Ch-Ch Chocolate Coconut Ch-Ch-Chia Pudding!


I know.  The “ch-ch-ch-CHIA” thing has gotten old.  But, it’s so hard to resist using it!  So I use it here – just the once. :)

If you aren’t familiar with chia seeds, they are itty bitty seeds that pack a nutritional punch!  Reported to have the richest and most stable source of omega 3’s, chia contains more of these essential fatty acids than flax seed.  And, unlike flax seed, you do NOT need to grind them to absorb their nutritional perks.  They are also high in protein, containing ALL essential amino acids, are rich in vitamin A, C, folate, calcium and iron, are high in antioxidants, and are an excellent source of fibre.  All that in these tiny seeds!  Mama nature, you rule!

Whole White Chia Seeds

The flavor of chia is fairly neutral, with just a mild nuttiness.  The texture is more noticeable than the taste.  The whole seeds are crunchy but soften (slightly) and plump if soaked in liquid.  The ground seed is much like flax meal in that is absorbs liquid, and becomes gelatinous. Unlike flax meal, it doesn’t have that bitter aftertaste.  Chia seeds are widely available in stores now, in both white and black colors.  I prefer the white seeds most often for culinary use, because they can more easily be camouflaged in cooking and baking.  But, black and white seeds can often be interchanged.

I use them daily in our green smoothies, and also often add ground and whole seeds to recipes like muffins, quick breads, pancakes, and even savory recipes like veggie burgers and loaves.  They also give a slick nutritional bump to oatmeal, non-dairy yogurts, and whole-grain cereals.

In this yummalicious pudding (Dreena vocab), you can use either black or white chia seeds.  And, the pudding is sweetened very simply and purely with dates, though I also give you the option to use coconut sugar and/or pure maple syrup if you prefer.  My tests for this recipe began with those sweeteners, but when I swapped in pitted dates, I fell in love with the new texture and flavor.  Plus, I add just a touch of shredded unsweetened coconut for texture, and also a few miniature chocolate chips (a little goes a long way). :)

And, this recipe delivers “instant” pudding.  Because the seeds are blended, the chia sets up almost straight away… so no need to chill, no need to wait.  (Even though slight chilling is optimal for serving.)

Our girls LOVE this pudding.  I’m talking L-O-V-E.  One of our daughters doesn’t like puddings in general, but will ask for this one.  They get giddy when I tell them I have chia pudding in the fridge.  This folks, is a very good thing.

“Instant” Chocolate Chia Pudding gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free  (Here is RECIpage link to print/share)

This chia pudding sets quicker than other versions, since the seeds are blended first.  It sets up almost instantly, and is fudgy, coconutty, and yummalicious!

1 cup plain or chocolate non-dairy milk (see note)

1/2 cup (packed) pitted dates, plus another 1-3 dates to taste (or 2 tbsp pure maple syrup plus 2 -3 tbsp coconut sugar or more maple syrup, adjust sweetness to taste, see note)

3 tbsp chia seeds (black or white)

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or can use the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean)

2 – 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp mini non-dairy chocolate chips (optional for sugar-free option – but SO fab, even a tbsp!)

In a blender, add milk, dates (or coconut sugar/maple syrup), chia seeds, cocoa, salt, and vanilla.  Blend (starting on low speed and then working up to high speed) for a minute or more (depending on blender), until the seeds are fully pulverized.  Taste, and if you’d like it sweeter, add another few dates or another tablespoon of maple syrup (or coconut sugar).  If you’d like a thinner pudding, add another drop of milk and blend again (it will thicken a little more as it chills). Transfer mixture to a large bowl/dish, stir in coconut and chocolate chips, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1/2 hour or more (it will thicken more with chilling, but really can be eaten straight away – especially if using the dates as they also thicken the mixture).  Serve, sprinkling with more coconut, and topping with fresh berries or other fruit if desired.  Serves 3.

Milk Note:  I typically use unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk when I make this pudding.  If you are using a sweetened vanilla or chocolate milk, you may want to reduce the sweetener.

Sweetener Note: Dates are terrific in this pudding!  I wasn’t sure I’d like it as much as using maple syrup or coconut sugar – but I like it as much, or more!  If you’d prefer to use all maple syrup, it will thin the mixture slightly more than if using a combination of coconut sugar and maple syrup.  So, reduce the milk measure just slightly under 1 cup.

p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to my posts to get every bit of plant-powered goodness delivered to your inbox!  And, thanks to Ricki Heller for featuring this recipe in her Wellness Weekend!

