CARE Recipe: Balanced Chia Pudding – Mineral-rich, Prebiotic Fiber-rich

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CARE Recipe: Balanced Chia Pudding – Mineral-rich, Prebiotic Fiber-rich

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Chia pudding is very similar to our popular No-Cook Overnight Oatmeal Cups. The biggest difference? The increase in chia seeds. More chia equals more minerals and prebiotic-rich soluble fiber. In fact, one serving of this chia pudding provides 50%(!) of your daily calcium, 30% magnesium,25% iron, and 60% selenium(!). And your gut bacteria and entire intestinal tract will love you for giving them so much soluble fiber. These are WOW numbers from food and are exactly what we mean by using Food as Medicine. Plus… it only takes 5 minutes to prepare!

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x



**Basic Formula for Chia Pudding = 1 cup milk + 1/4 cup chia seeds + Add-Ins**

  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk, (Kalona brand is cultured; non-dairy milks can be substituted; watch changes to macros and calcium)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey (100% maple syrup could be used)
  • 2 tablespoon dried cranberries (any serving of dried, fresh, or frozen fruit can be used)
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • sprinkle cinnamon (optional)
  • sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)


  • In a mason jar or plastic container, combine all ingredients (you could leave out dried fruit if you don’t want it to soften). Mix well.’
  • Can be enjoyed immediately or made-ahead and allowed to set in the refrigerator overnight. The longer it sits, the thicker it will get. The ratio of liquid/milk to chia seeds will also impact how thick it is. Play with what you prefer.



  • As stated in the recipe description, chia pudding can be a very nutrient-rich meal idea. But another reason I wanted to provided this recipe was to show what BALANCED chia pudding looks like. Many recipes online are for extremely calorie dense versions of the pudding.
  • Decadent pictures show them soaked in full-fat milks and yogurts and then loaded up with fruits, nuts, granola, and chocolate chips. Chia seeds themselves are seeds and therefore already packaged in healthy fats.
  • Adding more carbohydrate and fat tastes good but can soon lead to the too-common frustration “I’m eating healthy but can’t lose weight”. I hope this recipe shows an alternative.


  • As mentioned, you can use non-dairy milk, just watch the change to protein, fat, and calcium (though many non-dairy milks are now fortified with calcium).
  • Low-fat products are recommended so that the fat for the meal comes from the nutrient-rich chia seeds.
  • I tested nearly every type of milk – buttermilk by accident while I had it out to make the Cornbread Topped Veggie Bake. I was so surprised that it turned out to be my favorite. Skim milk didn’t have a strong enough taste to “carry” the seeds and yogurts and kefir were too thick for me. Buttermilk has enough flavor to pop in this, especially with the added maple or honey, while keeping a thinner consistency. And ‘cultured’ buttermilk, like the Kalona brand, also provide beneficial probiotic bacteria.
  • Author: Teri Rose, MS, LN, OblSB
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: no cook
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 473
  • Sugar: 32g
  • Sodium: 475mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: Og
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Fiber: 20g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Cholesterol: 9mg

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