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Orange Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding

Given that chia pudding is, like, the quintessential vegan breakfast food, I cannot believe that it has been over a year since I posted my last recipe for this amazingly healthy and delicious superfood breakfast bowl that is packed with omega-3’s, protein, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.

In that last recipe, we actually blended the chia seeds and mixed them with coconut and banana for something a little different. Here, we’re taking the classic approach of allowing the whole seeds to create a gel in almond milk overnight. In addition, we’ll stir in some fresh orange zest and a *real* vanilla bean to create the richest, creamiest, orangiest pudding you’ve ever had. It’s like eating the world’s healthiest orange sherbet for breakfast.

Orange_Chia

Makes 2 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

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Step One

Using a real vanilla bean here is crucial. It adds a completely different (and better) flavor than the extract stuff. To do this, use a sharp knife to slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the millions of tiny seeds contained within each half. In all, you should have about 1/4 teaspoon of a gooey paste that contains the seeds. Set this aside momentarily.

Step Two

Prepare the orange zest. Orange zest is powerful stuff you’ll ideally want it to be grated or chopped very finely so that it blends smoothly in the pudding. Large pieces, like I have on top of my pudding, are too overpowering and hard to eat (oops). The best way to do this is to use the finest side of your box grater and grate about 1/2 teaspoon of your orange’s skin. If the strands are still too big, take a sharp knife and further chop until it is very fine.

Step Three

In a bowl, combine the chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla seeds, and orange zest. Whisk constantly for at least 90 seconds. Why whisk? A gel will begin to immediately form around the outside of each seed. If the seeds are stuck together, you’ll end up with chia clumps instead of a fluid pudding consistency. Stirring vigorously at the beginning helps avoid this.

Step Four

Stick the pudding in the fridge for 6-12 hours (overnight works well) to let the magic happen. The next morning, give the mixture another vigorous stir, divide it into serving bowls (or just eat it all yourself), and top with chopped walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup. #yum

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20 Comments

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  1. Ok, this recipe is helping me get the nerve to try chia pudding! I love a nice orange&vanilla flavor combo! As an artist, I’m extremely visual. So when I look at chia puddings & my eyes tell me it looks like caviar, my brain says: no thank you. But I constantly here how delicious chia pudding can be. Be quiet eyes ;0)! Can we use vanilla powder, instead of purchasing a vanilla bean? Or is the vanilla bean better in freshness &/or other qualities? P.S. I highly recommend using a grater made specifically for zesting – microplane, zester, etc! The flavor is fresher, brighter & less bitter, because they only use the peel and not the pith. They also make the job much less labor intensive!

    • Yes! I hope I can convince you to try chia pudding ๐Ÿ™‚

      I actually used a microplane for the zest in the photos, but it came out too long. That’s why I suggested using a grated. Though, a dedicated zester might be better!

  2. But your large pieces of orange zest look so purdy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love chia seeds. I haven’t made pudding in a while (yours looks delish), but I cook them into my oatmeal every morning. They add so much more volume to oats. I use more water than I would without them, because they absorb so much. You should try it if you haven’t already. It’s like a cross between chia pudding and regular old oatmeal, and it’s a nice way to enjoy chia seeds warm!

    • Orange zest might look purdy but it gets a little *too* orangey (if there is such a thing) in that quantity! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have put them in my oatmeal as well, but (suddenly this sounds really dumb) only right at the end and they never have time to fully absorb the water… That’s it. Tomorrow I’m making legit chia oatmeal – thanks for the suggestion!!

  3. This looks extra special tasty. I shall assemble the ingredients and yum yum all over it.
    At the current moment I’m eating your Sesame Rice Bowl. Again. It’s like my main source of sustenance. Thanks again.

    • Haha, best comment ever! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m so glad you like the rice bowl, some weeks it’s my main source of sustenance too…

      Your blog is amazing, by the way. It’s so inspiring, I would love to live off the grid like that (and I’m glad your garden made it through the floods!)

  4. can you use vanilla extract instead of the bean? and maybe regular milk instead of almond milk? or would that change the flavor too much?

  5. I have some powdered chia seeds. Would this work as well and would I use the same amount? (I have a problem with textures; I don’t even like pulp in my OJ). Thanks.

    • I’m a big fan of making chia pudding by blending the seeds, so using powdered chia would be similar. You might have to play with the proportions to get the right consistency, but go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Amazing flavor! Yum! Makes 2 bowls. Are you sure? It’s sooo hard to stop eating. Good thing I just got a bag of oranges from a friend’s tree so I have plenty of orange zest. I used my microplaner to quickly zest 1 whole small orange.

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