You know I had to.
Ahem. So! Chia seeds. Surely you’ve heard of these little mini wonders, one of the newer super-power foods that everyone is raving about? They can go into all kinds of things and make them awesome. Including this thick, rich, creamy chocolate coconut pudding.
So what makes them awesome, you ask? Oh, boy. Let me count the ways.
First, they’ve got a terrific amount of protein. And fiber! Lots of good fiber. They’re packed with omega-3s. They’re kind of incredible.
Here’s the crazy-cool thing about chia seeds, though. They absorb up to 10 times their original size in water. When they do so, they form sort of a gelatinous coating. I totally get if you don’t find the words “gelatinous coating” very appetizing, but stick with me here, because this super-cool quality makes for an incredible, ridiculously easy pudding – no corn starch, gelatin, or other thickening ingredient required.
Just coconut milk, flavorings, and those miraculous little chia seeds.
Do they take a little getting used to? Yes, yes they do. Here’s where I admit that, currently, I only like chocolate chia seed pudding. I tried making a vanilla version, and seeing those black little seeds in there sort of skeeved me out. But with a dark, rich chocolate version, you don’t see the seeds.
But yes – even if you don’t really see them, you do feel them. The chia seeds in this pudding make it reminiscent, to me, of tapioca. I always did love tapioca, so this works for me.
So once you’ve embraced the tapioca-esque qualities of this pudding’s texture, there’s a lot of other stuff to love, too. Like how thick, rich, and creamy it is. Like how it’s totally chocolaty, guilt-free bliss. Like how it’s sweetened only with pure maple syrup and a little coconut sprinkled on the top. Like how kid-friendly it is – kids love this stuff, even my super-picky toddler! I mean, I have to top it with star-shaped sprinkles for her, but still. That’s huge.
Three chias for ch-ch-ch-chia seeds!
(Incidentally, if you’re not down with the seed-induced texture of this chia seed pudding, check out Kiersten’s solution. She blended the heck out of hers and created a super-smooth mousse! So smart.)
Thick & Creamy Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding
- 1 cup canned lite coconut milk
- 1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup + more for a sweeter pudding (if desired)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- Pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
- Add the coconut milk, cocoa powder, and maple syrup to a small bowl. With a whisk, beat well, until all of the cocoa powder is incorporated, about 1 minute. Taste and add more maple syrup for a sweeter pudding, if desired.
- Stir in the chia seeds and the salt.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 2 days. Stir. Scoop into individual bowls or cups and top with sweetened flaked coconut.
- Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days.