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.

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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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