Looking for a healthy, energizing way to start your morning that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort? This breakfast chia pudding delivers.
Hearty pecans and dates are blended to smooth perfection to create a sweet, creamy base packed with energy-boosting protein and healthy fats. Added chia seeds double down on that energy boost and create a pudding-esk texture that is oh-so-satisfying.
Top it all with a sprinkle of cinnamon and your favorite fresh or dried fruit for a sweet and tangy breakfast masterpiece.
Why You’ll Love It
- Quick and Easy. As long as you remember to soak the pecans and dates overnight, this recipe comes together super quick. If you really want to save some time, you can make the whole recipe the night before.
- Healthy and Energizing. Pecans and chia bring a whole host of energizing fats, including omega-3s, plus plenty of protein. And because this dish is sweetened with dates, it is a much healthier option than your typical sugary breakfast foods.
- Easy to Customize. This recipe makes an amazing base that is easy to customize with your favorite toppings. We recommend fresh fruit like berries, bananas, or kiwis. But feel free to get creative by adding your favorite nut butter, sweeteners, or spices.
- Uses only Pantry Staples. This recipe features ingredients you can find in most well-stocked health-nut pantries, making it a great choice for days when the fridge and produce bowl are looking sparse.
What Is Chia?
Chia seeds come from Salvia hispanica, a type of plant in the mint family. This plant is native to central and southern Mexico and has been used by people since the time of the Aztecs. Today, chia is cultivated in South America, the US, Australia, and the UK, as well as Mexico.
Two things make chia seeds unique in the culinary world.
For one, each of these tiny seeds can hold 12 times its weight in water. When soaked, they develop a mucilaginous coating similar to pudding or egg white. This gel texture is what makes many chia drinks and recipes so popular.
The second unique thing about chia is its high nutritional value. They are high in dietary fiber, protein, antioxidants, and fat. Most of the fat in chia seeds is polyunsaturated, including important omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
You can learn more about the health benefits of chia seeds, here.
Chia seeds come in two varieties: black and white. Black chia seeds are the most common. This variety contains mostly all black seeds with the occasional gray and white seed mixed in. White chia seeds are mostly white with some off-white and tan seeds.
Both chia varieties taste the same and have very similar nutritional profiles. Black seeds tend to be slightly smaller and some people believe white seeds are a little softer and therefore gel up easier. But the only real reason to pick one over the other is to compliment the color of the final dish.
How to Make Breakfast Chia Pudding
As long as you prepare your pecans and dates the night before, this recipe is very simple to put together. At the bottom of the post, you’ll find the full, printable recipe card. For now, let’s take a quick look at how to make breakfast chia seed pudding.
- Dates. These dried fruits are a wonderful way to add sweetness to a dish without using sugar or other sweeteners that have a dramatic effect on blood sugar. Use either deglet noor dates or larger Medjool dates.
- Pecans. These underrated nuts make some of the creamiest milk you can blend at home. And unlike fibrous almond milk, you don’t have to filter pecan milk. This is why we used pecans in the base of this pudding recipe.
- Chia. Of course, chia seeds are the real star of this breakfast. Choose an organic option, such as my favorite, Natives black chia seeds.
- Cinnamon. Round out the sweet, complex flavor of the pudding by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon. You can also play around with other sweet spices, including cardamom and nutmeg.
1. Soak Your Pecans and Dates Overnight. In the morning, strain the remaining water out.
2. Blend. Add the pecans, dates, and a little water to the blender. Process until smooth.
3. Add Chia Seeds. Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar with chia seeds and spices. Let sit for five minutes.
4. Top with Fruit. Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!
Recipe Tips, Substitution, and Variations
- Let it rest. It’s important to let the mixture sit for at least five minutes after mixing in the chia seeds. This allows the seeds to absorb the excess water and take on a gel-like texture. If you really enjoy this texture, try making the pudding the night before and letting it rest in the refrigerator until morning.
- Adjust consistency as needed. You may need to add a little more water (or milk—dairy milk, almond milk, and oat milk all work well) to achieve the texture you want. This is especially true if you leave the chia seeds in overnight to thicken the pudding up.
- Out of dates? You can easily substitute pure maple syrup in place of dates if needed. Add another ¼ cup of soaked pecans to the blender along with a tablespoon or so of maple syrup.
- Make it extra creamy with coconut milk. Another way to play with the texture of this dish is to use light coconut milk instead of water when mixing the base. This gives it a super creamy texture and adds a little coconutty sweetness to the final product.
- Sweeten it up. I like this recipe because it isn’t too sweet. But if you need a little more to satisfy your sweet tooth, try topping the pudding with a drizzle of maple syrup, agave, or honey. One great way to add some sweetness without increasing the calories is to add some vanilla extract.
- Add a protein boost. If you want this breakfast to stick with you until the afternoon, I suggest adding some almond butter, cashew butter, or even peanut butter to the base or as a topping.
- Make it chocolate chia pudding! Another wonderful spin on this breakfast is to add a teaspoon or two of cocoa powder to the base. Top with some dark chocolate pieces for a decadent breakfast, perfect for kicking off the weekend.
Make Ahead and Storage Recommendations
I personally prefer to make this recipe the night before just as you would overnight oats. This way I don’t have to worry about getting breakfast together in the morning.
To do this, simply follow the recipe directions up to the point of mixing in the chia, salt, and cinnamon. Before adding the toppings, put what you have in a jar and place it in the fridge. In the morning, add a little milk or water to thin it, then add the toppings and enjoy!
Into meal prep? This is a great recipe for that, too.
Chia pudding will keep in the fridge for up to five days. So go ahead, make all your breakfasts for the week on Sunday night.
You can also freeze chia pudding for up to six months. I like to freeze mine in glass jars. Then when the time comes, I just place them in the fridge to thaw overnight.
Try These Other Great Chia Recipes
Loving that strange, gooey-yet-satisfying texture chia brings to dishes? Then you’ll want to give these other great chia seed recipes a try.
Breakfast Chia Pudding
This energizing breakfast chia pudding recipe features plenty of protein and healthy fats from pecans and chia seeds. Dates and cinnamon add the perfect touch of sweetness for an easy gluten-free breakfast for busy weekday mornings.
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Strain water from soaked pecans and dates.
Add pecans and dates to a blender with 3/4 cup water. Process until you reach the consistency you like.
Pour the pecan/date mixture into a bowl and add chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. You can eat this right away, but it is better to allow the pudding to sit for at least 5 minutes while the chia seeds soak up some of the liquid.
Top with fresh or dried berries before serving, if desired.
Add additional toppings if desired, including nuts, nut butter, honey, apples, or chocolate chips.
Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 46IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 237mg | Iron: 4mg