Chocolate pudding is a true indulgence, one that is reminiscent of childhood and always makes people happy. A classic chocolate pudding calls for a starch as a thickening agent, lots of sugar, egg yolks, and full-fat milk, if not cream. Indulgent and delicious, but not something to eat on a regular basis without consequences.
This recipe elevates chocolate pudding to superfood status and strips away the elements that make a chocolate pudding so caloric. It combines the miracle thickening power and health benefits of chia seeds, the rich flavor and creaminess of coconut milk, and the antioxidant power of natural, unprocessed cocoa powder. The result, with hardly any effort, is a rich, creamy, indulgent pudding that is good for your body and your soul.
Super Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding
1 can unsweetened coconut milk, about 13.5 or 13.66 ounces, depending on the brand (see Beginner’s Tips)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened and non-alkalized (not Dutch-processed)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Optional garnish: fresh berries, coconut shavings
- In a blender, place all ingredients except the garnish.
- Blend well at medium speed.
- Divide pudding into individual serving dishes and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Garnish as desired.
- Super Easy Mocha Chocolate Chia Pudding. Add one shot of freshly made espresso to the mixture before blending.
- Super Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding for Grown-Ups. Stir in one jigger of your favorite liquor to the mixture after you have blended it—try rum, bourbon, or cognac.
- Super Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding with Cinnamon. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon to the mixture before blending.
Coconut milk comes in various packaging forms and viscosities. This pudding uses a relatively thick coconut milk that is typically found in cans. Aseptic boxed versions of coconut milk tend toward the thinner side and will not provide the bulk and creaminess you want for a pudding—save that type of coconut milk for your smoothies or grains. When buying canned goods, look for BPA-free packaging.
The Aztecs valued cocoa so much that they traded it as currency and considered it sacred—no wonder it has endured for so many centuries. Cocoa is a star of the superfoods: it has beneficial effects on your heart, your mind, and your mood. Cocoa powder contains phenethylamine, which acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant, and it is loaded with antioxidants, which are linked to increased longevity and heart health.
A simple but highly effective trick to help with portion control is to divide food—especially treats—into individual serving sizes (bowls, containers, plastic bags). It is just as easy to grab a single serving as it is to grab a large bowl, so set yourself up for success. The next time you reach for something indulgent, you will enjoy it in moderation!