A lot of people ask what the secret is in the rich creamy chia pudding that I make. I respond to them, "aside from a lot of love, the secret is to use pure coconut milk”.
Many people confuse coconut milk beverage for pure coconut milk.
The beverage is a compilation of additives such as sugar, vitamins, minerals, gums, natural flavors, lecithin, and carrageenan. Used for milk substitutions in cereal, coffee, etc. it is often a blend of water and coconut cream.
Pure coconut milk, made with coconut milk as the only ingredient, is usually found in cans in the Asian food section of your grocery store. If you have a favorite local Asian food market, you may find pure coconut milk in aseptic packaging.
The variety I buy to make my famous chia pudding is 100% pure coconut milk from cans that have a BPA free lining.
There are no added gums, carrageenan, preservatives or sulfites. This makes a big difference in not only the health of you and our environment but also in taste and texture.
Pure coconut milk is rich, thick, and creamy, and makes the best base for chia puddings.
To make coconut milk from scratch, combine unsweetened coconut flakes (buy sulfite-free) with water in a blender. Blend well then strain off the chunks.
Here is a recipe and how-to guide for you.
This is a delicious and pure food filled with healthy fats and valuable nutrients, but won't work the best for chia puddings.
For the creamiest coconut milk chia pudding, use store bought pure coconut milk!
On a side note, while you can make chia pudding with a variety of plant based milks, you won't have the same results. Pure coconut milk is thick, creamy, and rich.
Many plant based milks are formulated "beverage style" with additives. They are also more watery.
Again, the secret to the creamiest, richest, chia pudding is to use pure coconut milk.
So now that you know my secret to the best coconut milk chia pudding it's time to make your own. Here is a basic coconut milk chia pudding recipe:
VANILLA CHIA PUDDING (makes 2-3 servings)
1 (14oz) can full fat pure coconut milk (My favorite brand is Aroy-D)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
Optional: shredded coconut, fresh fruit, granola to top
Add pure coconut milk to a mason jar (with cover) and whisk until blended and smooth. Add vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, and whisk.
Add chia seeds and immediately whisk until fully incorporated. Chia seeds clump fast so work quickly in this stage. Put the cover on and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning add shredded coconut, fresh fruit, and granola. Indulge in this perfect chia pudding parfait and enjoy!
CHEF'S NOTE: If you don't use full fat pure coconut milk you may need to increase the chia seeds to thicken the pudding. Full fat pure coconut milk is so thick already that the chia seeds are not thickening it, rather they are just adding protein and more nutrients.
NUTRITION NOTE: I have never been afraid of fat and have maintained a healthy weight my whole life. The fat in coconut milk is fuel for your brain and energy for your body. You need healthy fat to live a healthy life. Having said that, if you have gallbladder issues you may want to stick to another plant based milk and double the chia seeds to thicken. It will still taste good, but the texture will be different. As well, if you suffer from IBS you may want to reduce the serving size to a FODMAP Friendly amount.
Now that I have divulged my secret I look forward to hearing your stories of making your own coconut milk chia pudding and what fun flavors you come up.
Post comments and pics below!
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