HOMEMADE CHIA PODS: VANILLA CINNAMON, CHOCOLATE & BLUEBERRY (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, & VEGETARIAN)

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Have you heard of Chia Pods? They’re these cute little things that look like yogurt, but they’re actually a chia seed pudding. A coworker of mine had them and I was intrigued, since chia seeds are the current “it” food and I’ll try anything to create an easy healthy eating habit that I can actually maintain. Okay, it might’ve been the really cute packaging (that little orange spoon in the lid!) that caught my eye but still. The healthy factor still stands. I hunted the Chia Pods down at our local Fresh Market, but YOWZA. I was kind of taken aback by the price. They run $3-3.60 per pod here in Columbus, depending on where you shop. I used to think the Fage Greek yogurt w/ honey thingies were expensive at $1.50 a pop, but I think I eventually just got used to the price. Is $3/pod not that bad and I’m prematurely freaking out b/c I’m an occasional cheapskate? Maybe? But I tried one anyway. I thought “I’ll try it, see how I like it, and if I’m obsessed then I’ll figure something out.”

Well, I tried it. It was good. I wasn’t like OH MY GOD I’M IN LOVE but I was in love with the healthy aspects of this little thing. Chia seeds are packed with Omega-3s, and according to the company’s website, one pod contains your daily recommended dose of Omega-3’s. Take that! That’s pretty awesome. Plus, there’s fiber and protein. The other thing I love? They’re made with simple, real ingredients. SO SIMPLE, in fact, that I saw the side of the container where the ingredients were listed and thought “Really? That’s it?? Hell, I could make this myself.” So I did just that. I can’t remember if I did it that night or the next day, but I knew I had chia seeds sitting around, some almond milk in the fridge, and really, everything else on top would be a bonus.

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I started out slow. I used 1/4 cup chia seeds and slowly added liquid. First 1/4 cup almond milk, then I let it sit. A few minutes later, I had a cemented lump of chia. Not what I was going for. Bring on another 1/4 cup of almond milk…then another 1/4 cup… and pretty soon, I was at just over 1 cup of almond milk. A sprinkle of cinnamon, a little honey, and by golly, it was actually really good. I even added a 1/2 tsp of instant coffee, being inspired by the Coffee Bean flavor of Chia Pod. I divided the mixture into little jars and let them gel overnight. The next day, I had a pretty satisfying chia snack that’s an awesome copycat of the store-bought Chia Pod. After making the first batch, I tested my next versions, refined the proportions, and had a recipe for chocolate and blueberry chia puddings.

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While these things still aren’t “cheap,” (because chia seeds are kind of ‘spendy) they are a lot more sensible on the pocketbook, especially if you have 15 minutes in your schedule for prep. And yes, they really do only take about 15 minutes—amazing, right? I have three recipes for you. I like to think of the Vanilla Cinnamon as a good “base” recipe (minus the cinnamon, if need be) if you want to play around with flavor variations. Feel free to experiment and figure out other combinations!

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::: VANILLA CINNAMON CHIA PUDDING POD :::

Yield: 3 – almost 4 oz (just under 1/2 cup)

• 1 cup + 2 tbsp vanilla-flavored almond milk (Note: if you want to use unsweetened or “original” flavored almond milk, just increase the amount of honey you use)
• 1/4 cup chia seeds
• 1 1/2 tsp local honey
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pour almond milk into medium bowl. Sprinkle chia seeds into almond milk, stirring well. Add honey and cinnamon, stirring for 1-2 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated. Let sit for 5 minutes, to allow chia seeds to start the swelling process. Pour mixture into a large measuring cup and pour into 4-oz mason jars. You will yield 3 jars that are just slightly under 1/2 cup in volume. Let jars sit several hours or overnight before eating. 

