This easy lemon chia seed pudding is energy-boosting! It's perfect to prep ahead for tomorrow or the week. Naturally dairy free, gluten free, keto, paleo, yet the fresh lemon and coconut make this sooo creamy and delicious.
What is chia seed pudding?
Chia seed pudding is made from chia seeds and milk, when they are mixed together they naturally thicken into a pudding. Somewhat chewy seeds, it is comparable to tapioca pudding (this recipe specifically reminds me of a healthy faster version of the tapioca pudding I had as a kiddo). There are endless flavor options and it pairs well with any fruit! This lemon flavor is luscious and delectable.
Reasons you will love this easy lemon chia seed pudding:
- This pudding is healthy, filling, and a source of omega-3, protein, and fiber.
- Kid friendly! This is a great thing to serve to the kiddos too. Add some blueberries or nut butter and how can they resist?!
- It's an awesome thing to meal prep! It's totally something you can make once and have all ready to eat week. Once on a camping trip, my friend brought chia pudding for breakfast with the kids and it was so brilliant and wonderful to have yummy adventure food prepped in advance!
- You can enjoy this pudding for breakfast, snack, or dessert.
- Chia pudding is compatible with most diets. It's made with simple real ingredients. No gluten, no grains, no eggs, no nuts, easily dairy-free, keto, low-carb, paleo, low sugar, and vegan! You can use whatever sweetener you prefer.
Ingredients you will need for this recipe
- Chia seeds: Black or white chia seeds will work for this recipe.
- Can of full fat or premium coconut milk: Coconut milk in a carton will not work as you need the full fat from the top of a can to make the creamy whip cream-like topping.
- Lemon: You will need a fresh lemon as you will use the zest and juice for this lemon pudding. In a pinch you can use lemon juice from a bottle and skip the zest however to make this full of flavor I recommend a fresh lemon!
- Milk: Use oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, cow milk, or whatever milk you like to use!
- Sweetener: I like to use Maple Syrup or Honey, however, you can also use monk fruit or stevia for a low-sugar option.
See recipe card for quantities.
Chia Seeds: History, Nutrition, & Storage
These tiny black seeds were eaten by Native Americans who dwelled in the deserts and mountains as endurance food. It is said Aztec warriors consumed chia seeds for an energy boost.
Chia seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C to list a few of the key nutrients. They are the second highest source of omega-3 fatty acids next to flaxseeds.
Chia seeds relieve constipation and help with bowel movements. These seeds can reduce nervousness, treats insomnia, and improve mental focus.
You can buy these seeds from the healthy aisle in your grocery store, online, or at the health food store. Keep these seeds in a sealed container away from heat sources. They do have a long shelf life (even up to 2 years), however, to ensure these seeds last longer and to prevent the seed's oils from going rancid store chia seeds in the fridge.
Chia seeds are a great ingredient to add to smoothies, salads, lemonade, or granola!
How to make Lemon Chia Pudding
Follow these step-by-step photos to make your own easy lemon chia pudding in 6 steps.
Remove the zest from the lemon on a zester or grater, and juice your lemon. You will add the zest to the chia seeds in the jars and anything remaining can be used as a garnish.
Remove the coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk. Add to the cream: 2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoon of honey or the sweetener you are using to create an awesome flavor. Stir well, then cover and place this in the fridge.
In a glass measuring cup that can measure at least 2 cups, place the ‘coconut water’ this is whatever is remaining in the coconut milk can, it should be about 1 cup. Add milk until you have 2 cups in total. Set aside.
Get out four small jars or containers with lids. In each jar place: 2 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 teaspoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoon of lemon zest, 2 teaspoon of sweetener. Then add ½ cup of the milk mix to each jar. (If there is any leftover lemon zest, save this to use as a topping.)
Stir each jar well until all the seeds are combined with the liquid. Wait 10 minutes and stir them one more time before placing a lid on each jar and putting the chia puddings into the fridge.
Leave the chia puddings in the fridge for at least 4 hours to form a pudding. When the chia seed pudding is thick place the prepped coconut cream on top and sprinkle with any remaining lemon zest. Serve and enjoy! Keep in the fridge and eat within 5-7 days.
