I get a little cynical when it comes to single-serve cups of “food” that I see in kids’ school lunches.
If you read the ingredients, almost none of them are things I have in my kitchen – except sugar. Which I only use sparingly.
I’m not a big meanie and averse to all fun foods, but I’d much rather make homemade versions of the nutritionally-devoid processed single-serve cups, like our homemade “jello” and the pick-up-able version that I call “gellies.” There are two things that prevent me from making homemade pudding, though: The dishes and the risk of it not thickening up properly and being like soup.
When I was enjoying the Healthy Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes eBook from Kelly Roenicke of the Pretty Bee during the last Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, I got kind of excited about the idea of homemade chia seed pudding.
Kelly offered various flavor options and fruits and they sounded SO yummy, but I couldn’t quite get over the memory of the texture from years ago when I tried a chia seed pudding. It was not my thing, to put it nicely.
She blended the fruit up but not the seeds, but when I found this simple chia pudding framework recipe from my friend Katie, she confirmed that I could also blend up the seeds. Score! I knew I had a winner for a chia pudding recipe that would become an easy make-ahead breakfast, healthy snack for my kids or even an easy no-bake dessert.
And because I use the blender after I pour out the pudding to make a smoothie, ta da! Practically no dishes, no cooking like regular homemade pudding, and pretty much no risk of it not thickening up.
This post was sponsored by Squooshi.
Homemade Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding: a Healthy Snack for KidsPrint
- 1 c. milk (may use almond or coconut milk)
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/4 c. chia seeds
- Put all the ingredients in a blender (high-powered is best but a normal blender will work ok too).
- Blend on high for 30 seconds. A high-powered blender will be done. For other blenders, scrape the sides and bottom and blend another 30 seconds on high. Repeat as necessary until the seeds are tiny.
- Pour into individual serving bowls or a pint-sized mason jar.
- Refrigerate 3-4 hours until set.
* I think the blended version is better than whole seed pudding because of the texture, but also because you don’t have to re-stir the pudding cups after an hour of refrigeration. Give me an easy button any day!
* Variations: Use fruit by omitting theand adding 1/2 cup of blueberries or strawberries. Try a peanut butter version, which I layered with chocolate like a parfait, by omitting the cocoa and adding 2-4 Tbs. of natural peanut butter.
* My kids love the chocolate version, hands down. For some reason, only the toddler loved the blueberry version, which is quite tasty IMO.
* The pudding is best on the first or second day and quickly declines in quality after that.
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Is Chia Pudding a Healthy Snack for a Toddler?
If you can handle a seedy diaper, Gabe thinks it’s awesome. Which is good, because I’m not much of a short-order cook.
Last fall when I posted the carrot-ginger homemade baby food recipe, I said I wanted to make it more often. And honestly, I haven’t. It’s not because it wasn’t wonderful, but I just don’t usually prioritize making special food for anyone. Everyone eats the same thing.
But last week when I had Gabe at church with me at lunchtime, I had a Squooshi full of green smoothie, and it was so lovely. We were mess-free and I felt really good about all the nutrition we were getting in him, even “on the run.” I decided I needed to make some more for him (and share some more reusable food pouch recipes with you!).
Enter Squooshi pouch:
They may take a minute to clean, but believe me, so does a toddler who has fed himself yogurt, smoothie, or homemade pudding!
(Definitely rinse a Squooshi well after chia pudding, because it is a sticky substance.)
My only caveat is: I wouldn’t offer seconds on this dish to little ones – I’m not sure our tummies are made to handle quite so many seeds in one sitting.
Wasn’t That Easy?
Now you’re ready to take your real food on the go!
Just…check your teeth before you leave the house. Those seeds are sticky little buggers!