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Taste Testing: My Verdict on Chia Pudding

Has anyone tried chia pudding? A healthful take on a pudding dessert that can also be eaten for breakfast, chia pudding is essentially chia seeds soaked in milk or nut milk overnight with additional flavoring, like maple syrup, and toppings, like granola and nuts, added. It has some similarities to overnight oats, and was high up there on my list of things to try for a long time after hearing about the many health benefits, including being high in fiber and low in sugar versus standard pudding recipes.

When I came across a recipe for apple pie chia pudding last year, I decided to finally try it. The pictures of the recipe looked wonderful and the mason jar preparation was brilliant; I love using mason jars to prep and store foods, and I have a lot leftover from my canning projects that I can use in a snap. I figured that the addition of the yogurt and fruit would make for an interesting texture along with the seed-like consistency of the pudding, but that was exactly what concerned me: the seed-like texture. 

When soaked in liquid for a period of time, chia and flax seeds both soften and become jelly-like. In this case, I imagined that chilling the mixture would cause them to set-up into a semi-firm mass, just like a pudding. Food and beverage textures generally don’t bother me, but something about this made me say to myself, I’m going to either grow to like this or it’s going to be one of the worst things that I’ve put in my mouth.

Full disclosure: I didn’t commit to the full recipe. I only followed the instructions to make the “base” of the pudding to see if I would like the texture first before wasting any other ingredients. Using half-pint mason jars, I added 2 tablespoons of mixed chia and flax seeds and 1/4 cup of cashew nut milk, covered and shook the jar lightly, and put it the fridge. A few days later, things kind of looked the same except a majority of the cashew milk absorbed into the seeds, as expected. After I tasted the pudding on its own, then the pudding with some coconut-flavored Greek yogurt mixed in for added flavor, I’m glad that I trusted my intuition and just made one test jar.

I like tapioca and rice pudding, both of which can be pleasantly chewy. The texture of this pudding was similar, but different. It was… goopy. Thin, partially-set Jell-O goopy, but far from an artificially-flavored cherry-berry extravaganza in my mouth. Biting into the little blackish-brown seeds suspended in the cream-colored liquid reminded me of why I stopped eating meat for so long: The texture was like accidentally eating a piece of chicken or steak and biting soft bone, cartilage, or gristle. So, yeah… kind of a gross memory, but nevertheless my immediate frame of reference. The yogurt definitely improved the taste, but it was still not something that I wanted to devour in one sitting.

If you can persuade me with another recipe, then let me know and I might consider it! I’m also looking for a better avocado chocolate pudding recipe, too, since that one was also a huge fail when I made it, years back.