Looking for a dessert that's healthy as well as delicious? This Lemon Chia Pudding is both, but it's also super easy to make! I promise you will gobble it down even if you don't have a sweet tooth!
Updated: This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated with new photos and additional content.
Not only is vegan chia pudding great for dessert, but it also doubles as a healthy breakfast, a post-workout bite, or a late-afternoon snack. So make a big batch, and you will hope for leftovers!
Other healthy snacks you're going to love are this fresh strawberry sorbet, homemade applesauce, and this vegan granola. Like this chia seed pudding, they all work great to make a big batch and use throughout the week!
💚 Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Takes just five minutes of active time to make!
- Simple ingredients packed with healthy fats and nutrients.
- Versatile recipe so you can easily change it up with different fruits and flavors.
The ingredients needed to make lemon chia pudding bowl are easy to find and most grocery stores will have them.
- Almond milk: I enjoy almond milk most when making chia pudding but any mild-flavored plant milk works well.
- Yogurt: To keep this vegan, choose a non-dairy yogurt without any added sweeteners or flavors.
- Chia seeds: These tiny seeds swell up when added to liquid and create a pudding-like consistency in this dish. They are also a good source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Lemon: We will use both the zest and juice, so using fresh lemon is the best.
- Maple syrup: This less processed sweetener works great, but you can also use other sweeteners you may prefer.
- Vanilla: Enhances the warming flavor and adds natural sweetness to the chia seed bowl.
- Fruit: We will be using bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.
- Walnuts: For some crunch but also adds proteins and more healthy fats. Other nuts work well too.
There are many options when it comes to making chia seed bowls. But here are a few favorite ingredients you can mix and match to make your own version of chia pudding.
- Change up the fruit. I love kiwis, blackberries, and raspberries too. You can also use this dish as an opportunity to focus on seasonal fruits, which are likely fresher and less expensive.
- Use other nuts and seeds. Try it with pecans, almonds, hemp seeds, or flax seeds.
- Add more toppings. Coconut flakes, carob chips, cacao nibs, and granola are all great ways to add more flavors.
✅ How to Make Lemon Chia Pudding
Making this healthy chia dessert pudding takes just minutes to prepare. Let's look at how to do it!
- Prep the ingredients. Gather together all the ingredients, prep your fruit, zest the lemon, and then juice it.
- Combine the almond milk, yogurt, chia seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a large bowl.
- Stir together until well combined and the chia seeds are evenly dispersed throughout the mixture.
- Divide the mixture between serving dishes and place them uncovered in the refrigerator.
- Let them sit for at least 30 minutes to thicken. Top each serving with sliced fruit, chopped nuts, and anything else you would like to add before serving.
❄️ How to Store Chia Pudding
Store the glasses uncovered in the fridge until ready to serve. If storing for snacks later in the week, it works great to pour into small jars, which you can cover with a lid once the pudding sets.
Store the fruit in separate containers and add when you're ready to eat it. It will last 3-4 days, depending on the freshness of the milk you used, and the fruit will last 2-3 days once cut.
I don't recommend storing it in the freezer.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips and ❓FAQs
- Serve in a dessert glass when serving as a dessert following a meal.
- Add the fruit right before serving.
- Give the chia time to set. It will begin to thicken after thirty minutes, but the longer it sits, the thicker it becomes.
- Use a microplane to zest the lemon peel. It creates a really fine zest which works perfectly in this healthy dessert.
- Serve chia pudding as a creamy, satisfying breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Chia seeds may be tiny in size, but they are full of essential nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium.
The recommended allowance is up to 20 grams (about 1.5 tablespoons) of chia seeds twice per day. Since it is high in fiber, too much can cause bloating, constipation, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, so moderation is a must! Some say chia seeds curb your appetite and may promote weight loss.
As with any foods that are high in fiber, they tend to keep you full longer, which may help you from overeating. My thoughts are that if it's healthy and you enjoy eating it, give it a try!
Chia seeds are also great to add to smoothies, yogurt, granola, granola bars, and breakfast cereals. They also make a great egg substitute in baked goods. One tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with a quarter cup of water will replace one egg.
🌎 Sustainability Suggestions
The production of chia seeds is relatively sustainable, with a carbon footprint of 1.2 kilograms CO2e per kilogram. Most chia is grown in South America. It can be grown in areas with low-quality soil and requires little irrigation.
It's important to buy Non-GMO and organic chia seeds.
➕ More Healthy Fruit Recipes
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Easy Lemon Chia Pudding
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup non-dairy plain yogurt
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 medium lemon zest & juice
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ banana sliced
- 3 strawberries sliced
- ¼ cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- Prep ingredients - clean/slice fruit, chop nuts, juice and zest lemon.
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond milk, yogurt, chia seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice and maple syrup.
- Divide mixture between serving dishes and place (uncovered) in the refrigerator. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes as it will thicken over time.
- Top with sliced fruit & chopped nuts. Enjoy!