Remember when chia seeds were all the rage? I never knew what to do with them besides sprinkling on salads or pasta, so I never really ate very many. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I actually started eating chia seeds on a regular basis, and now we use them to replace eggs in baking (which is also ridiculously fun when they get all gelly), to help thicken up smoothies (weird fact: I don’t like runny smoothies) and most recently I started making chia pudding to replace the yogurt I used to have every afternoon for snack.
We initially stopped buying individual yogurt containers because of all the wasted packaging and because plain yogurt almost never comes in individual packages. We like flavouring our own yogurt with maple syrup, raisins, fresh fruit or jam, which is also a great way to limit the added sugar. The problem with yogurt is that it’s so darn difficult to transport, because even supposedly leak-proof containers tend to spill a little liquid. Fortunately the solution is ridiculously simple and cheap: mason jars cost about $1 a piece and never leak! Now we make up a week’s worth of chia pudding on Sunday and just grab a jar out of the fridge in the morning before we head off to work. Easier, healthier and cheaper than buying yogurt cups!
This recipe is part of our meal preparation series.
There are lots of variations on this recipe (just search Google to find truly limitless possibilities), but we have a few powerful additions: hemp seeds add protein and healthy fats, steel-cut oats make it wonderfully chewy and raisins add a touch of sweetness.
This recipe fills five small mason jars – one for each day of the week – and is easy to remember.
Add one tablespoon each of steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats, hemp seeds, raisins and chia seeds to each container. Make sure the chia seeds don’t go in first or they’ll end up as a big gelly clump at the bottom when you add the liquid.
If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure you use certified gluten-free oats.
You’ll need about 3 cups of milk (dairy or non-dairy varieties work equally well) to fill the five small mason jars almost to the top.
Leave about 2cm of space at the top – you’ll need some room to shake everything together – but don’t feel like you need to measure the milk. If you pour it right out of the jug then there aren’t even any dishes to wash!
Of course these photos are just to illustrate the steps – you can make all the jars at once when you do this at home.
Once you’ve added the milk, put all the lids back on the jars then give each jar a good shake to mix everything together. You don’t want to waste too much time between adding the milk and shaking the jars, or the chia will gel before it’s all mixed together and you’ll end up with lumpy pudding.
Let each jar sit for about 5-10 minutes, then give it another good shake before storing it in the fridge. The seeds will naturally settle to the bottom until the chia seeds thicken the pudding, so shake the jars a few times as it sets to help keep everything mixed together.
These will keep for up to a week in the fridge, depending on the type of milk you use (some non-dairy milks spoil sooner).
- 5 tablespoons steel-cut or rolled oats
- 5 tablespoons chia seeds
- 5 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 5 tablespoons raisins
- 3 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- Add one tablespoon each of oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds and raisins to each mason jar or another small container.
- Fill almost to the top with milk (about ⅔ cup per container), leaving about 2cm of space at the top.
- Cover and shake well. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes then shake again and store in the fridge for later. If you're really impatient the pudding will be ready in about 15 minutes, but it's even better when it sits overnight.
Almond milk: 241 cal | 11g fat | 27g carbs | 8g fiber | 12g sugar | 8g protein