An easy recipe for vanilla chia pudding that’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup and topped with fresh berries and granola. Perfect for meal prep!
As you probably know, I am a big chia pudding fan! I already have a basic chia pudding recipe but I wanted to share another staple recipe: vanilla chia pudding.
I love the subtle vanilla flavor paired with maple syrup and fresh berries. It’s the perfect healthy breakfast recipe to meal prep in advance for a filling and delicious breakfast all week!
Chia Seed Health Benefits
Chia seeds are powerful little seeds! When you add them to liquid, they absorb the liquid and form a gel-like consistency.
Why are they so healthy? For starters, they are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases. They’re a good source of antioxidants, plant-based protein and fiber! Learn more here: health benefits of chia seeds.
Here’s What You Need:
chia seeds – both black and white chia seeds work for this recipe. Make sure your chia seeds are fresh or they may not absorb the liquid as well and your chia pudding won’t turn out.
almond or oat milk – I like to use use unsweetened almond milk or oat milk, but if you want a creamier chia pudding, try using coconut milk.
liquid sweetener of choice – I recommend maple syrup or honey, but you can also use sugar substitutes like stevia or monk fruit for a low sugar option.
vanilla extractor vanilla beans – this where the vanilla flavor comes in! If you’re feeling fancy, you can also use vanilla bean paste from the inside of a vanilla bean pod for the vanilla flavor. Vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste can be used interchangeably at a 1:1 ratio.
Here’s the Simple Process
Making vanilla chia pudding is so easy! Just whisk the chia seeds with your milk, sweetener of choice and the vanilla. Let it set up for 5 mins, give it another stir and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set up completely.
Once the chia pudding has set, you’re ready for the best part… the toppings! The base recipe definitely makes a difference, but the toppings are where it’s at. Here’s what I usually reach for:
fresh berries – fresh berries are almost always topping my chia pudding! Use a mixture or whatever you have on hand.
other fruit – don’t stop with berries! Add any other fruit you like to the top of your chia pudding. I love adding sliced bananas but any fruit works!
granola – add extra crunch and flavor with granola. Try my hemp granola for something new and different.
nut butter – drizzle any nut or seed butter on your chia pudding for added protein, fiber and creamy flavor.
If you’re having trouble getting your chia pudding to set or turn out correctly, there could be something going wrong. Here are a couple tips that might help!
Check your seeds – like I mentioned above, older chia seeds might not absorb liquid as well so make sure you have fresh seeds! You can also try switching brands… I’ve heard complaints from several people that Trader Joe’s chia seeds don’t absorb as much as other brands.
Stir before letting sit – Before you place your chia pudding in the refrigerator to set up, make sure you give it a good stir! I like to stir initially and then a second time about 5-10 minutes in. This breaks up any clumps of seeds and makes sure all of the seeds aren’t resting on the bottom with the liquid on top!
Add more seeds – If your chia pudding isn’t thick enough, you can add more chia seeds and let it sit a bit longer!
Try different milk – If you want a thicker chia pudding, try a thicker milk! Full-fat canned coconut milk results in an ultra thick and creamy pudding.
Don’t like the texture? Try blending it in a high-powered blender! Once blended the mixture will be smooth and creamy like traditional pudding. I do this with my chocolate chia pudding and it’s amazing!
How to Store
One of the best things about chia pudding is how well it stores! Chia pudding can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Like I mentioned before, it’s great for meal prep because of this!
Toppings of choice: fresh berries or other fruit, granola, nut butter, etc
In a bowl or mason jar, stir together chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla, if using. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine everything.
Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5 minutes, give it another stir/shake to break up any clumps of chia seeds, cover and put the mixture in the fridge to “set” for 1-2 hours or overnight.
The chia pudding should be nice and thick, not liquidy. If it’s not thick enough, just add more chia seeds (about 1 Tablespoon), stir and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or so.
Store any leftover chia pudding in the fridge in a covered container for 5-7 days.
Low sugar option – to keep this recipe lower in sugar feel free to use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit to sweeten. Every sweetener is different so I recommend just adding these to taste.
Protein – to make the chia pudding more filling, feel free to add a little protein powder to the recipe. I recommend stirring 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder into the mixture during the first step.