— • — • —

::: CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING POD :::
Yield: 3 – almost 4 oz (just under 1/2 cup)

• 1 cup + 2 tbsp vanilla-flavored almond milk (Note: if you want to use unsweetened or “original” flavored almond milk, just increase the amount of honey you use)
• 1/4 cup chia seeds
• 1 1/2 tsp local honey
• 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Repeat same process as above, replacing cinnamon with cocoa powder.

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::: BLUEBERRY CHIA PUDDING POD :::
Yield: 4 – almost 4 oz (just under 1/2 cup)

• 3/4 cup blueberries (about 115 g by weight)
• 1 cup + 1/4 cup vanilla flavored almond milk (Note: if you want to use unsweetened or “original” flavored almond milk, just increase the amount of honey you use)
• 1/4 cup chia seeds
• 4 1/2 tsp local honey

Puree blueberries in food processor, adding almond milk. Pour mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle chia seeds into blueberry/almond milk mixture, stirring well. Add honey, stirring for 1-2 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated. Let sit for 5 minutes, to allow chia seeds to start the swelling process. Pour mixture into a large measuring cup and pour into 4-oz mason jars. You will yield 4 jars that are just slightly under 1/2 cup in volume. Let jars sit several hours or overnight before eating.

I know, they look pretty weird. They look like funny little fish eggs or frog eggs or whatever you want to call them. The texture is jiggly and hilarious, but promise me to just give it a chance. I don’t eat tapioca pudding but supposedly they’re kind of like tapioca pudding. They’re smooth, but ever so slightly crunchy. I mean, for the health benefits and simple ingredients? How can you NOT give them a whirl??? Make yourself a batch and let me know what you think. And better yet, try your own variation and share what you created!

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12 Responses to HOMEMADE CHIA PODS: VANILLA CINNAMON, CHOCOLATE & BLUEBERRY (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, & VEGETARIAN)

  1. Kathleen July 9, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    Great recipe, made my first batch last night and am enjoying a coffee flavored chia pod this morning. Looking forward to trying more flavor combinations. Thanks !

  2. Using Chia Seeds July 11, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    Dang, thanks very much for posting this! It is gonna aid me when I research Chia Seeds at the market! Very Stupendous!

  3. alien September 15, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    The Chia Pods we have in Australia are made from coconut milk not almond milk. Makes it sweet and creamy and delicious. No added suagr at all
    http://www.thechiaco.com.au/product/podvbac06ozcp

    Be super careful of store bought almond milk as it can have a lot of nasties like carageen and soy lecithin

  4. Angi September 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Just bought 3 Chia Pods today. Can’t wait to make my own! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Yanina Salerno September 27, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Thank you so much for the easy and straight forward recipe. Im trying them tonight! 🙂

  6. Laurrie September 30, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    Theses look wonderful, thankyou for sharing!! unfortunately i didnt have any of theawesome ingredients you used so just blended a banana with some coconut water + coconut sugar =D I don’t think they’re gonna last the 8 hour wait =P

  7. Mario January 27, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    These are great, thanks so much!

  8. Dia Ganguly February 9, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    Hi fellow cbus resident. Thanks for posting this and I am glad I found your blog. I am reading this after buying a bunch at the local Whole Foods yesterday. You confirmed that I should also make my own.
    I do love the creamy coconut milk kind though for the extra nutritional boost…and for some reason the mainstream Cbus supermarkets are often out of the coconut milk that comes in tins. I am avoiding the type with weird chemicals. Maybe I will see what I can produce with a real coconut or go to an ethnic store.

    • Mary Lynn December 4, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Great idea, and good luck!

  9. NIki March 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Thanks for this post! Going to try these out tonight. I really like the banana one I have purchased at the store, so I may alter your recipe to incorporate the banana. Looks awesome!

  10. Michelle F August 8, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    Once the chia pods are mixed thoroughly, do they sit out at room temperature or in the fridge overnight?

    • Mary Lynn December 4, 2015 at 9:13 am #

      Keep them in the refrigerator.

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