you can pop it in the freezer and anything “ice cream-like” is less daunting I’ve found for the newbies :)

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Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) February 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Looks great, I have been wanting to try a chia pudding!

xo
K

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Gelareh February 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Souds great! Thanks for the recipe :)

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Bianca- Vegan Crunk February 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm

I made your chocolate chia seed pudding and it was very, very tasty. The chia seeds are weird, but in a good way. Like nothing else I’ve ever tried…probably closest in texture to tapioca pearls but smaller.

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Jen February 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Thank you for this recipe! I have been putting chia seeds in smoothies and such, but am still a little afraid to make chia pudding. I’m not sure about the texture, although I do like tapioca. Maybe i’ll have to give it a try! You have such a wonderful website, I really enjoy using your recipes. My favorite, that I still go back to, if your pizza cheese – http://healthylaps.com/2010/01/29/not-cooking-up-a-storm/.

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olivia February 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

great quick recipe, thanks! i loved kristen’s holiday pudding, but this one’s perfect for when you don’t have time to grind nuts. :) question for you: i give my toddler chia, and noticed recently his poop had seedy shtuff in it the next day. sorry to get graphic, but i was wondering if that means he’s not digesting it or not absorbing the nutrients from it and i should grind it up first? he definitely likes the texture of the whole seeds in liquid better, though. :/

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Gena February 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Olivia,

It’s inevitable that we won’t fully digest some of the chia seeds: unless you chew them thoroughly, they’ll be indigestible. For that reason, toddlers — who might not chew as well as we do — should probably have chia in blended form. I’d stick this all in the blender pre-serving. It’s totally OK NOT to blend it, but the nutrients won’t be absorbed well unless you do, or he chews :)

Gena

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olivia February 18, 2010 at 11:56 pm

yeah, he’s definitely not chewing – slurps it all right down, lol! :D ok, blending it is. thanks!

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Margaret November 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Gina, this is incorrect. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds may be digested w/o chewing. (Although They are high in fiber, which is not digested.) For more information about chia seeds, and some recipe ideas, check out my website: http://www.chiativity.org

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TammyB February 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

Margaret, if one looks at poop and it is full of black seeds, it’s obvious that the chia seeds passed right through undigested. Ergo, they’re not being digested unless they are ground, either by teeth or some other process.

Obviously, a toddler isn’t going to chew them, and there are many other people who aren’t going to be able to chew them, for whatever reason, so they should be ground or one might as well skip a step and flush them down the toilet, because they’re too expensive to be used solely as fiber.

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thisguy June 27, 2012 at 12:18 am

do because we see corn, we don’t digest any of it? how’d humans survive on corn for so long?

Karen June 26, 2013 at 7:00 am

Hi Margaret/All

I’ve been searching the internet for an answer. I noticed this morning that the Chia seeds that I added to my freshly juiced carrots, went through me undigested 4 hours later. Excuse the crudeness, but it did look like the whole tablespoon was in the loo. Chia is expensive so I can’t afford to waste my money. I’ve been adding them to green smoothies which seemed fine, or I didn’t notice them in the loo. I have Multiple Sclerosis, so try to look after my health and chia seem like a dream “super food” I really can’t afford to keep purchasing if they are just flushing through. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

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Gena June 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Karen,

Some likely do pass through whole, but that’s not a reason to avoid chia! Some of the seeds are typically well digested (of course this depends on the individual), but if the whole seeds feel like a gamble to you, you can grind it and eat it ground, as you would flax.

G

Kristilyn (My 29th Year) February 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I’ve made chia pudding before – or at least tried to – but I found that it really didn’t thicken up as much as I thought it would. It was very soupy for most of the night in the fridge. Do chia seeds go bad?

K

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Camille November 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm

if you add shredded coconut to it it will thicken to a bread pudding consistency. I put a bit TOO much coconut and its almost dough like XD.

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Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Can’t believe I still haven’t made your chocolate peppermint chia seed pudding! Thanks for the reminder. :)

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Tanya February 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Yay…I just found chia seeds at a specialty store on our way home from vacation. They weren’t cheap, so I don’t have too many, but this looks delicious!

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bitt February 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

yeah most stores charge way to much. there are a lot of places to get it online for a steal! check amazon.

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Evan Thomas February 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm

That’s it. I’m adding chia seeds to my grocery list!

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bitt February 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm

this is so similar how i make my chia! i almost never let it soak longer than 10-15 minutes. i just figure it continues to soak in my belly. :-)

another fun thing is to make a smoothie and then pour a bunch of chia in after it’s blended and let it soak in.

never fear anything about chia, even the price! there’s tons of places to get it cheaper online–in the grocery store it tends to be pricey.

