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Banana-Coconut Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are one of my favorite ingredients. The term “super-food” gets thrown around too much these days, but chia really is the epitome of a super-food. To quote Christopher McDougall in Born to Run:

In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone. As tiny as those seeds are, they’re superpacked with omega-3s, omega-6s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants. If you had to pick just one desert-island food, you couldn’t do much better than chia, at least if you were interested in building muscle, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease; after a few months on the chia diet, you could probably swim home.

One of the great things about chia seeds is that they “gelatinize” in liquid. This turns a tablespoon of chia and some liquid into a semi-solid jelly that makes the perfect texture for a breakfast porridge.

Chia Pudding

There are at least 2.85 million chia pudding / chia porridge recipes on the internet. What’s new and better about this one? For starters, we’re blending the chia seeds to give it a nice creamy consistency. We’re also adding some rolled oats, vanilla, and lemon juice to round out the flavors. And there’s some mashed banana that we’ll add at the last minute.

This recipe needs at least 2-3 hours in the refrigerator for the seeds to gelatinize, but it keeps well for several days. It’s a great idea to make a big batch one evening so you have a healthy, super-food breakfast already made for the next 2-3 days.

Makes 1 (big) bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • dash of cinnamon

Step One

Add the almond milk, chia seeds, rolled oats, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla to a blender and blend until the chia seeds and rolled oats have been fully purΓ©ed. At this point, the mixture will still be a runny liquid – the chia seeds need a few hours to thicken into a gel. Add to a covered container (mason jar?) and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hours.

Step Two

When you’re ready to serve the pudding, thinly slice 1/3 of a banana and set aside for garnish. Mash the other 2/3 of the banana into your serving bowl. Add a tablespoon of shredded coconut to the bowl. Finally, pour the chia pudding over the top and mix the banana, coconut, and chia together.

You may be wondering why we don’t just add the banana while blending. The problem is, the banana would turn brown and develop some weird flavors if it was left in the refrigerator overnight. That’s why it’s best to simply mash and stir in the banana right before serving.

Step Three

Add the toppings! The pudding is great by itself, but the toppings take it to another level. Lay the banana slices on top, sprinkle on a few raisins, dust with some shredded coconut and cinnamon. Experiment with other additions as well, such as chopped nuts or additional spices.

Question of the Day…

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take ONE food item with you, what would it be? (I think we all know what I’m taking…)

Chia Pudding

29 Comments

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  1. I would take coconut water!!

    Oh wait… that’s not a food item… and also, there are already coconuts on deserted islands, duhhh…

    Um, I would take chocolate. Who cares if I don’t live very long?? πŸ™‚

  2. Hey Andrew, thanks for the chia pudding recipe! Looking forward to trying it tomorrow. I found your site while eating my first-ever chia pudding for breakfast today and I want more already haha. Glad I stumbled across your site, looks like many great healthy recipes I can try this summer.

  3. Can you do this with cows milk? Also have you know the nutritional content of your dishes. Loving the recipes but worried that I’ll get carried away and eat far to much! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Louise. Hmm, you can probably use cows milk but I don’t drink it so I couldn’t tell you for sure. To find nutrition information, I often use WolframAlpha.com, you simply type in your ingredients and it’ll give you the nutrition content. Like, try searching “1 cup soy milk” or “1 tablespoon chia seeds” etc.

      • Cheers Andrew.
        Am gradually adding, replacing, thing in my cupboards as I get into my new lifestyle of eating more raw foods. Not sure I’m ready for the full vegan experience yet but totally agree with your food ethos and loving your recipes. Have tried lots of different milk alternatives – really like rice milk and almond milk – but find that they are quite high in calories, which is why I have ended up sticking with cows milk.
        Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow!

        • That’s great, Louise! Small, incremental changes towards a healthier lifestyle is how you make it stick. Just follow your own instincts.

          Actually, *unsweetened* almond milk only has 35 calories per cup whereas 2% milk has 125. You just have to look for the unsweetened varieties because it’s the sugar that adds the extra calories.

          Mmm, I just had this chia pudding for breakfast myself and it was yummy πŸ™‚

          • I have just knocked myself up a batch for the morning and according to that website (WolframAlfa) that one big bowl has 694Kcals!
            It doesn’t look a lot in the bowl but I think I’ll have to share it with my husband.
            Do you usually eat a whole bowl to yourself?

            • Sorry, I couldn’t reply to this earlier because my blog only allowed 5-level replies to comments, I extended that to 6 now… there’s definitely a mistake with those calorie numbers – the whole bowl probably wouldn’t have more than 350 calories, maybe a few more with cows milk. Instead of Wolfram, maybe just add up the numbers on the packages and that’ll be 100% accurate.

