Chia pudding (AKA frogspawn pudding), is the trendy vegan breakfast staple that has taken over Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards everywhere. But let’s be real, how many different variations of this beloved dish can one person handle? Never fear, I am going to present to you the foundations of this nutritious recipe so that you can enjoy it as it is or you can experiment with your own topping ideas and turn your morning breakfast routine into your very own Instagram shoot.
What is chia pudding?
Chia pudding is a type of pudding made by mixing chia seeds with a liquid, like vegan milk. I like to use oat milk, coconut milk or almond milk. The mixture is then refrigerated for several hours or overnight, allowing the chia seeds to expand and create a thick, pudding-like consistency. The pudding can be sweetened with maple syrup or other sweeteners, and can also be flavoured with vanilla, fruit, or nut butter.
Chia pudding is often consumed as a healthy breakfast or snack option, but rarely as a pudding, despite the name suggesting so. That being said, you could eat this as a pudding if your heart so desires.
Why eat chia seeds?
I am sure I don’t need to tell you the health benefits of chia seeds, but they are packed with plenty of vegan-friendly omega-3 – a great addition to a plant-based diet.
See also: my favourite vegan omega-3 supplements
How do you make a vegan chia pudding?
First, you need to create your chia pudding base. I find that chia seeds resemble frogspawn in their expanded form, so I mix my chia seeds with oats and yoghurt to create the base. Plus, this way you get more of a substantial and nutritious breakfast.
Next, you can add any flavourings, like maple syrup. I also add frozen fruit, like blueberries, to the mix.
Put the chia pudding into a jar or bowl and leave it in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight is best. Take it out of the fridge before eating and either eat straight away or leave it for about 10 minutes to warm up slightly to room temperature.
Choosing a good vegan yoghurt
The yoghurt I use often varies, but I do tend to stick to coconut yoghurt for taste and texture reasons. For creamier more decadent results, I’d recommend Coconut Collaborative, but it is one of the pricier yoghurts.
Therefore, I have experimented with others and also find that most soya yoghurts work just fine, but they can be a bit more watery and the taste is a lot sourer. Just balance this out with some maple syrup.
Picking your chia pudding fillings
Mixing frozen fruit in helps to bring sweetness to the pudding and I dollop on plenty of almond butter before eating – because that stuff is super tasty and addictive.
You can use whatever fruit you want and they don’t have to be frozen. I personally choose to use frozen because they are easier to store and are there ready to use when you want – plus the nutrients are preserved through freezing straight after picking. Such nutrients may be lost when fruit is picked and stored in ambient temperatures, transported and stored again, before even reaching your mouth!
Top tips for making a great vegan chia pudding
This vegan chia pudding may look pretty simple, which well it is, but it can also go a bit wrong if you don’t follow this advice:
Mix that chia pudding properly!
Quite often people find that their chia seeds sink to the bottom once mixed together. This requires you to remix it every couple of hours to ensure an even spread before eating. However, by mixing the seeds and oats with yoghurt before gradually adding milk, the mix binds together much more effectively and I never have to go and remix it once it’s in the fridge.
- Mix the chia seeds with the oats
- Stir the yoghurt in and make sure it is fully incorporated
- Gradually mix in the plant milk
- Add your fruit and stir
- Cover and place in the fridge overnight
- Before eating, plop on your nut butter and eat!