Basic Raw, Vegan Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding: Step by Step Instructions and Recipe!

by Gena on July 30, 2013

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Lately, I’ve been getting a bunch of questions about how I make my basic chia seed pudding, spurred on by the many photos of chia goodness that pop up on my Instagram feed (hey, have we met on Instagram yet? If not, let’s–you can find me here). I eat a lot of chia seed pudding. A whole lot. It’s probably my favorite breakfast, and I also tend to make a lot of it at once, which means I frequently enjoy it as a snack, too. My ch-ch-ch-chia tab features all of my favorite recipes, but to be honest, the chia pudding I make most often isn’t any of those. It’s my simple, plain, vanilla chia pudding. And I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to post the recipe and a little how-to.

What I’m about to share will make four servings of chia seed pudding. If you want to cut this recipe in half, you can, and heck, if you want to go crazy and double it, you can do that, too. But what you need to know is the basic ratio of chia seed to liquid that will yield perfect results. For me, it is:

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3 tablespoons:1 cup–that’s what you need to remember! The liquid can be any plant milk, but coconut water and juice are great, too.

When I’m making a single serving of chia pudding at a time, I usually just stir the cup of liquid and seeds together. I wait a minute or two, then stir again. I stir again five minutes later, and five minutes after that. After that, I just let it sit for an hour or two before enjoying. Usually, I’m prepping chia pudding for breakfast, so I let it sit overnight in the fridge. In the morning, I’ll add a tablespoon or two of extra almond milk if necessary.

When I make a bunch of servings at once, though, it’s much easier to make chia pudding in my blender. Here’s what you’ll need to make four servings at a time:

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*You can find a vanilla bean tutorial here.

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I add my almond milk, vanilla, and maple syrup to my blender and blend them up. Then, with the blender on a very low setting (the lowest setting in a regular blender, or about a 2 or 3 in the Vitamix), I add the chia seed.

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It blends up without getting stuck together, and it’s a fast way to mix things up. (Thanks, Elizabeth, for this tip!!)

I transfer the whole thing to a mixing bowl and–just as with a single serving–I give it a stir.

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I give it another stir a moment or two later. I stir it five minutes later, and five minutes after that. Then I let it sit for an hour (thirty minutes will be enough time if that’s all you have) before transferring it to storage containers.

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I usually get about one quart and one small, half pint jar. For me, that’s about four servings.

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I very often pack up chia seed pudding as an afternoon snack when I’m either at work or working from a coffee shop; it’s particularly great with blueberries, cacao nibs, or goji berries.

And here’s the chia breakfast that got so much love on Facebook and Instagram last week: a parfait of 1 heaping cup vanilla chia pudding, two tablespoons of my “buckwheaties,” two tablespoons of shredded coconut, and fresh blackberries.


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It’s as beautiful as it is delicious–and fun to eat. Here it is, in snack size!

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I like any berries on top of a chia pudding, but local blackberries have been particular giant (and delicious) lately.

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So, that’s my plain chia pudding process. Of course, you can add just about anything you like: ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, protein powder. This dish is easy to customize.

Hope this has been helpful. What’s your favorite chia flavor? I always like getting new ideas!

xo

 

 

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura July 30, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Oh my gosh, your photos get better and better! Just read all the way through, and loved it. Favorite combination is vanilla and powdered cardamom topped with strawberries, and we have local ones right now. Also tried blending up cherries with the almond milk this weekend. Interesting, but not astounding. I did top with buckwheaties (your recipe) and eat it anyway!

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Gena August 1, 2013 at 6:41 am

I’ll have to add cardamom or garam masala soon — so yummy.

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance July 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I LOVE chia pudding and need to add buckwheat groats to the top of mine after seeing your photo above. My favorite flavor is definitely vanilla just because I normally add fruit on top of my chia pudding and the vanilla is a great flavor with any type of fruit.

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Dana July 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Awesome and THANK YOU!

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Bonnie July 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I’m addicted to your hemp chia pudding. Looks like it’s time for me to branch out! Thank you!!

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bitt July 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm

ok random question. us raw enthusiasts get it that you have to soak and dry the buckwheaties. how come other bloggers not-so-into raw food just eat them plain? doesn’t this cut up their insides? i suppose this is more directed to the universe out there than you. :-)

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Karen July 31, 2013 at 9:56 am

Yes – I have the same exact question…raw buckwheat sounds positively painful to me!

