I don’t know about you, but I am definitely guilty of having a sweet tooth and a love for chocolate. In the past, this led me to eat way too many unhealthy treats. And then after eating those treats, I just never felt good after – all the sugar and heavy dairy ingredients left my body feeling unwell, but also craving more. This is one of the reasons why I gave up eating sweets on a regular basis. Now I save them for special occasions!
My goal is to find ways to have fun and enjoyable food that is also healthy. I think this recipe works really well because it’s deceivingly rich, but the reality is that it’s quite light! Instead of white, refined sugar, I use a little coconut sugar or maple syrup, depending on what I have on hand. I use these alternatives because they are a bit healthier than white sugar since they have some minerals and nutrients. They also are lower on the glycemic index so they won’t spike your blood sugar as quickly as white sugar.
Speaking of white sugar, I wanted to talk a bit more on the subject as it relates to health. Because white sugar is vegan, but it is not permitted on a whole food plant based diet because it is highly refined. Additionally, there’s a lot of debate about white sugar and if it’s addicting. There isn’t a consensus on sugar and addiction, but I can personally say that I have felt like I’ve been addicted to sweets in the past. But there is plenty of evidence that Americans are eating much more sugar that they did in past decades while the rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes have skyrocketed. (And also cavities are still a big issue, don’t want to forget about the teeth!)
There also has been corruption from companies with vested interest in sugary products. For instance, Coca-Cola funded the now defunct research group called Global Energy Balance Network that paid researchers to write papers to conclude that sugary drinks don’t contribute to health problems and diabetes (source). Yikes!!
So – the point is that we need to limit our sugar consumption. Sugar used to be incredibly expensive and rare and was used sparingly and only for special occasions. Now, there’s sugar in everything, and I mean everything from baby food to ketchup. White sugar is juice from a sugar cane that’s been boiled down until it is pure sucrose. It has calories, but absolutely no other nutritional value. When we consume foods that have no nutritional value, but have calories, it makes it much more easy to gain weight and also has detrimental effects on our bodies, leading to disease.
Now that we know we need to keep our sugar consumption to a minimum, let’s get back to the recipe 🙂
This chocolate pudding is made with chia seeds to thicken it and is flavored with raw cacao powder, which is high in antioxidants, and unsweetened chocolate, which has no sugar or dairy. These are combined with a plant based milk, and you can use any type that you prefer. (Just remember to always read those labels on the plant based milk, though) Or try out my homemade coconut milk – you can make it cheap and quickly at home!
The magic of this recipe happens when you throw everything into the blender! It will blend into a pudding like consistency and will be ready in just a few minutes, no cooking required. If you’re impatient, you can eat it right away. But I like it best when chilled it in the fridge for a few hours. It will also thicken more that way. Unlike traditional pudding which needs time to set up, this chia pudding thickens almost instantly from the chia seeds!
I would also like to mention that I’ve made this in a basic blender and also in a Vitamix. The texture is significantly smoother in the Vitamix, as the chia seeds are more finely pulverized. To serve, try whipping up a batch of coconut whipped cream and place a dollop on top of your pudding. Then top with some berries, chocolate chips, or coconut flakes and enjoy!
This creamy chocolate chia pudding would also be perfect to pack in kids’ lunches for the occasional special treat. I’m also wondering if this would be good frozen as a fudgsicle? If you try that, let me know how that turns out!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you do, let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @drleahromay!
Creamy Chocolate Chia Pudding
This is a creamy rich chocolate pudding thickened by chia seeds. It’s a great option for a sweet fix without any refined sugar or dairy.
Author: Leah Romay
- 2 cups milk of your choice (I use my homemade coconut milk)
- 1/3 cup + 1 T chia seeds
- Pinch sea salt
- 3 T coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 2 T raw cacao powder
High speed blender
- Combine everything but the unsweetened chocolate in your blender. Turn on low for a few seconds just to combine everything, then turn off.
- Place the unsweetened chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds at a time until melted.
- Turn your blender up to high, then pour in the melted chocolate with the machine running. Blend for a total of 1 minute, or until the pudding is very smooth.
- Pour into individual serving cups and refrigerate until chilled.
- To serve, try topping with coconut whipped cream, berries, or chocolate chips.
Dr. Leah Romay is a dentist passionate about health and wellness and believes that health is possible for everyone. She’s been in the kitchen cooking from scratch for most of her life and greatly enjoys creating healthy and delicious recipes. In addition to practicing dentistry full time, she spends her free time developing recipes, reading scientific studies, and helping others live their healthiest lives through evidence-based lifestyle and diet. Read more about Dr. Romay and her story here.