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Sarah February 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Looks yummy! I can’t wait to go buy some chia seeds!

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Erin February 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Hi Gena! :) I’ve been a regular reader of your blog for a while now, but I’ve never commented, so I thought I’d let you know that I just made your chia pudding today, and I love it! I’ve made chia pudding several times before, but I’ve always made it with cashew milk instead of almond. I really like it your way! To make things interesting, I added a couple drops of peppermint extract and a sliced banana. It was SO delicious!

Oh, and your zucchini wraps are in dehydrating in my oven right now. They smell so yummy, I can’t wait to try them with some walnut “meat”, avocado, sprouts, and Kristen Suzanne’s hemp nacho cheez sauce! :)

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Anonymous February 19, 2010 at 6:04 am

Chia pudding does sound super easy and it’s way more nutritious than I though! I’ve never tried chia seed before but when I get around to it I’ll definitely give the pudding a try.

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Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather February 19, 2010 at 6:30 am

Thanks for the easy chia seed pudding recipe! I’m excited to try out the texture when I pick some up.

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Nicole February 19, 2010 at 11:56 am

Love Vega:)

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Audrey February 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I LOVE chia pudding. It is so simple to make and really creamy and delicious.

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Lindsay (goodiesgalore) February 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm

looks a little bit like a jelly fish!

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Amy S. February 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Thanks for the timely recipe! I just received my first order of chia, and was at a bit of a loss for ideas. Perfect timing!

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caronae February 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Thanks for sharing this — I just got my first bag of chias the other day (I had to go to three NYC WF’s before I found any!). I definitely want to try it with cocoa of some sort!

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Priscilla February 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I was inspired by your post and made some chia pudding the other night. It was very tasty! I had to use quite a bit more liquid than the 2:1 ratio. That was alright though, I just kept stirring in more almond milk til it wasn’t quite so sticky. I sweetened it with agave and added a little cardamom. It was so yummy that I went back to the store the next day and bought more chia seeds. Thanks for the post!

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Neven February 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I love chia seed pudding it’s my fav quick breakfast.

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Hawley March 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I thought the pudding was amazing- but I had to add about an extra 1/2 cup of almond milk because it got too thick.

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falalaraw April 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm

so today was my first day making Chia Seed Pudding, and boy did i fall in love! It was so easy to make, and i have been looking for that perfect breakfast bowl when i need something a little more hearty then just fruit or juice or green smoothie.
My question is after you make it can you store it in the fridge and for how long? Because i cut your portion in half and used 3/8 cup chia and 1 cup milk and that still was a lot for me, very very filling.
And do you add your stevia and salt in the beginning or as you go?

:)

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Brooke May 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

Great… sounds yummy…..

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karen May 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I used the black chia seeds, but they didn’t “plump up”.
Does this pudding only work with white seeds?

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emily immerse September 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

Thanks for the inspiration! I am brewing some now for brekkie!
had a great chia pudding here in Byron Bay (Australia) a few weeks ago and ever since I have been craving chia pudding!
Their version had goji berries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, rose water, coconut cream, dried dates, mango and strawberries…..YUUUUUUM!

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Angie November 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm

This sounds interesting! But I’m confused, on So Delicious’ facebook page, you said you used So Delicious coconut milk, but on this post it says you used almond milk. Which one should I use?

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lindsey November 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I love chia pudding! I’ve gotten my husband hooked on it as well. We mix up two separate bowls at night, let them “marinate” in the fridge until morning and then stir some berries in and go. It’s fast, super healthy and it really keeps me satisfied until lunch time.

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Jessica January 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I keep seeing these seeds mentioned but until i stumbled upon your site I’ve not known what to do with them. Thanks so much for all the pudding variation suggestions!

One thing – is that a Plastic Straw in your coconut water? Please say it isn’t so. I discovered Glass Dharma straws last year and have never looked back. http://www.glassdharma.com for your evil plastic reducing needs!

Cheers :)

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Gena January 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

I do use plastic dharma straws and have blogged about them — this post simply pre-dates my discovering them!

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Becky January 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I’m just looking into chia seeds and wanted to provide a link I’ve found on nutritional information. You stated chia has more iron than liver, but this says there is no iron.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

This is important to me. I just ordered some from Amazon as a protein replacement as hemochromatosis has cropped up in my family.

I didn’t compare any of the other nutrient values.

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suzanne April 17, 2011 at 7:20 pm

This was the first chia recipe that I have ever made & it was yummy! Just made a second batch adding a little more vanilla and cacao powder. Cannot wait. Thanks!

