If busy mornings are preventing you and/or your family from enjoying a wholesome breakfast together, these overnight chia seed pudding parfaits might be the solution. Made a day ahead, similar to overnight oats, the only time involved, as you sip your morning Joe, is to assemble the ready-made pudding with whatever toppings you desire. Of course, granted you would want to indulge in a sweet and silky bowl of lusciousness first thing in the AM. I mean, who doesn’t want dessert for breakfast without any guilt? These pudding parfaits are nutrient and fiber-dense as well as low in sugar, so enjoying a bowl of pudding for breakfast doesn’t mean planning a trip to the gym afterwards. You’ll be getting a good dose of calcium, iron, zinc, B vitamins, healthy omega-3 fats, and protein with every spoonful.
And they’re easy to make! This is not your mama’s slow-cook stovetop pudding! Chia seeds are culinary magic seeds in that they act as a thickening agent in the cold plant milk almost immediately. By morning the pudding will be set.. No cooking necessary. I liken the texture to a satiny tapioca pudding. It’s crazy delicious! A bit of sweetness from the agave and maple syrup (my favorite combo) and vanilla paste, then topped with fruit and nuts and you have a flavor and texture paradise that will get you ready for whatever your day may bring.
Of course, these parfaits are delicious as a snack, a light lunch or dessert fit for a fancy sit down dinner party. This is a very versatile recipe to have in your cooking arsenal.
Here are my chef’s tips:
- Use a full fat plant milk for the creamiest texture. I prefer oat milk for its neutral taste, but any plant milk will work. Almond milk will give the pudding a mild almond flavor same as coconut milk will make the pudding more coconut forward. There’ no right or wrong, just personal preference.
- Toppings are also a personal preference. As for the fruit, I’ll choose what’s available and looks best at the market. I prefer to use a mixture of berries, maybe kiwi or banana, roasted nuts and shredded coconut for lots of texture. I use salted nuts for that salty/sweet vibe. Dried fruits and seeds are great, too. Even chocolate chips!
- Make sure that you’re using fresh chia seeds. You’ll know if they are past date if the seeds don’t start opening up and thickening the liquid after 10 minutes. This is why its necessary to start the thickening process on the kitchen counter before refrigerating.
- I used these fun ice cream sundae glasses. Other vessels that work are mason jars, ramekins, small soup bowls, and even coffee mugs. Have fun playing with shapes based on the toppings you’re using. The wider the mouth of the vessel the more toppings will fit.
- This recipe is easily halved to make one serving. Doubled to make four servings and so on. The basic rule of thumb is 2 T chia seeds, 1 1/2 T sweetener, 1/8 tsp vanilla to 1/2 cup of milk. Of course, you can make it as sweet as you like.
- The pudding will keep a few days in the fridge. How long? I don’t know, they never last!
Overnight Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits
Makes 2 parfaits
1 cup high fat plant based oat milk or milk of choice (I pour a generous cup)
2 T dark agave syrup
1 T dark amber maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or extract
4 T chia seeds
Toppings as pictured:
2 strawberries, sliced into a fan shape
Half a large kiwi peeled and cut lengthwise and then sliced
Roasted and salted pistachio nuts
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Mint leaf cuz it’s pretty!
In a medium sized bowl, lightly whisk the two syrups and vanilla into the milk until fully incorporated. Taste for sweetness and vanilla. Adjust to your liking.
Stir in the chia seeds making sure to separate them by stirring vigorously. They will want to clump on the bottom of the bowl. Set the bowl on the counter and stir up every 3-4 minutes. After 10 minutes, the milk should be thickening. If it’s not your chia seeds are past their prime and you will need to start over with fresh seeds. If all is good, keep stirring every few minutes for another 10 minutes.
Give it another good stir to make sure the seeds are distributed evenly throughout the milk and then pour half the mixture into each of the two vessels you have chosen.
Cover with plastic wrap. I like Press and Seal for puddings and such.
When ready to serve remove from the fridge and top with fruits, nuts and coconut or whatever toppings you have chosen. Enjoy!