Note: These can be eaten after 20 minutes of waiting for them to thicken however they will not be a pudding texture.
Chia Seed to Milk Pudding Ratio
After doing many test runs to see which chia pudding is the best consistency and texture and which the family likes the best I determined 2 tablespoon of chia seeds with ½ cup of milk is the best ratio for chia seed pudding.
Chia pudding can be made as individual servings in jars or in a large container to share! This ratio makes thick pudding after setting for 4+ hours or overnight. If you like it thinner add 1 tablespoon more of milk for each tablespoon of chia seeds. Thinner = more milk, thicker = more seeds.
|1||2 tablespoons||½ cup milk|
|2||4 tablespoons||1 cup milk|
|5||10 tablespoons||2.5 cups of milk|
|6||12 tablespoons||3 cups milk|
Keep chia pudding in the fridge after making it. They will last 5-7 days, therefore they are perfect to meal prep! Keep these puddings in a container like a jar or Tupperware with a lid.
Freeze: You can freeze these puddings for up to 1 month. Take them out to thaw a few hours before eating, or leave them in the fridge overnight to thaw.
If your chia pudding didn't set this can be from not stirring it enough. The chia seeds need to be well combined with the milk before placing them in the fridge. Secondly, I've heard feedback that using Truvia as the sweetener in this recipe can prevent chia pudding from setting, use maple syrup or honey instead.
Chia pudding will take from 3 to 6 hours to fully set. You can eat these puddings after 20 minutes of mixing with milk, however, they will be more like a drink and not thick. Chia pudding works super well to prepare the night before and eat as breakfast. If you are making these lemon chia puddings for dessert, prepare this earlier in the day before you make dinner.
Other Easy Prep Ahead Snacks
Looking for other no bake treat recipes like this? Try these:
Tips & Troubleshooting for Easy Chia Pudding
Be sure to use chia seeds, other seeds will not work for this recipe. There are black and white chia seeds, either will work.
After 10-15 minutes of the chia seeds sitting in milk, give them another stir. This ensures you won't get a clump of seeds at the bottom of your pudding.
Use a fresh lemon and a zester to get lots of fresh lemon zest for this recipe.
For the full fat coconut cream layer be sure to use a good-quality can of coconut milk. Brands in Canada that I would reccomend are Western Family, Thai Kitchen, or Cha's Organics. Do not use cans of Aroy-D as this milk does not have the full fat. Often you can shake the can to see if it's thick or even seems solid - the thicker the better.
To easily separate the coconut cream and the coconut water in these cans, place the can it in the fridge for a couple hours (or days) before using. Then the cream will go to the top of the can and you can easily scoop the coconut cream off the top.
Easy Lemon Chia Pudding
- 1 can of coconut milk*
- 1 ½ cups milk (any kind works)
- 1 lemon 8 teaspoon + 2 tablespoon lemon juice, and zest
- 8 tablespoon chia seeds (2 tablespoon per pudding)
- 8 teaspoon + 2 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- Zest and juice your lemon.
- Start by removing the coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk, it should be about 1 cup. Place it in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoon of honey or the sweetener you are using. Stir well until smooth, then cover and place this in the fridge.
- In a glass measuring cup that can measure at least 2 cups, place the ‘coconut water’ this is whatever is remaining in the coconut milk can, it should be about 1 cup. Add milk until you have 2 cups in total. Set aside.
- Get out four small jars or containers with lids. In each jar place: 2 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 2 teaspoon of sweetener. Then add ½ cup of the milk mix to each jar. (If there is any leftover lemon zest, save this to use as a topping.)
- Stir each jar well until all the seeds are combined with the liquid. Wait 10 minutes and stir them one more time before placing a lid on each jar and putting the chia puddings into the fridge.
- Leave the chia puddings in the fridge for at least 4 hours to form a pudding. When the chia seed pudding is thick place the prepped coconut cream on top and sprinkle with any remaining lemon zest. Serve and enjoy! Keep in the fridge and eat within 5-7 days.