Dairy-Free Recipes with Chia Seeds

By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

Lactose-intolerant people aren’t the only ones who need to use these substitutes. Many nutritionists and dietitians advise people to stay away from dairy altogether. Chia seeds are naturally dairy-free so whatever reasons you have for choosing to avoid dairy, this section gives you a few ideas on how to do so.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Chia Pudding

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/marrakeshh]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/marrakeshh

Strawberries added as garnish.

Preparation time: 12–17 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

3 cups almond milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup whole chia seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon stevia

4 tablespoons coconut milk

  1. In a medium bowl, add the almond milk and cocoa powder; whisk to combine.

  2. Stir in the chia, vanilla extract, and stevia.

  3. Pour into 4 glasses and cool in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Pour 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk on each dessert before serving.

Per serving: Calories 181 (From Fat 106); Fat 12g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 116mg; Carbohydrate 17g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 5g.

You can change this chia pudding recipe to include fresh fruits instead of chocolate.

Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 cups uncooked elbow pasta

4 tablespoons dairy-free margarine

1/4 cup flour

1-1/2 cups rice milk

1 cup dairy-free cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons whole chia seeds, plus extra for garnish

  1. In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil.

  2. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 12 minutes or according to the package instructions.

  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute.

  5. Add 1 cup of the rice milk, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil. Continue to whisk for another 1 minute.

  6. Add the cheese and stir with a wooden spoon for 3 to 5 minutes, until it’s well combined.

  7. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of rice milk, along with the mustard powder, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the chia.

  8. Stir everything until the cheese has melted and a smooth consistency is attained.

  9. Add the cooked and drained pasta and stir well.

  10. Top with extra chia seeds.

Per serving: Calories 775 (From Fat 365); Fat 41g (Saturated 11g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 1,262mg; Carbohydrate 88g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 12g.

Many dairy-free cheeses are available, but be sure to check the label and look out for casein, which is a milk protein. The best cheese alternatives are Daiya and WayFare, both of which are vegan. Daiya is available in mozzarella and cheddar flavors, and it melts beautifully and is fantastic on pizza. WayFare is a spreadable cheese product, perfect for sandwiches.