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Chia seed puddings were so very 2016. I’m just now getting into them.
Every pudding I tried in the past either lacked flavor or was too much to handle: too thick, too oily from excess coconut cream, you name it. I just couldn’t deal.
Then, a few weeks ago, when thinking of what to make for a gluten-free friend for dinner, a strike of inspiration urged me to try it again. This time though with flavor and a mouthfeel I could get into.
A 2019 Vegan Chia Pudding Parfait I Can Get Into
I started with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, as the subtle vanilla flavor forms a great basic canvas. Then I mixed in maple syrup, spices, and -- the star of the show, golden raisins. The spices add personality to the pudding; the raisins a pop of bright flavor. Top it with some Coconut Vanilla Spiced Granola (with the noted vegan adaptations, of course) and we have a dessert that is both gluten-free and vegan.
Follow my instructions for a vegan parfait or see my optional variations for a traditional version (the biggest difference is the sweetener used). Either way, we’ll have a treat that satisfies even the stubbornness of sweet teeth without a sugar high or need for an immediate nap.
- The pudding will take about 1.5 hours (at a minimum) to soak up and hydrate. While it soaks, bake the granola.
- Let the granola cool on a wire rack.
- Layer the chia pudding, granola, and liquid sweetener (maple or agave for vegan and honey for traditional) in parfait dishes or glasses.
- Chill for an hour or two or serve immediately!
- Vegan Granola: Use maple syrup or agave syrup in place of the honey to make the granola vegan. Drizzle the parfait with either syrup as well.
- The raisins get plumper the longer they sit. Thus, the pudding can store up to 48 hours in the fridge. The assembled parfaits will only stand up to 1 ½ hours of chilling, though, before the granola gets too mushy, so wait to put those together until right before you eat them.
- If preparing for company, assemble up to 1 ½ hours ahead of time while you focus on the rest of the meal.
- If you just want pudding and no parfait, just make the chia and ignore the rest!
- Golden raisins have the perfect bright flavor for this pudding but you can also substitute in purple raisins if you don’t have or like golden.
Vegan recipes similar to Vegan Chia Pudding Parfaits:
- Mae's Mean Green Smoothie
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Larabars
- Lentil & Sweet Potato Bowl
- Coconut Maple Chai Breakfast Risotto
- Double Tomato Orzo Salad
Vegan Chia Pudding
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other nut milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup golden raisins; or purple raisins
- 1 - 1 ½ cups coconut vanilla spiced granola
- Additional 1 ½ Tablespoons maple syrup agave, or other liquid sweetener
- Combine all milk through raisins in a bowl or jar with a lid. If in a bowl, whisk together vigorously until all the spices are evenly distributed. If in a jar, seal and shake vigorously until spices are also distributed evenly. If using, cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Move the container to the fridge and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours, shaking or stirring at 45 minutes to break up any clumps of chia seeds. The pudding will be ready when the chia seeds have gelled up and created a viscous pudding-like consistency.
- Alternate layers of chia pudding and granola into your parfait dishes are about almost full, finishing up with granola. Drizzle with maple syrup or agave and serve immediately or chill for up to 1 ½ hours before serving.