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Gena July 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Guys, I have the same question. I cannot imagine unsoaked, uncooked buckwheat! So, I really don’t know, but I share your bewilderment.

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Sara October 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

If you soak, sprout, and then dehydrate the buckwheat groats, they wind up being crunchy with enzymes already activated– easier to digest and assimilate nutrients too! :)

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Ksenija @ Health Ninja July 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Though it is so simple, this recipe really does look beautiful! I will make sure to make a portion of chia seed pudding for me this week. Thanks for sharing.

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jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur July 31, 2013 at 12:19 am

I think the classic vanilla chia seed pudding is the best, followed closely by chocolate. I love the idea of using coconut water as the base. I bet that’s be great with matcha and vanilla!

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Dionne December 15, 2013 at 1:18 am

I just finished making my vanilla chia pudding using two cups of homemade kefir and two cups of coconut water. I’ll let it set overnight then I’ll top with a couple of tsp. of ground flax seeds, some coconut flakes and blueberries.

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Dana July 31, 2013 at 12:40 am

Also, since chia seeds are such a huge part of your diet, you must be buying them in bulk, yes? I’ve also heard that not all chia seeds are the best quality (surprise, surprise). The only ones I’ve ever used were Spectrum. I would love to know where you get yours from. Thanks so much! :)

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Gena August 1, 2013 at 6:42 am

Hey Dana!

Tune in for today’s post — I’ll go over some chia purchasing options :)

G

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Emma July 31, 2013 at 6:49 am

Thanks for the great instructions. It makes a lot of sense to do a large batch and use the blender too. As I make mine before bed and leave overnight to sit I only stir them once the pudding can end up a little clumpy. I usually keep the base simple and stir in fresh fruit and sprinkle on some coconut or seeds like you :)

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Jivan July 31, 2013 at 7:23 am

Wonderful recipe, photos and tips. Thank you!

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Gena August 1, 2013 at 6:42 am

Thanks Jivan!

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hillary July 31, 2013 at 9:16 am

great tutorial Gena! i love chia pudding and it’s many varieties, but i’ve never made it in bulk in my blender, what a great idea. i’ve been enjoying mine lately with cinnamon, local georgia peaches, and goji berries. mmmmmm.

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Karen July 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

Terrific primer and photography! I haven’t ventured into chia pudding territory yet for some reason, but this cinches the deal. Excited!

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dixya| food, pleasure, and health July 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

i absolutely love chia seeds in my smoothies and pudding.

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erica July 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm

My first visit to your page and I’m super excited to try this recipe. I have one question: do you let the mixture rest out on the counter or in the fridge between stirs and while setting? Please advise.
Thanks so much!
e

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Gena July 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm

If it’s only for a few hours, I’ll let it sit outside the fridge. If it’s all day or overnight, I put it in the fridge. Welcome, Erica!!

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erica August 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I just made this and my GOODNESS the flavor is REMARKABLE! What a marvelously beneficial treat! Thank you so much.

Oh…I usually work with hemp hearts…using these chia seeds should come with a warning…my blender jar is now speckled from within! :) Not fun to clean, but worth it.

Be well!

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autumn July 31, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I do like plain vanilla with homemade cashew milk, but I have been wondering about blending berries into the milk before soaking too. Thanks for laying down the all important chia to liquid ratio though! Very helpful :)

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Gena August 1, 2013 at 6:43 am

Thanks!

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Blaine Arin August 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

Lovely! I’m crazy about chia pudding. This is a fantastic tutorial, Gena!

You’ve inspired me to create a blog post of my personal favorite chia pudding recipe this weekend :)

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Sarah August 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

I like chia pudding too! But, I never really LOVED it until I found and tried this recipe: http://www.rawmazing.com/cinnamon-and-fruit-chia-pudding/
just amazing! I loved her idea of using cashew cream as a base instead of regular ol’ almond milk. You should try it- in fact I’m having it for bfast right now :)

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Christine (The Raw Project) August 1, 2013 at 11:31 am

Such a simple and fun recipe to customize, thanks! And I need to try blending the chia seeds in the Vitamix, such a great idea!