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Ruben Dario April 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Dear All:

I am currently reading ‘Born to Run.’ It is about ultramarathoners and a tribe of Mexican natives in the Sierra Madres. In it, chia pudding is mentioned as the source of energy that the natives use to replenish during their very long runs. They run as a way of life.

As a male, does the high iron content have any negative health consequences. I have read that males higher heart disease issues may be related to higher iron content in their blood.

It is recommended that males of reproductive age donate blood which will help mitigate the negative consequences of a higher iron content in their blood.

Any comments are greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Ruben Dario

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Gena April 18, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I would hazard a guess that the correlation you refer to is at least partly related to the fact that many people who have heart trouble are also people who eat very high levels of red meat, which is heme-iron rich. I don’t know whether or not non-heme (plant) iron has the same risks.

I would welcome anyone else’s feedback on this, but I’d say you don’t have to worry about chia seeds.

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showme April 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Chia seeds are very good. I do think that the pictured pudding reminds me of what frog eggs might look like soaked in chocolate milk, but I’m sure that it’s very good. In fact, I’m going in to try making some now!

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Deby Bricker May 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I exchanged the Almond milk with Chocolate Almond Milk. Good.. Love Chocolate….

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Alp May 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I first grind my chia in a coffee grinder until powdery and then add the other ingredients. It comes out very smooth, just like a pudding.

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John Loewen December 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Just made up a chia pudding. With almond milk and vanilla as the base. Added chocolate nibs, coconut shreds, blue berries and golden berries. A real superfood desert.

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Lyn February 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I was a little afraid to try chia pudding because I just didn’t see how it would taste good. But…..I tried a chocolate one and it was delicious! (Basically, the same as this recipe but add cocoa powder.) Even my husband liked it. Who thought of this? Genius!

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Cathy March 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Do I need to make the chia pudding with non-dairy milk? Or can I use regular skim milk? Every recipe I’ve seen uses non-dairy…I am on the path of healthy eating, but am not planning on making the switch from dairy to non-dairy milk.

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J April 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Mine didn’t come out like this, the seeds didn’t expand as big as yours ): but it still tasted good (: thanks for the recipe

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Katy May 24, 2012 at 6:14 am

Can you give chia seeds to a 20 month old?

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Gena May 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Not sure — talk to your pediatrician!

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Wonderer May 29, 2012 at 11:28 am

You mention chia seeds have 2.4 times more iron than beef liver, but chia seeds have 6.4mg iron ber 100g and beef liver has 5.79 mg per 100g, did I misunderstand? Sorry I wasn’t sure what you meant by ‘edible portion’. Thanks for any help :)

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george July 8, 2012 at 4:51 am

My sister turned me on to this chia seed pudding and it is wonderful I couldnt help notice that 95% of the comments are from women is this some kind of girls club or are men to dumb to eat healthy? I think you girls are keeping this secret (just like victoria,s) to yourselves Dont worry its safe with me

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raczyk December 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Would it be too much if one person consumed the whole recipe for breakfast? Are there any health concerns regarding eating too much chia? I’m looking to gain weight, the healthy way.

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Karla January 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm

What would the conversion be for chia seeds to chia powder?

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yililim January 30, 2013 at 3:06 am

Thanks for the recipe! I made a berry chia pudding for breakfast based on your recipe and it turned out well! :D

http://yililim.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/berry-chia-seed-pudding-recipe.html

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Rebecca March 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I’m sure it’s extremely healthy, but something about chia pudding just looks like insect larvae to me. -_-

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tonya December 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I totally agree.I thought I was the only one who thought it looked repulsive.

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Jens April 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I love my chia in just water, but I think I am gonna try this just to mix it up a little.

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Betsy May 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

I’d like to know about growing my on seed to eat. Were can Ipurchase seed to develop or does this seed grow if planted? Fresh is what I am looking for.
Thanks

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Gena May 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I don’t know anything about growing chia, Betsy: sorry!

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Bri May 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Any further info on the iron content? Are we sure there’s iron in chia? How do we know? Thanks for helping me look into this, chia pals.

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Katie May 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I just bought liquid stevia, but haven’t used it yet. How much do you put in yours? I don’t want to mess it up. :)

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Kat September 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

Once I tried Chia Seeds in my smoothie, Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, enjoy the taste. Love Chia Pudding too, along with almond milk.

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Dawn April 8, 2014 at 11:37 am

Really trying to add healthier choices, I am willing to give this pudding a go. I have not used chia seeds before, and I am confused ; I see it says, the seeds “plump up”, in addition to them “passing whole” if not chewed properly. Having had a bout of diverticulitis a couple years ago that gave me a colon hole, I avoid most seeds, especially the tiny ones. When soaked as indicated and the seed plumps up, does it still require a lot of “chewing”. I am not accustomed to chewing pudding!

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