I’ve seen a number of recipes lately for chia seed puddings and was dying to create my own. The problem with Jell-O pudding, aside from all of the chemicals and the laundry list of ingredients, is that it can’t be made with anything but cow’s milk. Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk – none of these will work. There’s something special (an enzyme or protein or something of that sort) that must be present to bind with the Jell-O, and non-dairy milks just won’t do the trick. With lactose-intolerance in our household, I thought this chia seed pudding might be a great substitution – and so much healthier!
The great thing about this recipe is that there are so many ways you could modify it for different flavor profiles and sweetness levels. I made mine not overly-sweet, but you could certainly add in more honey, or even maple syrup, if you want a sweeter taste.
You could also play around with flavors. I thought a few drops of peppermint extract would make for a delicious chocolate-mint treat and almond extract would be a great complement to a chocolate or vanilla version of the pudding. By leaving out the cocoa powder, you could create even more endless possibilities by adding almond extract, orange oil, lemon oil, or even a little more vanilla extract.
And then we get to toppings: fresh fruit (berries, pineapple, bananas, melon), chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds), granola (try crumbling up these homemade granola bars), Enjoy Life chocolate chips, shredded coconut…the list goes on and on.
This pudding makes a great breakfast, an excellent snack or a delicious after-dinner treat.
Chocolate Banana Chia Seed Pudding
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 T raw honey
- Heaping T cocoa powder
- 1/4 t vanilla
- 1/2 C black chia seeds
- 1 banana
Whisk together the milk, honey, cocoa powder and vanilla until well incorporated. It takes a little work to get the cocoa powder to blend with the milk, but it’s worth the effort. Stir in chia seeds until well combined.
Cover and refrigerate several hours or over night.
Once chilled, stir up the pudding to mix up the seeds for an even consistency and to remove any lumps.
Scoop the pudding into two serving dishes. Top each portion with 1/2 of a sliced banana.