Healthy Breakfast Puddings and Yogurts with Chia

By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

Whoever said that you couldn’t have pudding for breakfast hadn’t heard of chia pudding! When you make pudding with chia, it makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Chia puddings are a great way to start your day. You can prepare them in advance and grab them in the morning to bring to work, eat them en route, or have them as a midmorning snack.

Another breakfast staple is yogurt. Yogurts can be a great addition to a healthy diet by providing calcium for healthy bones, and probiotics to help keep the immune system healthy.

Basic Chia Pudding

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup coconut milk (from a carton)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons whole chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

  1. In a large bowl, add the coconut milk and almond milk.

  2. Whisk in the maple syrup until fully combined.

  3. Add the chia, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk again until fully combined.

  4. Split the mixture between 2 serving bowls and cover with plastic wrap.

  5. Allow the bowls to sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, whisking occasionally. For best results, leave to sit overnight.

Per serving: Calories 207 (From Fat 90); Fat 10g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 156mg; Carbohydrate 27g (Dietary Fiber 8g); Protein 4g.

This pudding recipe will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so if you want to make a larger batch for the whole family to enjoy throughout the week, simply double or triple the ingredients.

This is a very basic pudding recipe that can be infinitely varied. If you don’t like cinnamon, try vanilla extract instead. If you don’t like coconut milk or almond milk, swap them for your favorite dairy milk or other nut milk. If you like a sweeter pudding, add some stevia, honey, or any sweetener you love. The key to chia pudding is experimenting to find what you like.

Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding

Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/bonchan

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

1 cup strawberries, plus extra for garnish

1 vanilla bean pod

2 cups coconut milk (from a carton)

4 tablespoons honey

Zest of 1 lime

4 tablespoons whole chia seeds, plus extra for garnish

Pepper, to taste (optional)

  1. Remove the green stems from the strawberries and wash.

  2. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds.

  3. In a blender, combine the strawberries, scraped vanilla beans, coconut milk, honey, and lime zest and blend until well combined.

  4. In a large bowl, add the strawberry mixture and the chia and whisk thoroughly.

  5. Add in a little pepper (if desired).

  6. Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes and whisk again.

  7. Divide the mixture between 3 serving bowls and cover with plastic wrap.

  8. Leave the bowls in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight.

  9. Stir the puddings before serving and garnish with extra strawberries and a little sprinkle of whole chia seeds.

Per serving: Calories 201 (From Fat 67); Fat 8g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 14mg; Carbohydrate 35g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 3g.

If strawberries aren’t in season or you’re not a fan, use different fruits. Try using a ripe mango if they’re in season. Peel the mango and cut it lengthways on either side of the stone. This enables you to get at the soft fruit easily with a knife. Remove all the soft fruit you can, and use in place of the strawberries in this recipe.

Blueberry Yogurt Chia Parfait

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups 2 percent milk

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup whole chia seeds

1 cup granola

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

  1. In a large bowl, combine the milk, 1 cup of the Greek yogurt, the vanilla extract, and the honey.

  2. Stir in 1/3 cup of the chia seeds.

  3. Blend well with a spoon and let this mixture sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. When the mixture has become thicker, with a gelatinous consistency, divide it evenly between 4 tumbler-size glasses.

  5. Put 1/4 cup of granola into each glass, on top of the chia, milk, and yogurt mixture.

  6. Spoon the remaining Greek yogurt evenly between the glasses, placing the yogurt on top of the granola.

  7. Add some blueberries and raspberries to each glass, and sprinkle the remaining chia seeds on top.

Per serving: Calories 373 (From Fat 113); Fat 13g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 16mg; Sodium 110mg; Carbohydrate 47g (Dietary Fiber 10g); Protein 22g.

These parfaits are best eaten immediately, because the chia mixture may soften the granola.

You can make this recipe using any fruits that are in season. Try sliced peaches, apples, or oranges, or opt for whatever is fresh and looks good.