  4. What brand of almond milk do you use? I can’t find any without a lot of different ingredients in it…is that ok? I’ve been using Silk True Almond. Thanks! Can’t wait to try your recipes : )

    • Hi Erin! I use different brands from time to time and yes, they do have other ingredients (which is annoying). If you wanted it to be truly “one ingredient” you could easily make your own. I actually prefer the taste of fresh, homemade almond milk.

    • You can make your own easily. I just made a batch for rice pudding. A handful of almonds in some water and blend. Adjust the ratios to suit your taste but I use a handful of almonds to about a litre of water – you don’t need many to get the white appearance and taste. I don’t filter it ‘cos I love the nutty texture and mouthfeel and my body loves the fibre! If it tastes a little bland, add a pinch to a half teaspoon of salt and maybe maple syrup or similar. no rules, just adjust to suit your taste! Heaps cheaper and better ingredients than the bought supermarket stuff!

    • Hi Angie, you can use any kind of milk you’d like. Although, I don’t know if you mean a coconut milk beverage or actual coconut milk. I would avoid full-fat coconut milk unless you want the pudding to be super rich and high in calories – which isn’t always a bad thing! :).

  5. Hey, Andrew,

    Just made this recipe. It’s in the fridge. But I’m a little worried as quite of few of my seeds and some of the oats got stuck at the bottom of my blender under the blades. Did I do something wrong or do I need a better blender? I added the ingredients in the order in which they are listed. Thanks!

    • Hey Ginny, I do have a Vitamix blender which I highly recommend (though it is very expensive). One thing you can do is turn off the blender and use a spoon to scrape along the bottom to loosen anything that may be stuck and then blend again.

      • Thanks, Andrew. Was just thinking this morning that maybe I could add the seeds and oats from the top as it’s blending. I’ll try that next time.

  6. I have been making the pudding all the time now- totally obsessed. My new favorite thing is to add frozen blueberries and almonds instead of the other fruit. I have only been using half the pudding mixture per breakfast but isn’t keeping me full for very long- should I be eating the entire pudding?

    • Thanks, Jenna, I’m so happy you like it and those other suggestions sound awesome! Well, yes, if you’re still hungry then eat the whole thing! πŸ™‚ Or possibly have a bowl of oatmeal or a slice whole wheat bread as well, some kind of complex carbohydrate will tend to keep you full for longer.

  7. This sounds delicious. I have made several of your other recipes and am so impressed!

    I am wondering do I have to use a blender? I have made chia pudding before without blending (also without oats) and the texture is great. I may try without blending and let you know how things turn out!

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Love your recipes!!!!

    Mandy

  8. I tried making it for the first time last night. This morning I woke up hungry and excited… But the pudding was more like soup πŸ™ what could I have done wrong ?

  9. I also computed the nutritional information for this recipe, but I used myfitnesspal.com. It came out to 515 calories and 9g fat. I think people don’t realize how calorically dense some of these plant-based foods are, such as seeds, nuts, avocado, coconut, dried fruit, maple syrup and other sweeteners. It all adds up. Not that it’s not healthy food, but it’s easy to consume 500+ calories in a “small” meal when you combine several of these calorically dense ingredients, and for those people who don’t understand why they can’t lose weight while eating plant-based, this can be an eye-opener. If you simply leave out the coconut, or the syrup, or the raisins, you can save almost 100 calories. Or reduce the amounts of a few ingredients. Or just eat a smaller portion. That’s not a knock to this recipe, it looks great and I plan to try it! Just letting you know that this isn’t 350 cals, so people know what they’re consuming. Thanks for all your hard work, this is one of the few plant-based websites that doesn’t use loads of oil, mock meat and dairy products. I check your website every week to see if you’ve put up any new recipes, so please keep doing what you’re doing πŸ™‚

    • Hi Poppy,

      I appreciate your thoughtful comments, thanks for bringing this up. I just went back and used the calculator at https://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php and it came out to 435 calories (see below). So you’re right, my guess of 350 was a bit off – but it’s definitely not 600+ as the other commenter mentioned. Not sure why yours was higher, maybe you used sweetened almond milk? But either way, I think a meal of 435 calories is actually quite small. An average woman burns 1400 calories without any movement at all, so a 400-500 calorie breakfast is about right.

      I totally understand the need to restrict calories to lose weight, but for me personally it’s hard to get into that mindset because my base calorie burn is over 2,000, plus another 500-1000 of active calories. So I’m always concerned about calories… but only how I can find more πŸ™‚

      1 cup almond milk (40), 2 tablespoons chia seeds (138), 2 tablespoons rolled oats (39), 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (4), 1 tablespoon maple syrup (52), 1 teaspoon vanilla (12), 1 banana (105), 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (18), 1 tablespoon raisins (27), dash cinnamon (1)

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