Have you ever made chia pudding?  How do you regularly use chia seeds?


  1. Lanette says

    I make this recipe all the time except I add half a baked sweet potato to add to the texture and increase the nutritional value. I find I like the texture better with the sweet potato and add fewer dates.

  2. Katherine says

    Fantastic flavor, but my blender definitely could not handle the whole chia seeds. I wish I had more dates on hand so I could make it again right now! I do plan on grinding the seeds in the coffee grinder before adding next time.

  3. says

    Hey D – I use chia seeds in salads (toasted with almonds before I add them to the mix), also in my oatmeal in the morning. I love them! I plan to try this recipe this weekend :-)


    • Dreena says

      Hiya Dvorah!! Yeah, love chia seeds here too. You can also make chia puddings where the seeds aren’t pureed, they just soak/absorb the milk after a couple of hours. But, for the kiddos I find they prefer the puree to the texture of the whole seeds. Hope you like it (and the boys too)! :)

    • Dreena says

      J, yes, it should be okay, though I’d recommend you puree them with the other ingredients anyhow. If you are pureeing the dates, etc, will just help to better incorporate them. Also, you can use a little less, as it’s more concentrated. So maybe 2 1/2 tbsp. Hope it works well and you enjoy the pudding!

  4. Jana Mejdell says

    Just made this and it’s yummy! I actually used ground black chia since I always have that on hand for recipes. It worked great and made a wonderfully smooth consistency. Perfect!

  5. Katherine says

    We had this tonight… but the pudding seemed a bit gritty. Is that what the chocolate chips and shredded coconut are for? To hide the texture?

    Thanks! Just wondering if I did something wrong.

    • Dreena says

      Katherine, what type of blender do you have? A hight-speed blender will really pulverize the seeds and smooth it out. You will have a little more texture than a pudding without chia seeds, but it shouldn’t be too gritty if the seeds are well smoothed out. Is this the first you’ve tried a chia pudding? There are also versions where the seeds are left whole and the pudding soaks overnight for the seeds to absorb the moisture – you might want to try one of those versions too, to see how it compares for you. Hope that helps. :)

  6. Lisa says

    Dreena, Making this as a trial run this weekend. I like to know my boys’ like foods before I send them in their lunchbox so I don’t worry about them being hungry during the school day. So, if all goes well I plan to make it again next week for their lunches. It looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  7. Virginia says

    I make a similar recipe for breakfast but also adding a few leaves of spinach or whatever salad leaves I have, and use stevia/xylitol for sweetener. Just a fun way to eat a little greens for the day, and it doesn’t change the flavor that much.

  8. sarah says

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I just made it with some homemade rice milk, changed out the dates for agave. I added a little more milk as I prefer a little more runny a pud. It was delish! thank you so much :)

  9. Tess says

    Just made this good looking recipe – but a word of warning, don’t add extra chia!
    I usually have a couple of tbpns a day (and like the flavour) so added a tbsp extra into the mix and the entire thing has only one veery strong flavour – chia.

    Because the seeds are blended, the flavour reeeally comes through, so Dreena – you must have the mix just right. Is it supposed to taste of chia or did my extra tbspn really do the damage? Even adding more cocoa, maple and coconut – all I can still taste is chia.. and not in a good way.

    Stick to the 3 tbpns guys!

    • Dreena says

      Tess, yes, I have found using extra chia not only makes the taste a little too prominent – but also makes it too thick/gummy. If yours is still tasting strong, try blending it again with about 1/4 cup more milk and a touch more sweetener… you can use more dates, but you can also try maple syrup – also blending in some ripe bananas adds great flavor/sweetness that is all very natural. Hopefully that will help ‘dilute’ the flavor for you. I also wonder if certain brands of chia might have a stronger taste than others. Just a theory, but I know sometimes nuts/seeds can vary in taste with freshness, if they are starting to go rancid, etc. Really just a spec on my part, but it’s possible. Hope you can salvage what you have left!

  10. says

    I can’t wait to try this! I have not used Chia seeds yet but I’ve wanted to start. I have a question about when you use them in smoothies, oatmeal and yogurts, are you grinding them first like you would for baking?


