For a light yet filling snack, this vegan chia pudding checks all the boxes. Chia seeds add texture, fat, and fiber. Top with freeze-dried fruit and toasted coconut for a satisfying crunch.
If you've never worked with chia seeds before, they're kind of magical, if we do say so ourselves. Nutrition aside (we'll get to that in a minute), they expand when liquid is added to them and thicken up. It's why they have become a popular ingredient for vegan puddings, because you don't need dairy to achieve the right consistency. See, it's magic, right? (Maybe you're old enough to remember Chia Pets and those middle-of-the night commercials . . . )
Regardless, they're ideal for vegan puddings and they're even better as make-ahead healthy puddings because it does take a little time for the "pudding" to set.
Why Are Chia Seeds Good For You?
Chia seeds are a superfood, which means they're chockablock with all kinds of things that are great for your health, packed into one tiny package. In fact, one serving of chia seeds contains the following:
- 5 grams of protein
- 10 grams of fiber
- 12 grams of carbohydrate
- 9 grams of fat; 8 of those grams are heart-healthy fats
They're a great healthy addition to your diet, regardless of whether or not you're vegan.
How to Serve and Store Vegan Chia Pudding
You'll want to keep this as cold as possible. It does need some time to set up in the fridge—at least 4 hours and up to 8, or overnight. A little longer is okay, too.
How Long Does Chia Seed Pudding Last?
As long as it's covered and refrigerated, it should stay fresh up to 5 days. And there are 5 days in the workweek, typically. How convenient!
Substitutions and Alterations for Vegan Chia Pudding
Depending on your taste buds, you can go a few different ways with ingredients.
- Swap out another plant-based milk (such as coconut, soy, or oat, as all three would taste great).
- If you're vegan but you eat honey, feel free to use that instead of maple syrup or agave (although we like the depth of maple syrup here)
- Stir in fresh (or frozen) blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries if desired, instead of the freeze-dried ones.
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds can also add crunch to vegan chia pudding if you're not into the taste of coconut.
- If you're feeling extra decadent, add some mini-chocolate chips (make sure they're dairy-free first) on top. So good!
- Toasted chopped nuts are great additions too. We like almonds, as in our Berry Almond Chia Pudding Meal Prep recipe!
Why Didn't my Chia Seeds Turn into Pudding?
This can happen sometimes, and partly it's connected to how fresh your chia seeds are (they're best kept in a cool, dark place). But the single most important thing you can do to make sure your pudding sets right and isn't runny? Stir, stir, and stir. Let the mix sit out for a couple of minutes before you refrigerate it, and observe. If the seeds drop to the bottom, stir again! You want them to be suspended in the mix. There's no magic number for how many times you'll need to stir vegan chia pudding. Just stir and observe, and then try again if need be.
READ MORE: Can't get enough chia pudding? Try this Vanilla Chia Pudding!
Vegan Chia Pudding Ingredients:
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 1 tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder for chocolate flavor)
- 1 cup toasted unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
- ½ cup freeze-dried strawberries
- ½ cup freeze-dried blueberries