I love chia seed pudding. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s gluten-free, dairy-free (I use plant-based milk), can easily be part of a raw, paleo, or keto diet, is low-calorie and low-carb. Plus you can eat it for breakfast, dessert, or as a healthy snack at any time of the day.

Pudding with granola and apples

I decided to try something different and turned my chia seed pudding into a parfait by playing around with different ingredients that made it that much more satisfying and tasty yet still full of nutrition. 

The end result? 3 delicious versions of a chia pudding parfait – dragon fruit, peanut butter cup, and apple pie – that I love to prepare beforehand in mason jars so that my daughter and I can have a quick pick-me-up snack during the day.

 

Why I’m Crazy For Chia

Chia seeds are edible seeds from the Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant that is part of the mint family. Deriving their name from the Mayan word for “strength”, chia seeds are chock-full of nutrients. 

According to a study published in 2015, this ancient grain is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibre. One ounce (around two tablespoons) of chia seeds has 137 calories, 18% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of calcium, 30% of the RDI of magnesium, as well as a good amount of vitamins B1, B2 and B3, phosphorus and zinc.

How To Make Chia Pudding

In order to make your chia pudding parfait, you first need to have the pudding ready. All you need to make it are the seeds and your favorite milk (I love using almond milk because it’s a rich source of protein). 

Fun fact: Did you know that chia seeds come in two colors – black and white? The nutritional value is the same, so it’s just a matter of how you want your chia pudding to look. If you are interested in purchasing some white chia seeds online, you can check out iHerb.com.

I like to use a ratio of 4 parts liquid to 1 part chia seeds. If you find that the pudding is too thick for your liking you can thin it out a bit with your milk of choice, adding a couple of tablespoons at a time. If you use a lower ratio of seeds to liquid, the end result will be a pudding with a slimy texture. The perfect consistency is closer to that of tapioca pudding.

Chia seeds and almond milk mixed together before setting

When combining the chia seeds and the milk, you can use a whisk or a fork to mix the two ingredients and make sure that they are completely incorporated. In order to get rid of all the clumps and to make sure that the pudding doesn’t separate when setting, wait a couple of minutes in between mixing.

Once you’re sure that your pudding is clump-free, let it sit in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, if possible. 

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Chia seeds and almond milk mixed together before setting

Basic Chia Pudding


Scale

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup chia seeds
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the chia seeds and almond milk. Stir until fully mixed. Place in a container and refrigerate overnight, or for 6 to 8 hours so that the chia seeds fully absorb the milk.
  2. The next day, you can prepare the variations below.

Best For Breakfast: Dragon Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait

Once your chia pudding has set, here comes the fun part: layering the pudding with fruit or whatever other ingredients you have on hand. 

For the dragon fruit chia pudding parfait, I like to blend dragon fruit puree together with an apple. You can add a splash of fruit juice to keep things moving in the blender. You can also add some maple syrup or agave nectar to sweeten the fruit mix. If you want to keep it keto-friendly or sugar-free, you can use monk fruit or stevia instead.

Dragon fruit chia pudding parfait in a mason jar

When the fruit blend is ready, layer it with the chia pudding in a mason jar and garnish it with some pomegranate seeds.

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Dragon fruit chia seed pudding parfait in a mason jar

Pomegranate and Dragon Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait


Description

Makes 1 parfait


Scale

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup finished basic chia pudding 

Fruit topping:

  • 3.5 ounces frozen dragon fruit puree
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add the chopped apple and frozen dragon fruit puree. Blend until smooth. You can add some fruit juice or maple syrup while blending if needed to keep it moving.
  2. In a 6-ounce glass mason jar, add a few spoonfuls of the dragonfruit and apple puree on the bottom.
  3. Add ⅓ cup of the chia seed pudding. Add another layer of the dragon fruit and apple puree. Repeat the process until full.
  4. Top with some pomegranate seeds on top.

Best For A Snack: Peanut Butter Cup Chia Pudding Parfait

For the peanut butter cup pudding parfait, split the chia pudding into two bowls and add peanut butter to one bowl and carob powder to another (you can use cocoa powder if you don’t have carob powder). I use fresh, slightly chunky peanut butter because I love the texture that the peanut pieces add to the parfait.

You can add a splash of maple syrup to each bowl as you mix the ingredients together. This helps to maintain the consistency of the pudding as well as adds a touch of sweetness.

Alternate layers of peanut and chocolate pudding

Once everything is ready, alternate the peanut layer with the chocolate layer in a mason jar and top it all off with some vegan chocolate pieces. My friend  – and former Natural Kitchen Cooking School graduate – Andrea Young has a delicious line of gourmet chocolates that you can purchase here.

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The layering of a peanut butter cup chia seed pudding parfait in a mason jar

Chocolate (or Carob) Peanut Butter Chia Pudding Parfait


Description

Makes 1 parfait


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finished basic chia pudding

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder or carob powder

Garnish:

  • A small piece of your favorite chocolate bar or carob bar
  • Chopped peanuts

Instructions

  1. In 2 separate bowls, add ½ cup of chia seed pudding to each bowl. 
  2. Add the cocoa powder or carob powder to 1 bowl, and the peanut butter to the other bowl. Mix both together until fully blended. You can add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to each bowl for added sweetness and a smooth consistency. 
  3. In a 6-ounce mason jar, add a couple of spoonfuls of the cocoa chia pudding on the bottom. Add a layer of the peanut butter chia pudding mixture on top. Repeat the process until full.
  4. Grate a chocolate bar on a grater or use a zesting tool to create chocolate shavings. Cut off a small square of chocolate as well. Place the square on top, along with the chocolate shavings and chopped peanuts to garnish the parfait.

Best For Dessert: Apple Pie Chia Pudding Parfait

This third recipe is my take on an apple pie and I just love how flavorful it is thanks to the use of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

After caramelizing the walnuts in the oven with some maple syrup and sea salt, take your mason jar and start with a scoop of the chunky applesauce at the bottom. Add some raisins and then the layer of chia pudding. Add some of the walnuts and then repeat the process until your jar is full.

Apple pie chia seed pudding parfait topped with raisins in a mason jar

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Apple pie chia seed pudding parfait topped with raisins in a mason jar

Apple Pie Chia Pudding Parfait


Description

Makes 1 parfait


Scale

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup finished basic chia pudding

Candied Walnuts:

  • ⅔ cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Sea salt

Apple Pie Additions:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • Chunky applesauce*
  • Currants or raisins

Instructions

  1. Toast the walnuts: Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the walnuts on a small baking pan lined with parchment paper. Add the maple syrup and add a pinch of salt. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until crunchy and caramelized.
  3. Place the chia pudding in a bowl. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. 
  4. In a 6-ounce mason jar, place a couple of spoonfuls of the chunky applesauce on the bottom. Add a few currants or raisins. 
  5. Add a spoonful of the chia pudding mixture, then some candied walnuts on top.
  6. Repeat the process until almost full. Top with a few more currants or raisins and walnuts.
  7. To make Chunky Applesauce, place 1 cored, peeled and chopped apple with 2 tablespoons maple syrup in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer on low, covered, for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 2 teaspoons apple juice. Stir this into the cooked apple and cook a few more minutes until thick. Add a touch of cinnamon if you want.

If You Liked This Pudding Parfait Recipe…

What’s your favorite chia pudding parfait recipe? Let me know in the comments below!

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