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Thursday, January 25, 2024

How I Make Chia Pudding

Chia seeds have both soluble and insoluble fiber and are good for the gut, helping to promote the growth of good bacteria. They also have protein, something I'm always looking for. 

When I first bought the seeds, I had the same questions as everyone else. "How do I use this stuff?" "Will I like it?" "What if I don't like it?"

Fortunately I found 2 ways that I do like it. One, as a smoothie thickener. To use in smoothies, I add some water to the bottom of a smoothie cup, then I add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. I allow this to stand for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. And finally I add the rest of the smoothie ingredients then blend.

The other way I use chia seeds is in pudding cups. This is my preferred use for chia. I mix up about 3 or 4 pudding cups at a time then keep them in the fridge. I prefer vanilla chia pudding. The chocolate chia pudding, made with cocoa powder, seemed to suffer from not cooking on the stove. Something about the raw-like cocoa powder that I didn't think was the greatest.

To make a single vanilla chia pudding cup I use:

  • individual pyrex custard cup
  • a spoon
  • 1 tablespoon measuring spoon
  • 1 teaspoon measuring spoon
  • chia seeds
  • sugar or honey or maple syrup
  • salt
  • vanilla flavoring
  • milk (I use soy milk for mine and cow's milk for my family's)

Using standard pyrex custard cups: 

I stir together 1 heaping tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 to 2 1.2 teaspoons sugar, and a pinch salt in each cup. If using honey or maple syrup, add those with the liquid ingredients. The amount of sweetening is all to taste. I've found that if I make a batch that isn't sweet enough for me, I can quickly stir in a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or honey

I add a dash of vanilla flavoring and milk to the top line in each custard cup and stir until I can't feel any granularity of the sugar at the bottom of the cups.

I allow the puddings to sit on the counter, leaving one spoon in one of the cups, reminding me to stir from time to time. When I see a darker drop in the pudding, I break it up with the back of the spoon against the cup. These are clusters of chia seeds. The overall texture is better, IMO, if the seeds are well-distributed in the pudding and nor clumped.

After about 2 hours of very brief stirring whenever I pass through the kitchen, I refrigerate the puddings overnight. 

After about 8-10 hours, this is what a pudding cup looks like from the side. The seeds have swollen and begun to thicken the liquid, and they're holding themselves distributed in the pudding. But the pudding is still not quite thick enough and won't be ready until after an overnight chill.

The whole process sounds much more involved typing it out than it really is in real life. It takes about 4 minutes hands-on time to make a batch of 3 or 4 pudding cups. And the clean-up is so much easier than cooked pudding.

For a healthy bonus, top chia pudding with sliced fresh fruit. 

I eat these puddings for snacks, breakfasts (with fresh or frozen fruit), and as sweet treats that are actually good for me.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial. This is a definitely plan ahead dish although it sounds easy enough to work into whatever else you are doing.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Yes, I do have to plan ahead a bit with chia pudding. So far, that hasn't bothered me. But then again, I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so this is an easy thing to squeeze in between other kitchen tasks.

  2. Great recipe! I like the idea of being able to make individual portions.

    1. Hi Kris,
      that's a great selling point for me. It's mostly me who eats this. So I can make my own in single serving amounts as I want.

  3. Lili, et al -- We've also made chia pudding in individual servings, and enjoyed it a lot. Our recipe uses coconut milk. Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      Coconut milk sounds like it would make a delicious creamy version. I do have a can of coconut milk in the pantry. I think I'll give that a try.

  4. Well, I need to root out those chia seeds from the back of the cupboard and try this!
    I've been following your vintage recipe series. I have three Betty Crocker vintage cookbooks, 1969, 1961, and one in the 1950 series. I can find the chicken and beet dishes, but not the brown betty or cabbage in any of my books Thanks for sharing. What version cookbook do you have?
    Central Az

    1. Hi Ellie,
      I hope you like the chia pudding. It would put those seeds to good use.

      Did you mean Better Homes and Gardens cookbook? My Better Homes & Garden cookbook is from 1953. Lucky you to have 3 of the vintage cookbooks!

  5. Mine are Betty Crocker! How funny that the recipes I did find are the same as yours from Better Homes. And mine has additions that the housewife collected and added to her book.

    1. Hi Ellie,
      Now that's a surprise, that the Betty Crocker cookbook would contain some of the exact same recipes at the Better homes and Gardens' one. I never would have guessed that.


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