Chia pudding is one of my favorite breakfast recipes to recommend to clients at the “beginner” level with healthy cooking. Why, you ask? Well, because it requires zero cooking skills, duh!
In the beginning of your health journey, you don’t need complex meals and time-consuming recipes…you need to keep it simple. Taking a few minutes to prepare a healthy, well-rounded breakfasts for your work week will help you start each day off right.
Back in my commuter days, I would prepare 3-5 servings of this recipe in glass containers at the beginning of each week. Then, I could just grab one on my way out the door (and usually had plenty of time eat it in my car on the way to the office ’cause that morning traffic is no joke).
If you’re a busy gal-on-the-go, I know you’re going to love the versatility and convenience of this quick and easy recipe just as much as I do!
Why it’s so healthy:
If you’re curious about all the hype around chia pudding, let me clue you in! Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, plant-based protein, and antioxidants. They’ve been studied for their health benefits such as improving blood sugar control and lowering blood pressure.
My recipe also includes hemp seeds, which are often touted as a “superfood” due to their rich nutritional profile and anti-inflammatory effects. Like chia seeds, they contain a balance of healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, and a variety of antioxidants that can improve overall health.
To give this superfood combination some flavor and an additional boost of protein, I like to add in a serving of vanilla protein powder. While many women think they’re getting enough protein in their diet, in my coaching practice, I’ve found the opposite to be true…
We know that, without changing calories, simple increasing the ratio of protein and reducing the ratio of carbohydrates in the diet can lead to increased metabolic rate, fat oxidation, and increased levels of satiety throughout the day.
Plus, most studies find that starting the day with a high-protein breakfast usually leads to reduced levels of hunger and reduced snacking throughout the day. Why not try this nutrient dense recipe and set yourself up for a little metabolic boost at the same time?!
What you’ll need:
- Almond milk – I prefer to go with unsweetened vanilla almond milk for this recipe. We typically buy the Kirkland’s brand at Costco or Thrive Market’s brand of almond milk. Califia Farms also makes a yummy one without any unhealthy additives or added sugar.
- Chia seeds – They come in black and white variety but either will work well for this recipe.
- Hemp seeds – Some hemp seeds may say “shelled” on the package while others do not. Either option works fine.
- Vanilla protein powder – My all-time favorite it Primal Kitchen Vanilla Coconut Collagen Fuel. The taste and texture is great (not chalky at all like other protein powders) and the ingredients are very clean (no added sugar or artificial ingredients). Plus, collagen protein has the added benefits of supporting healthy hair, skin, and nails.
- Vanilla extract – This ingredient is totally optional, but it’s an easy way to add in a little extra vanilla flavor.
- Additional toppings – I love topping my chia pudding with fresh berries, almond butter, and granola. One of my favorite granolas (that also keeps the recipe low-carb) is the Purely Elizabeth Vanilla Almond Butter Grain-Free Granola + MCT Oil.
Extra Tips & Tricks:
- Stir, stir, stir! – Before you put your chia pudding in the refrigerator to soak, make sure you stir it, like, really well! I’ll stir it initially, then, pull it out of the fridge to stir again 10-30 minutes later. This helps break up any clumps of seeds and keeps them all from resting at the bottom of the container and not soaking evenly in the milk.
- Add more seeds – If, after sitting in the fridge for an hour or two, your chia pudding still isn’t thick enough, you can add more chia seeds and let it sit a bit longer.
- Add more milk – Likewise, if you notice that your seeds aren’t softening up to create a pudding texture after soaking for an hour or two, you may need to add in additional milk and stir again.
- Try a different milk – For a super thick and creamy texture, try using full-fat canned coconut milk instead of almond milk.
- Don’t like the texture? If the texture of chia pudding isn’t your jam, you can also try blending it in a high-powered blender. I haven’t personally used this method, but I’ve been told that once blended, the mixture comes out smooth and creamy like a more traditional pudding.
- How to store it? This recipe can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Hence, why it’s perfect for meal-prepping!
ONE MORE THING…
For more healthy meal ideas, come connect with me on Instagram @weeknightwellness! I’m sharing all sorts of helpful tips and recipes, plus a peek inside my daily routine. If you make any of my recipes, I’d love for you to tag me on Stories and let me know how you liked it!
Now enough of this chit-chat. On to the recipe…
Vanilla Protein Chia Pudding
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract *optional
- Toppings of choice: berries, granola, nut butter, etc.
- In a bowl, mason jar, or small glass container, stir together chia seeds, hemp seeds, protein powder, almond milk, and vanilla, if using.
- Once the mixture is well combined, put in the fridge to "set" for 10-30 minutes. Then give it another stir to break up any clumps, cover, and put the mixture back in the fridge for another 1-2 hours or overnight.
- The chia pudding should be nice and thick, not liquidy. If it’s not thick enough, just add more chia seeds (about 1 Tablespoon), stir and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or so.
- Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
- Can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for 5-7 days.
August 11, 2021