    • Dreena says

      Great! In this recipe, I use them whole because the blender does the pulverizing. You have to blend long enough to cut through the seeds – some blenders fast than others (I have a Blendtec so it is quick). Sometimes I use them ground, for other recipes – so it really depends on what the recipe needs. Good luck Suzanne, have fun experimenting and hope you like the pudding. :)

  11. says

    This looks SO good! I was on – the photo you too came up, and I was like “I WANT THIS!” – can’t wait to try it! … maybe right now… =)

    • Dreena says

      hey Emma! Nice to hear from you! I love – it’s amazing, right??! And, yeah… I think crushing up a choc bar would be brilliant – um, esp a certain caramel-filled zimt bar… 😉 (btw, do you still make those, I keep looking out for that flavor at Antony & Sons but not seeing it) take care!

  12. says

    Just finished my daily chia pudding in physics lecture! This one looks terrific, and in spite of how tired “ch-ch-ch-chia” is, it never ceases to make me grin :)

    • Dreena says

      Hi Gena! Cool that you have chia pudding daily – time I add some new flavors and mix it up. Pretty sure the kids will always choose chocolate though. 😉 Thanks for the note, lovely!

  13. says

    WARNING: DO NOT attempt to taste this pudding before you intend on serving it OR YOU WILL EAT IT ALL. Seriously 😛

    I made this as a surprise for Matt, so he’d have a treat in the fridge when he got home from work, so I divided it into two mugs. I tasted mine before putting them in the fridge and ended up eating the whole thing! Matt’s very lucky I didn’t start on his!

    Such a delicious pudding, and so quick!

    (and thinking of adding some cherries next time to make a Cherry Ripe pudding!)

    Thank you Dreena; another fab recipe :)

    • Dreena says

      Julia, it keeps well for about 3 days, maybe 4. Doesn’t usually last here that long, but I have kept some leftovers that long and it was fine. Enjoy!

    • Dreena says

      Hi Catherine, I’d say more like 3, you could serve 4 but if so, you’d need to add in some fruit to bump up the serving size.

  14. says

    This was a hit last night as after dinner desert! Yes, I had to wait that long after licking the spoon! So good! My Ninja, however, didn’t grind the chia enough. Next time I’ll grind first then add. So much Yum!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Dreena says

      Great – and that’s good to know about your blender – it’s not a high-powered one, is it? (blendtec or vitamix) I might need to add a note for blending with standard blender, maybe on high power it still doesn’t pulverize as the rambo blenders do. <3 my Blendtec! Thanks for feedback. :)

      • Rosemary says

        I use a coffee grinder for my chia and flax seeds so I don’t have to rely on my cheapy blender to make them smooth. Hope that helps!

  15. Darlene Atwell says

    I just made a chia pudding using unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla and stevia. It tasted really good. I have to watch my sugar intake so I don’t think I could use the dates. Your recipe does sound delicious though :)!

  16. says

    Nice recipe! Think we’ll have to try this one sooner rather than later.

    Rasine has a “Super Magic Mix” that consists of two parts nootch to one part ground chia and one part ground flax. She sprinkles it on everything – pasta, lentils, bread, veggies, everything…

    I was surprised to see that the white chia seeds have a slight nutritional edge on the black ones the last time I bought a bag.

    • Dreena says

      You have a budding chef on your hands, Ryan! That’s a clever combo she’s put together – and very fine so I imagine it’s very good for sprinkling. Do you remember where the nutritional differences came to play? Many sources state that there are no nutritional variations between the two, but I also recall hearing different. Would be great to know – and share too. Thanks for the note, and hope life is smoothing out a little with the wee one!

      • says

        Actually, it was my creation and Rasine just gave it the stamp of approval. But it’s nice to know that my creations can pass for a 5 1/2 year-old’s! :)

        I’ll have to double check the differences when I’m at the store next. It was minimal, but still there. A few more percent of calcium, maybe.

  17. Terri Cole says

    I love chia seeds! I use them in smoothies, overnight oats, puddings and even just sprinkled on salads. I haven’t tried dates as a sweetener yet, good idea!

    • Dreena says

      Great ideas Terri, and hope you enjoy trying the dates as the sweetener option! Thanks for chiming in. :)

    • Dreena says

      Janae, once you start you might get hooked! I wish I had included a recipe in LTEV, but there’s only so much I could pack in one book!! I already have started a chai chia version – and that’s one that I especially like!

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