Lately, it seems that anytime Patrick and I visit family in South Carolina or have family visit us in Florida, there are a few guaranteed meals and side dishes that will always find their way on to the table. Roasted sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon, baked chicken taquitos served with my mom’s guacamole, and chia seed pudding that we eat in equal amounts for breakfast and dessert.
Chia seed pudding is a recipe we began putting on constant rotation in our home last Christmas, when I received Giada’s Feel Good Food cookbook from my parents. My version is very similar to Giada’s, with a little of this added and a little of that taken out. Which I fully urge you to do with any recipe.. make it your own! If you like a little more sweetness, add more maple syrup or drizzle honey on top. If you’re eating it for dessert you may want to add dark chocolate chips or salted caramel sauce. You can also easily cut this recipe in half if you’re making it for only one or two.
There is almost always a container full of chia seed pudding in my fridge. It is ridiculously simple to make, healthy enough to eat for breakfast, and sweet enough to feel like an indulgent dessert. If you have children – or like me, nieces and nephews – chia seed pudding is a great dish for little helpers to make. It’s also an easy way to mix a nutritious snack into their day that they won’t complain about since all their little ears hear is “pudding”!
This past April, we had a few friends over for an Easter brunch. Natalie and Thomas made grit fritters, Irene brought her famous kale salad, and I made chia seed pudding. I laid out my great grandmother’s dessert glasses, a large bowl of pudding, and little dishes filled with toppings like granola, berries, honey, and almonds so that everyone could make their own parfait.
Maple syrup is where all of the sweetness comes from in this recipe. I prefer Grade B pure maple syrup because of the deep maple flavor, however this can be a bit intense for some people. You can also use Grade A medium or dark amber syrup instead. The grade of a syrup is determined solely by its color (Fancy being the lightest and Grade B the darkest). As long as your syrup is pure, the health benefits will be virtually the same. Pure maple syrup is never refined, contains no fat, and is good for your digestive system. And it tastes like candy! All together a winner in my book.
Begin by whisking together equal parts Greek yogurt and whole milk. Add in maple syrup, vanilla extract and chia seeds. Whisk to combine and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. The chia seeds tend to sink to the bottom at first, so you will want to stir again to evenly distribute them throughout the mixture. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to allow mixture to thicken. Serve with only a spoon or add any toppings your heart desires. My pick is frozen raspberries. Every time. I also highly suggest serving parfaits in pretty antique glasses that once belonged to your great grandmother – I’m convinced it makes everything taste better!
Chia Seed Pudding Parfait
- 2 cups 2% Greek Yogurt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Whisk together Greek yogurt and whole milk until smooth.
- Add in chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
- Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Stir to spread chia seeds evenly throughout mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours to allow mixture to thicken.
- Serve as is or add any toppings of your choice.
What are YOUR favorite parfait toppings? Let me know in the comments below.