If you’re looking for a quick and easy dish that’s naturally sweet and can do triple duty as breakfast, a snack or dessert, look no further than this raspberry chia seed pudding. Not only is it tart and sweet, it’s also good for you. Chia seeds are high in dietary protein, omega-3 fat, fibre and calcium, among other good things as you can see here. Okay, nutrition lecture over. All the offspring need to know is that it tastes good, right?
This pudding requires no cooking and very little work at all. Chia seeds are liquid absorption powerhouses and thicken a liquid in as little as 10 minutes, which is faster than I can get myself back to the bowl to check on it. I usually leave mine longer, and sometimes make it at night so I can enjoy the pudding in the morning. The seeds do tend to sink to the bottom, so the upper portion may seem too loose; just give it a good stir to evenly distribute the thickness.
I developed this recipe with two selective eaters in my family in mind. It was easy to create a flavour that would appeal to my daughter who just had a baby and is looking for healthy food, as well as the ever-so-picky three-year-old Littler Miss. I used my homemade almond milk as the base, adding some more maple syrup and pure vanilla extract for luxurious sweetness. Raspberries (fresh or frozen and thawed) simply mashed with a fork did the trick for both zing and colour (to mask the greyness of the chia seeds). The photo below shows the plain chia seed pudding; it’s delicious, but let’s just say it has more inner beauty than outer.
The bigger issue I was trying to address was texture. On its own, the chia seed pudding reminds me of tapioca pudding. The seeds are somewhat gelatinous, and that, coupled with its rather unfortunate shade of grey, can be off-putting for some people. I don’t mind the texture of the whole seeds at all, and my favourite version of the pudding was the mashed raspberries simply stirred into the pudding base. Much to my surprise, Littler Miss loves it this way too; in fact, I was surprised at how much she packed away.
On the other hand, my daughter couldn’t cope with the texture of the whole seeds. So, I embarked on a course of experimentation. It may not have been exactly scientific, but it did have a highly satisfactory result.
- First, I used my blender to puree a batch of the pudding along with the raspberries. This method robbed the pudding of the texture of the raspberry seeds, which she likes.
- Second, I made the pudding, pureed it and then stirred in the mashed raspberries. Yes! I hit the texture jackpot! But, I really didn’t want to have to clean the blender each time I make the pudding.
- Finally, I achieved the right combination of desired texture and ease by grinding the chia seeds in the coffee grinder I reserve for spices. (I ground a tablespoon of cane sugar first to remove the scent of the coriander I ground in there last.) The ground chia seeds worked well in the pudding, and this method was a lot easier than having to clean the blender.
My multi-pudding experiment may seem like a lot of work, but I’m happy to do it if it means someone I love will be able to enjoy the benefits of chia seeds. Plus, I got to sample all those different puddings. It’s not all hard work around here. I hope my research helps you choose the best method to achieve the outcome you prefer.
Note: You may notice that one of the puddings is much pinker than the others. That’s because the first time I made it I used two cups of raspberries. It was delicious, but the taste of the berries overpowered the delicate sweetness of the pudding, so I cut back to one cup of berries for the other versions of the recipe.
Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding
Depending on the texture you prefer, you can make this pudding with either whole or ground chia seeds. Since I use frozen raspberries I let them thaw on a plate for a half hour or so while the pudding is setting in the fridge. If using fresh or already thawed berries, you could add them to the pudding base at the beginning and let it all set together.
Note, this recipe has been developed for use with my homemade almond milk. If you’re using a different almond milk, you may need to adjust the flavourings that you add to the pudding.
- 1 cup homemade almond milk
- 1/4 chia seeds, whole or ground
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
In a small bowl, mix together the almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Cover the bowl and set it in the refrigerator.
Put the frozen berries on a plate that will accommodate them in a single layer. Leave them for about 30 minutes on a trivet so air can circulate under the plate. Once thawed, mash the berries roughly with a fork.
Remove the pudding from the fridge and give it a good stir to evenly distribute the thickness, and then stir in the mashed raspberries.
Assuming your almond milk is fresh-made, you can keep the pudding covered in the fridge for up to five days. If you made your almond milk two days ago, then the chia pudding will keep for up to three days. But really, it’s so delicious that you won’t need to worry about how long you should keep it; it’ll be gone before you know it!