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Jade August 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Love how you’ve broken down the steps and provided some really great diagrams. Makes it really easy if someone has never done this before!

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Michelle August 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Chocolate is a favorite and in the fall cinnamon with pumpkin Oscar must

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Laura August 3, 2013 at 8:03 am

I have so been into chia pudding for about 2 weeks now – All because of you by the way! So I had to share this – for my liquid I used one over ripe banana, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 tsp vanilla and some cardamom. Used 3 tbsp chia seeds based on your formula. It was so awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Shira August 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Gena this is such perfect timing! With all the foods I love to eat, I have yet to try chia pudding and it has been on my mind all weekend, and then this! Got a massive jar of chia and this couldn’t be easier. Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks!

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Ttrockwood August 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I had an amazing chia pudding that used cashew milk, coconut meat and was topped with toasted coconut and hemp seeds- it was super rich and decadent but the coconut flavor was brilliant.
Usually my basic chia pudding is similar to yours here but i stir in a handful of raw oats and top with semi frozen blueberries and their juice

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Jayne August 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

My favorite is in yogurt or smoothies, but there are many other uses. Check out a quick review here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_83uZV9_U

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Trey August 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

How thick should this be? I did it overnight in the
Fridge. It was thin like buttermilk. Not thick like
A pudding at all.

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Rhea August 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I was wondering this myself….Still waiting for an answer, huh??

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katie October 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

It should be thick like pudding…definitely not watery at all. Did you accurately use the liquid:seed ratio? I have read that bad chia seeds (black I believe but google it) do not work well in things like this. Also, what liquid did you use?

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Dijana December 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Hi There,

It should be thick like a custard topping. Hope that helps.
I also used black chia seeds in mine using the above ratio and it worked out perfect.
Used almond milk, but will use coconut or soy next time.

How long can it stay in the fridge?

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Sasha August 15, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I love pudding and I love being healthy so this recipe is a win win win for me! See how I wrote it 3 times. haha I can’t wait to try this recipe out! YUM

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Two Red Bowls August 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm

LOVE this, especially storing it in pint jars — I’m trying to think of ideas of easy portable (and healthy) snacks to take to work and this looks like the perfect solution. Thank you so much!

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rachel August 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm

vanilla soya milk + strawberries = delicious!

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Mel August 31, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I make my own almond milk.. so we tried 3 cups of vanilla almond milk, 6 dates for sweetness, the recommended amount of chia seeds and 1 teaspoon of ceylon cinnamon. Soooooo yummy. Kids really like it!

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Dijana December 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Ooh, that sounds good. I used unsweetened almond milk and added a bit more maple to the mixture and then for breakfast this morning topped it with blueberries, strawberries, a dollop of vanilla yoghurt and some agave, but would’ve like it a bit sweeter.

I LOVE dates, so will add that to the mix next time. Thanks for the tip.

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Hannah September 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I’m new to eating healthy and gluten free, so I’m not on the raw foods bandwagon exactly. Anyway, I had Chia Seed Pudding at a restaurant once, and loved it, so I thought I’d try it out and bought chia seeds and googled and found you. Anyway, thanks so much for the ratio! I just made some with 2 cups almond milk, 6 tbs chia seeds, 1/2 tsp cardamom and 1 tbs rose water, and 2 tbs agave. I added more agave than you used syrup because I’m still a bit of a sugar addict! Its in the fridge now and I’m excited for it to be done!

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Gena September 14, 2013 at 6:56 am

Hope you loved it!!

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Emma September 12, 2013 at 12:03 am

Lovely photos and a spot-on ratio of liquid to chia too. I like a small amount of this before going for a run in the morning, I find it stops my blood sugar crashing without weighing me down. Thanks again!

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Jeffrey September 27, 2013 at 6:27 am

Made this with home-made almond milk and it turned out fantastic – thanks for the recipe!

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jane segal September 27, 2013 at 8:10 am

Sorry guys, this recipe made me super disappointed. I HATE watery oatmeal, pudding, soup etc… I knew intuitively that 4 cups of almond milk seemed like a lot. The pudding turned out too damn thin and watery!!! I waisted 4 cups of expensive milk. This recipe is really bad. I tried others that are way better. You should have said that it makes a thin consistency. SUCKED BIG TIME!!!

