It’s pumpkin spice season! I don’t know about you, but I’m celebrating with my new favorite recipe — spiced pumpkin chia pudding! (In addition to the occasional PSL, of course.) This healthy and easy plant-based recipe is perfect for a dessert treat, a light breakfast, or a snack.
Why I Love this Chia Pudding Recipe
Chia pudding is an awesome vegan-friendly dessert option packed with beneficial nutrients. This makes it a great option for a balanced snack, energizing breakfast, or “healthified” dessert.
This particular chia pudding is also full of fall flavors like pumpkin and warm spices — just the thing to celebrate the season! This time of year, it seems like I always have a partially used can of pumpkin puree lying around waiting to be used, so recipes like this that use just a little bit of pumpkin really come in handy.
Chia seeds aren’t just for growing a Chia Pet anymore! They’re nutritional powerhouses — packed with beneficial antioxidants, minerals (like calcium), fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
All About Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Not sure what omega-3’s are or why you need them? Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid — which means our body can’t make them on its own, so we need to get them from food.
There are three types of omega-3’s: EPA, DHA (these two come mostly from fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines), and ALA (from vegetable oils, walnuts, flax, and grass-fed animal fat). EPA and DHA are active forms of omega-3’s that our body can use, while ALA needs to be converted into EPA and DHA before it can be used effectively. The human body isn’t great at converting ALA to its active form, so you may need a lot more ALA-rich food to see a benefit.
My advice? Vary your diet! Aim to include fatty fish about twice a week and a serving (about 2 tablespoons) of ALA-rich flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts daily. If you’re a vegan, you may consider adding in a vegan omega-3 supplement with EPA and DHA.
I’ll be honest, it’s hard to mess this one up. Just mix, refrigerate, wait patiently, and enjoy!
When chia seeds come in contact with water, they form a gel, but this process takes a bit of time. The mixture should set to a pudding-like consistency in about 4 hours. It can also be left overnight. This recipe will keep for about 4 days in the fridge.
To make this pumpkin chia pudding recipe more well-rounded and enticing, I highly suggest adding toppings. Vanilla yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) on top of this pumpkin pudding makes it reminiscent of pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream! For a bit of crunch and color, pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) are perfect. You could also use almonds or walnuts.
How to Make Chia Pudding
- In a large bowl, mix together wet ingredients. (In this recipe: 2 cups light vanilla almond milk, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1.5 tbsp pumpkin pie spice, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and 1 tbsp pumpkin butter)
- Mix in chia seeds. You can either blend this mixture in a blender or keep the seeds whole.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight
- Top as desired
- Make it vegan – The pumpkin butter I used in this recipe is not strictly vegan, as it contains honey. If that doesn’t bug you, feel free to use it! Otherwise, omit the pumpkin butter or substitute with a vegan version like this one.
- Make it smoother – The one gripe I tend to get about chia seeds is their texture. If you don’t like the texture of whole chia seeds, blend the entire mixture before refrigerating. This will make for a smoother mouthfeel more similar to traditional pudding.
- Make it lower in sugar – Omit the pumpkin butter, cut the maple syrup in half, or add a sugar-free liquid sweetener of choice.
- Make it sweeter – Add more pumpkin butter or maple syrup.
Spiced Pumpkin Chia Pudding
- 2 cups light vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1.5 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp pumpkin butter optional, see recipe modifications above
- 0.5 cup chia seeds
- 0.75 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt
- 6 tbsp pepitas
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except chia seeds.
- Mix in chia seeds.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Top each serving with 2 tablespoons of yogurt and 1 tablespoon pepitas
- Please note nutrition facts can vary widely based on specific ingredients used