VEGAN CHIA SEED PUDDINGS

Vegan chia seed puddings can make for an easy, delicious, and even highly nutritious energy-boosting snack or dessert. There are an infinite number of variations possible, and I've compiled a few of my favorites here for you to try. Once you understand the concept (and they are very easy to make), perhaps you will feel inspired to try some ideas of your own.

About some of the common ingredients and their prep requirements:

  • Dates: When including dates, remove the pits and soak the dates for 2 hours in advance so that they blend into a soft creamy texture. Soak them in just enough filtered water that they are covered. The water the dates soak in is good for you and can be included in the pudding. Dates are packed with nutrients including fiber, tannins, vitamin a, iron, and calcium.
  • Almond Milk: Read here for instructions on making almond milk. I don't recommend consuming store bought almond milk.
  • Almond Meal: Almond meal is the meal that is left over after making your almond milk. These chia puddings are a great way to use some of it. (You can also include almond meal in baked goods or breakfast porridges and oatmeals. It's best to consume almond meal within three days of making it.) 
  • Chia Seeds: Chia seeds give the pudding its gelatinous texture. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Unlike flax seeds, chia seed do not need to be ground before consuming.

CHOCOLATE DATE CINNAMON BANANA PUDDING
Ingredients (Serves 2-3):
• 6 large medjool dates and their soaking water
• 1/2 cup homemade almond milk (or another nut milk of your choice).
• 1/4 cup almond meal
• 1/2 frozen banana
• 3 pinches of sea salt
• 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more if you love cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons raw chia seeds
• 2 tablespoons cacao powder
Instructions: In a blender, blend together all ingredients except the cacao powder and the chia seeds. Once these ingredients are blended into a paste, transfer to a mason jar or a small bowl. Stir in the chia seeds and the cacao powder. Make sure to stir it well so that the chia seeds aren't clumping. Refrigerate, covered, for at least three hours, or overnight, before serving. (If you prefer a different consistency than your first pudding yields with these portions, adjust the amount of date water or almond milk that you use next time.) Consider topping with fresh raspberries when in season.

AVOCADO HONEY VANILLA PUDDING
Ingredients (Serves 2):
• 1 ripe avocado
• 1 cup homemade almond milk
• 2 tablespoons raw organic honey (adjust to taste)
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Instructions: In a blender, blend together all ingredients except the chia seeds. Transfer to a mason jar or small bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Refrigerate covered for at least 3 hours before serving. Add a little almond half as garnish on top.

STRAWBERRY RAISIN VANILLA PUDDING
Ingredients (Serves 3-4):

• 3 cups fresh strawberries
• 2 cups homemade almond milk (or another nut milk of your choice)
• 2 tablespoons of raw honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ground vanilla
• 4 tablespoons chia seeds
• 1/4 cup small raisins
• Cinnamon and/or chopped nuts as topping
Instructions: In a blender, blend together the strawberries, almond milk, raw honey, and vanilla extract. Transfer to a mason jar or small bowl and stir in the chia seeds and raisins. Refrigerate covered for at least 3 hours before serving. Add cinnamon or some chopped nuts as topping.

MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP PUDDING
Ingredients (Serves 2):
• 1/2 cup chia seeds
• 1 1/4 cups homemade almond milk (or another nut milk of your choice)
• 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
• 1.5 tbsp. raw honey
• 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• a few vegan chocolate chips or cacao nibs and a few fresh peppermint leaves as garnish 
Instructions: Stir everything together except the garnish options. Refrigerate covered for at least three hours, or overnight. Add the garnish and serve. 

COCONUT DATE PUDDING
Ingredients (Serves 2):

• 1 tbsp chia seeds
• 1/2 cup coconut milk
• 4 Medjool dates (pitted and soaked)
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp coconut flakes (optional)
Instructions: In a blender, blend all ingredients except the chia seeds and the coconut flakes. Then stir in the chia seeds and coconut flakes and refrigerate for 3 hours or more. Garnish with a pinch of coconut flakes on top.

Julia FrodahlComment