Chia Pudding: The Verdict

Has anyone tried chia pudding? It is no more than chia seeds soaked in milk (or vegan-friendly nut milk) overnight with additional flavoring (vanilla, maple syrup…) and toppings (yogurt, granola, nuts…), if desired. After hearing about all of the health benefits and how easy it is to make for a quick breakfast or a healthy snack, it was, of course, high up there on my list of things to try.

While browsing Brit + Co, I came across a recipe for apple pie chia pudding and decided to finally try it. The pictures of the recipe looked wonderful, as they generally do on that site, and the mason jar preparation seemed brilliant, since I love using mason jars and have a lot leftover from my summer and fall canning projects. I figured that the addition of the yogurt and fruit later on would make for an interesting texture along with the seed-like consistency of the pudding, but that was exactly what concerned me: the seed-like texture of the pudding…

From a previous experience, I already knew that chia or flax seeds, when soaked in liquid for a period of time, soften and become jelly-like. In this case, I imagined that chilling the mixture would cause them to set-up into a firmish mass, just like a pudding. Now. Food and beverage textures generally don’t bother me, but something about this made me say to myself, I am going to either tolerate and maybe grow to like this, or this is going to be one of the worst F@#%ing things that I have put in my mouth… Not quite extremes, but not high hopes, either.

For those reasons, I stopped after completing the first few steps of the recipe, making the base of the pudding as a starting point. To a half-pint mason jar (half the size of the jar pictured in the Brit + Co pictures), I added 2 tablespoons of mixed chia and flax seeds. I keep them in a shaker containers in my pantry for when I feel like sprinkling them over oatmeal, granola, and yogurt (I am already a fan). I topped the seeds with about a quarter cup of cashew nut milk, covered the jar and shook it lightly, and put it the fridge. It sat for a few days until I got around to trying it, which was fine since there were no ingredients that would cause it to spoil.

When I took the jar out of the fridge and unscrewed the lid, things kind of looked the same except a majority of the cashew milk absorbed into the seeds, as expected. I mixed it a little and decided to just go for it. Frankly, I am glad that I trusted my intuition and just made one test jar. After I tasted the pudding on its own, then the pudding with some coconut-flavored Greek yogurt mixed in, I didn’t bother to complete the apples portion of the recipe since I determined that chia pudding was just not for me.

I like tapioca and rice pudding, both of which can be pleasantly chewy. The texture of this pudding was similar, but different. It was kind of… goopy. Slimy, even. Thin, partially-set Jell-O goopy, but this was far from an artificially-flavored cherry-berry extravaganza in my mouth. Biting into the little blackish-brown seeds suspended in the cream-colored liquid reminded me of when I ate meat on a regular basis — chicken, specifically — and would accidentally bite into soft bone, cartilage, or gristle. Yeah, so, needless to say, kind of a gross memory, but that was my immediate frame of reference. The yogurt definitely improved the taste, since the yogurt was sweeter than the cashew nut milk, but it was still not something that I wanted to devour in one sitting.

Meh… I’ll try again maybe some other time and see if my opinion changes. If you can persuade me with another recipe, then let me know and I might consider it. For now, though, the only newish or revived healthy snack trend that I am fully on-board with is juicing — yes, including green juices, which I’ve grown accustomed to drinking.