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katie October 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm

You must have done something wrong. I use this recipe every day and never have thin pudding. In fact, I’m eating some right now and it’s extra thick and perfect!

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Antonio October 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Am I the only one thinking that it is tasteless?
I even added some more date syrup…but nothing….no taste at all…apart from the sweeteners i used…. :(

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katie October 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

What kind of milk did you use? It’s very good with almond milk but I also have added in a bit of vanilla extract or almond extract. I also like it with half the liquid being a cold coffee and half being almond milk then I add a spoonful of unsweeted cocoa powder! You can add PB2, peanut butter, honey, agave, vanilla, almond, ANYTHING! Experiment and you will love it :)

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Laura October 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I can’t wait to make this for work snacks, but just wondering how long the shelf life is / how long it keeps for??
Thanks : )

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Gena October 16, 2013 at 8:27 am

Mine usually lasts 4 days or so in the fridge.

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JMW October 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

Love this, just got into this this month October. Appreciate all tips and advice

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JMW October 20, 2013 at 10:51 am

I personally just use vanilla coconut milk, chia seed and raspberries in mine. Raspberries are enough sweetener and the vanilla favor in coconut milk. I love this at night when I am craving a snack but do not want to blend making noise…

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Rita October 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I’ve just started making this recently, with the addition of a little vanilla protein powder. It’s become a very convenient snack, and most importantly, it tastes delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

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Rachel October 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Try it with unsweetened coconut milk, add some agave to sweeten, and flavor with rose water or citrus blossom water instead of vanilla ( can find both in Mediterranean food stores) – simply delicious and delicate. Enjoy – Rachel

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Amy November 7, 2013 at 11:57 am

First of all, thank you for such an awesome blog; full of resources and amazing recipes! Now, for my question… Do you have this actual recipe somewhere? You usually write out recipes for everything in addition to screen shots, but I don’t see it for this one; and I’m visually impaired, so no screen shots work for me! :-) Sure, I can easily make a batch with the ratio you provided, I’m just wondering what all you actually used here in recipe form. Thanks for all that you do! Have a fabulous day!

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Nadejda November 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I love this! I’m new to raw food and expanding my knowledge everyday-your site is especially helpful. How long will this last prepared in a jar?

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Leigh November 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Looking forward to trying this one, thanks. Our family love chia pudding with homemade almond milk, cut up strawberries and topped with manuka honey. The strawberry flavour goes through the entire pudding, and with the fresh almond milk, it taste like strawberries and cream!

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Anonymous December 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I cook a banana with raw almonds on the stove top with coconut oil butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to put on top!!

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Louise James January 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

I have chia with near everything, looking for new supplier if you know one. Recipe looks great.

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D January 27, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Awesome! My son who needs the calories added whip cream, walnuts, extra maple syrup, and blackberries. I just added the blackberries and it was SUPER YUMMY! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I buy my seeds at Costco it truly is the best deal.

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Alice January 29, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Hi this looks and sounds delicious is it always cold? Because it sounds a bit like rice pudding that can be hot too?

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Gena January 31, 2014 at 8:55 am

Alice, I’m not sure chia pudding heats as well as rice pudding would. But you can definitely serve it room temperature!

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Pam February 19, 2014 at 2:30 am

My favourite chia pudding is with coconut milk on a base of softened dates so when you dig down you get the dates as a natural sweetener… Yum
… But I will try yours, it looks good

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Graziella Baratta February 22, 2014 at 12:24 am

Thanks so much for this recipe, I love it! I’ve been experimenting with chia seeds lately and although I’m not vegan, I’ve been looking for a vegan version of chia pudding.. I’ve actually seen several that involve dairy, and I do not do well with it, so I make my own nut milks (cashew/coconut). Now I can enjoy chia pudding with made with my nut milk :))

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Heather @ The Soulful Spoon March 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Gena, this weekly reading feature is such a favorite of mine! I completely agree with you about the protein issue. It deserves more attention, especially to those most sensitive to high carbohydrate diets, though I am on board the vegan side of it. Thanks for sharing these links!:)

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Heather @ The Soulful Spoon March 10, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Whoops, wrong post I commented on!:)

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amery March 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm

hmm… I wonder if you could do a Chai flavored chia??? that would be awesome!

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Gena March 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

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