This vanilla chia seed pudding is no ordinary parfait. It comprises vanilla-infused chia seed pudding and chocolate coconut cream sprinkled with pomegranate!
Mondays always manage to catch us off guard. Fortunately, I have a delicious way to help you power through Monday, and it involves eating dessert… for breakfast! I’m talking about luscious vanilla pudding layered with velvety chocolate coconut cream and fresh pomegranate arils (but in a healthy and protein-packed version). Although this recipe contains some sugar to give it an authentic dessert vibe, the vanilla chia seed pudding isn’t overly sweet.
Why You’ll Love This Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
Protein – Chia seeds are a good source of plant protein, with approximately 4.7 grams of protein per ounce. That’s pretty impressive, considering how small they are. Best of all that protein will considerably prolong satiety; I’m talking at least 2 hours.
Good source of healthy fats – Chia seeds are also rich in healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which come with a long list of health benefits, including improved heart health and better skin, hair, and nails.
Satisfying textures – The chia seed pudding has a texture similar to thick tapioca pudding, while the coconut cream is like a thick whipped cream. The addition of pomegranate adds crunchy, juicy pops of fruity goodness. Although some describe chia pudding as gelatinous, that isn’t the case unless mixed with water.
Contrasting flavors – The combination of vanilla chia seed pudding and chocolate-flavored coconut cream creates a delicious contrast. The chocolate flavor is subtle enough that the vanilla chia seed pudding doesn’t become overpoweringly chocolatey.
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients Notes
- Chia seeds: Both black and white chia seeds work well. Black chia seeds are more readily available and have slightly more protein than white.
- Almond milk: Opt for unsweetened almond milk to control the sugar content. For extra vanilla flavor, consider vanilla-flavored almond milk.
- Coconut milk: Coconut milk is used in vanilla pudding, while cold coconut cream combined with powdered sugar creates a vegan whipped cream.
- Vanilla extract: An essential ingredient for making vanilla pudding. If you don’t have it, vanilla paste will also work.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is used in the pudding, providing sweetness without masking the vanilla flavor. Powdered sugar is used in the cream to give it structure due to the cornstarch it contains.
- Cocoa powder: Use natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder. The latter will add more color to the coconut cream.
- Pomegranate: You can buy a pomegranate and extract the arils or purchase pre-packaged pomegranate arils.
You’ll find the complete ingredients list with amounts in the recipe card below!
How to Make Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
Vanilla chia seed pudding couldn’t be easier. Here’s how:
- Make the pudding: In a bowl, whisk together chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla extract, and sugar until well combined. As soon the liquid hits the chia seeds, whisk away. Otherwise, the seeds will clump.
- Whip the cream: Use a hand mixer in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar to the whipped cream when soft peaks form.
- Assemble and serve: Layer the vanilla chia seed pudding and chocolate cream in dessert glasses, sprinkling some pomegranate arils between the layers and on top. Serve and enjoy!
Variations, Substitutions, and Tips
For easy pomegranate seed removal – Cut off the top of the pomegranate, score the skin along each section using the white membrane as a guide, then separate the segments and remove the arils in a bowl of cool water.
Use dairy – If you prefer dairy milk and cream, you can use them instead of almond milk and coconut cream. Simply replace the milk with whole or two percent and use heavy whipping cream instead of coconut cream (approximately 1 cup).
Add extra fruitiness – Layer some jam within the parfait or drizzle the finished dessert with pomegranate molasses for an additional fruity touch.
Add crispness – Dark chocolate shavings, nuts, or toasted oats can provide a light, crunchy texture to each spoonful.
What to Serve with Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
Vanilla chia seed pudding is quite filling on its own. Consider serving it with fruit or a refreshing beverage for a light and fresh accompaniment. Segmented citrus fruits work exceptionally well.
You can prepare the vanilla chia seed pudding beforehand, but store the pudding and chocolate coconut cream separately as the cream hardens when chilled. Whip the cream right before serving. Add it to a bowl and whip it with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Storage and Freezer Tips
Store the chia pudding in an airtight container, and keep the coconut cream in a separate container in the refrigerator. Do not refrigerate longer than 3 days, as the texture may be affected. Freezing is not recommended since it will drastically alter the texture.
- 1 1/2 cups chia seeds
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 cups light coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp granulated sugar (use any sweetener of your choosing)
- 2 13.5 oz cans whole coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 2 tbs cocoa powder (I used dark Ghirardelli)
- 1 tbs powdered sugar (use any sweetener of your choosing)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pomegranate, de-seeded
- Combine all of the pudding ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Leave in the refrigerator, along with the two cans of coconut cream for 6 hours or overnight.
- To make the coconut cream, 10 minutes proceeding, put a medium-sized bowl in the freezer along with the beaters to a hand-mixer (the coconut cream whips better if chilled).
- Then add ONLY the cream from both coconut milk cans (this will be at the top of the can, simply scoop out the cream leaving any clear liquid behind). Mix on medium-high for 3-4 minutes or until soft peaks form.
- Add the cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla extract and gently fold together.
- To serve simply layer the pudding and chocolate cream, sprinkling pomegranate in between layers, and serve immediately.
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