Growing up, I just loved my pudding cups! Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, you name it! I can remember being full of so much joy when opening my lunch box in elementary school and seeing a pack of pudding resting so neatly inside (along with carrot sticks and a healthy sandwich. I had such a healthy lunch as a kid).
As I got older and entered middle school, high school, then college, my palate adapted to different tastes, not just your typical chocolate, strawberry or vanilla. Thanks to social media, I was able to see my friends post about their favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes. I came across Chia Pudding and immediately, I realized this was going to be a hit for my palate.
Not only is chia pudding a tasty breakfast or after dinner dessert, but trust me when I say it is super easy to make and you will not sweat at all! Oh, and it is healthy too! Chia seeds are very good for you.
This recipe requires no heavy lifting, no chopping, no dicing, no blending. Just stirring or whisking and you have yourself a delicious pudding in a matter of hours. The hardest part of this recipe is probably waiting so long for it to be done thickening in the refrigerator. Once you mix everything together you have to let it sit in your refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight, or until it is thick enough and at a pudding consistency.
This pudding is actually very fun to make. I realized early on that the more chia seeds I put in, the faster this pudding will thicken in the fridge. You can get creative and make fruity chia pudding. For example, if you like mango just blend up some mango and add it to the almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract and honey mix. If you want to go the mango route, make sure you blend the fruit nicely so it is smooth and easy to stir in your chia seed mixture. Experiment with different fruits and you will not be disappointed.
You have full autonomy over the level of sweetness for your pudding. I like for mine to be not super sweet. I used bourbon vanilla extract for mine and I can definitely say I could taste that bourbon flavor in there. I also used raw organic honey which added the perfect sweetness that I was looking for. Basically, the more vanilla extract and honey you add, the sweeter your pudding. You could also make this recipe with coconut milk which will give it a different flavor. I prefer using unsweetened original almond milk, but it is entirely up to you.
Top your pudding with your favorite fruit or granola. I can recommend blueberries as a good topping. If you made mango chia pudding, maybe try it with some granola. I would like to mention that even though this is called pudding, the texture is slightly different from your typical pudding. It is actually more like a Jell-O texture. When eating this Chia Pudding it does not feel like very much is going in your mouth, but after a few spoonfuls, I felt very full.
Now the adult me looks back on those days in elementary school, when my classmates would want to trade one of their lunch items for my pudding, and I think to myself: if only I knew about Chia Pudding back then! How my friends would have absolutely loved it!