Because everyone's obsessed with chia seed pudding right now
Basic Chia Pudding
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Think of chia seeds as teensy little nutrient powerhouses: They're excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and antioxidants, making them great for both "digestion and weight loss," says Amanda Goldfarb, R.D.N., a holistic coach in Pawleys Island, SC.
And because you don't need to grind them up (like flax) to reap their nutritional benefits, chia seeds can be used in all kinds of cool ways. Case in point: chia seed puddings. "Chia seed pudding can be quite decadent, making you feel like you're eating an extravagant dessert when it's actually a healthy snack," says Goldfarb.
Note: while the basic version takes just a few minutes to throw together (we like this delicious recipe from OhSheGlows), chia seed pudding is best left in the fridge overnight so it has time to thicken into a delicious, creamy texture. (Never made chia seed pudding before? This step-by-step video will help.)
Photo: Oh She Glows
Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
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Chia seeds are also known for their high concentration of calcium—one serving of them (just one ounce) has more than double the calcium of a glass of milk. If you're really looking to up your intake, pair a glass of a.m. milk with this Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding from the Minimalist Baker. Cocoa powder adds a hit of flavonoids, a specific type of antioxidant that reportedly aids in wound repair, according to research published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine.
Photo: Minimalist Baker
Vegan Cashew and Cardamom Chia Seed Pudding
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Vegans, this chia seed pudding recipe is for you. Spiced with cardamom, the pudding has an intensely aromatic flavor, and thanks to the addition of heart-healthy walnuts and cashews, it has a great crunch too. Skip the agave if you're watching your sugar instake, or just cut down the amount of syrup TheKitchn calls for in its recipe.
Photo: The Kitchn
Mint Chia Seed Pudding with Paleo Brownie Bottom
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Did someone say brownie? Wait, did someone say paleo brownie? We're SO in. After enjoying the minty chia seed pudding in this six-ingredient recipe from FoodFaithFitness, you'll make your way to the real treat at the bottom of your serving. Your secret ingredient for paleo brownies? Avocado. Who knew?
Photo: Food Faith Fitness
Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding
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Pumpkin pie may be a fall season specialty, but you can enjoy the flavor year-round with this chia seed pudding recipe from Kris Carr. Toasting the walnut topping in advance helps bring out the pumpkin puree's woodsy notes, but it's the traditional dash of pumpkin pie spice and vanilla that separates this recipe from its counterparts.
Photo: Kris Carr
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
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Pure maple syrup and vanilla extract are used as this recipe's primary sweeteners. Domesticate ME suggests using almond milk, as most chia seed pudding recipes call for, but notes that you can substitute it equally with soy, coconut, or regular milk. If you're looking for an even creamier texture, you can swap almond milk with another protein-heavy superfood—Greek yogurt. (Love how easy this pudding is to make? Try these DIY breakfast bowl recipes too!)
Photo: Domesticate ME
Quick Coconut and Chia Seed Pudding
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While it's generally recommended to let chia seed pudding sit overnight so the pudding thickens to its ideal consistency, this recipe from TheHealthyFoodie lets you get to mugging after just two hours. With hydrating (and potassium-loaded) coconut water, unsweetened coconut flakes and full-fat coconut milk, you'll really be reaping all of the health benefits this tropical fruit has to offer.
Photo: The Healthy Foodie
Strawberry Cheescake Chia Seed Pudding
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If dessert's top of mind (and hey, when is it not, right?), this chia seed pudding recipe from The Foodie and the Fix is for you. Using fresh, antioxidant-loaded strawberries adds natural sweetness; the addition of cottage cheese makes for that super creamy texture you've come to also love from your favorite slice of cheesecake.
Photo: The Foodie and the Fix
Key Lime Pie Chia Seed Pudding
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Need a vacation? While Key West sounds really nice, you probably can't just hop on the next flight to Florida. Instead, settle for a healthful bowl of Key Lime Chia Seed Pudding from Blissful Basil, which tastes like it's straight from the island. Since the recipe is very similar to basic chia pudding, know the health benefits are strong—even if you do decide to get your chef on and create a torched meringue topping as the recipe suggests.
Photo: Blissful Basil
Banana Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
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There may not be a better combo than banana and chocolate—especially in the form of creamy chia seed pudding goodness. Loaded with free-radical fighting antioxidants and muscle cramp-alleviating potassium, this recipe from IFoodReal is just as good for dessert as is it a replenishing, post-workout refuel snack. (Find out The Best Foods to Eat Before and After Your Workout.)
Almond Joy Chia Seed Pudding
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While a candy bar may not be in your diet plan, you can add this Almond Joy pudding to your list of clean eats—it only tastes like our favorite drugstore indulgence. Its deliciousness lays in the recipe from House of Yumm, or rather, its simplicity. All this recipe calls for is vanilla almond milk, chia seeds, canned coconut milk, and, yep, you guessed it—some dark chocolate too, of course.
Photo: House of Yumm
Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding With Cinnamon Simmered Apples
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You say peanut butter, we say done. And this velvety chia seed pudding recipe from Connoisseurus Veg is no exception, using regular, natural peanut butter (you can also experiment with its powdered cousin, PB2). The fancy simmered apple topping is not just a sweet treat—the healing benefits of cinnamon have been proven infinite, including reversing the negative effects of a high-fat meal and the ability to kill E. coli, the bacteria responsible for foodborne illness.
Photo: Connoisseurus Veg
Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding
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Raspberries are the best of the berry group, with black raspberries particularly en vogue in the health world—these little guys have three times the antioxidants of any other berry, helping potentially lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and even cancer. The flavor is pretty on point, as well—have you never tried Friendly's Black Raspberry Ice Cream? Good, because this chia seed pudding recipe from There's a Cook In My Kitchen is even better.
Photo: There's a Cook In My Kitchen
Cake Batter Chia Seed Pudding
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OK, we're not saying this is the healthiest chia seed pudding of the bunch, but we're comfortable saying it's one of the sweetest treats you'll have. With the taste of wedding cake but a heck of a lot less calories (and a ton of health benefits from the chia seeds to boot), this pudding from Edible Perspective is not one to miss. (Check out these 11 Crazy Delicious Desserts with Hidden Healthy Foods.)
Photo: Edible Perspective
Peach Chia Pudding
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Although peaches are at their ripest during July and August (but in season May through October), you're going to want to save this recipe for the warmer months: This satisfying pudding from Give Recipe will cool you off on the hottest of summer days, adding an extra dose of magnesium and potassium to your diet for a better afternoon cat nap too.
Photo: Give Recipe
Pina Colada Chia Seed Pudding
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Call it the next best thing to the frozen cocktail. But instead of a glass full of trans fats and obscene amounts of sugar, this recipe from Eazy Peazy Meals is all about keeping things light and natural. Make sure to spend the time toasting the coconut—the small amount of cooking time pays off big time in terms of flavor.
Photo: Eazy Peazy Meals
Creamy Winter Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding
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If there were any chia seed pudding recipe you'd expect to see on a fancy restaurant menu, it'd be this one from How Sweet Eats. This elevated take on chia seed pudding gets its unique composition from a twist on the classic recipe's ingredients, including the use of vanilla powder instead of vanilla syrup. And since blood oranges are in season over the winter, you won't be short any citrus—and can save some of 'em for cocktails later on.
Photo: How Sweet Eats