Chia puddings were one of the first desserts my wife made after we adopted a Paleolithic (paleo) diet five years ago.
Now that I’m also on a ketogenic diet, this keto chia pudding is my go-to treat because it’s so easy to make and requires only two relatively inexpensive ingredients: coconut milk and chia seeds.
It’s also worth mentioning that this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and compatible with keto, paleo and vegan diets.
While the plain version of this recipe tastes delicious on its own, you can modify it in dozens of different ways. Scroll down to see my favorite variations of this chia keto pudding.
Keto Coconut Chia Pudding
- Add all the ingredients into a bowl, blender or shaker.
- Whisk or blend for 30 seconds, or shake vigorously.
- Pour liquid mixture into a plastic or glass container and cover.
- Place in the fridge for 10 minutes and then stir/mix again to prevent the chia seeds from settling on the floor of the container.
- Leave the container in the fridge for another 12 hours. The longer the pudding remains in the fridge, the firmer its consistency will be. If you don't mind eating liquid pudding, you can eat it right away.
- Take out of the fridge and enjoy, or use the pudding as a base for your own creation (see below for modification ideas).
What You Need
To get started with this easy recipe, all you need is a bowl that’s big enough to hold one to two cans of coconut milk and something to blend the chia seeds into the coconut milk.
If I make chia pudding for myself, I just use a Blender bottle* and shake it for 30 seconds. When my wife makes a larger batch of pudding, she uses a whisk.
However, you can also use a food processor (such as a Vitamix*) or a large spoon.
Beyond that, a measuring spoon is helpful as well — though I often just measure the chia seeds I pour into the liquid by sight.
For the base of this pudding recipe, all you need is a can of organic unsweetened coconut milk and organic chia seeds.
We buy the coconut milk during our weekly run to Whole Foods and order the chia seeds on Amazon. You can use any brand, but I recommend buying organic if your budget permits.
Ingredients for Modifications
I’ll talk more about modifications to this simple recipe below. But to give you a heads up, here are some of the ingredients I often use to tweak my chia pudding:
- Berries (raspberries are my favorite choice)
- Coconut flakes
- Dark chocolate (melted or chips)
- Keto Cocoa (Kiss My Keto)
- Roasted nut butter (e.g., almond butter)
- Raw cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- Sliced almonds
- Stevia extract
- Vanilla extract
The possibilities are virtually endless. Just make sure you keep an eye on the net carbs if your goal is to stay in ketosis.
How to Make Keto Chia Seed Pudding
Making this recipe is simple.
Open the can of coconut milk and pour it into a container. Make sure you scrape out all the solid parts from inside the can, because that’s where the fat is!
Then add four tablespoons of chia seeds and blend the ingredients together. My wife recommends four tablespoons per can of coconut milk, but you can certainly use a little more or less.
The fewer chia seeds you use the less solid the final product will be. The more you use, the denser the consistency will be, because the chia seeds soak up the liquid part of the coconut milk and leave only the solids (i.e., the fat) behind.
Once you’ve blended the ingredients properly, refrigerate the container with the pudding and leave it there for a couple of hours. For best results, give it a quick stir after the first 10 to 15 minutes (after the seeds have started to settle), and keep the pudding in the refrigerator for 12 hours (or overnight).
If you don’t want to wait for the pudding to solidify, you can just drink the liquid mixture or eat it with a spoon. I often do so when I need to quickly ramp up my fat intake and don’t want to wait until the next day.
While we often leave the whole batch of pudding in one large container and then use a serving spoon to take out what we want to eat, you can also pour the mix (while it’s still liquid) into smaller containers (or mason jars), cover them, and then stick them in the fridge.
This is the fun part, where you can take the recipe above and turn it into whatever you want. Use the ingredients I mentioned above as inspiration for what can be done, but don’t be afraid to experiment on your own.
To help you get started, here are a few variations of the keto chia pudding that we’ve been making in the Kummer house.
Keto Chia Cocoa Pudding
To give my keto pudding some extra flavor, I often add one or two tablespoons of raw, unsweetened cocoa powder per can of coconut milk (before blending all three ingredients).
Each tablespoon of cocoa powder adds approximately 0.6 grams of fat, 1.6 grams of protein, and 2 grams of net carbs to the total recipe.
If you’d like to add some extra sweetness and MCT oil, consider using the Keto Cocoa powder from Kiss My Keto*. It’s got cocoa powder, MCT oil, and stevia as a natural sweetener. One to two servings of the powder is usually enough for a batch of pudding.
Keto Chia Pudding with Nut Butter
Another easy yet delicious modification is to add a few spoons of nut butter to each serving of the pudding. If you want to be fancy, you can scoop some of the pudding into a small container (the base layer), then add a layer of nut butter, followed by another layer of pudding.
Feel free to repeat that process for as many layers as you like.
Each tablespoon of almond butter adds 8.5 grams of healthy fats, 3.5 grams of protein, and 2 grams of net carbs (including 1 gram of sugar).
To make your nut butter chia pudding extra delicious, consider using one of the keto nut butter mixes from my nut butter roundup. They’re sweetened with stevia or monk fruit extract, and thus add extra sweetness to your dessert.
Keto Chia Chocolate Pudding
One of my favorite modifications is to add dark chocolate to my chia pudding. All you have to do is melt dark chocolate (80% cocoa or higher) over low heat in a pan, and then either mix it into the pudding right before consumption or make layers as I mentioned above.
Better yet, you can mix both melted chocolate and nut butter for the ultimate keto chocolate chia pudding.
Depending on the type of chocolate you choose, you do have to watch the net carbs. For example, 1 ounce of chocolate with 88% cocoa adds 6.7 grams of fat, 1.3 grams of protein, and a whopping 3.7 grams of net carbs.
That’s why I recommend using chocolate with 100% cocoa* or cacao nibs. Either choice has only about 1 gram of net carbs per tablespoon.
Keto Chia Pudding with Fruit
Berries, and raspberries in particular, are a great way to add some fruit to your keto pudding. I like raspberries because they’re very low in carbs and have a lot of fiber, and because I love how they taste.
One ounce of raspberries (which is approximately 10 berries) adds 0.2 grams of fat, 0.3 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of net carbs. I usually add three or four raspberries to my pudding, thus increasing the net carb load of one serving by less than 1 gram.
You could also use strawberries, blackberries or blueberries, but these have more carbs so you have to be careful not to overindulge.
More Chia Seed Pudding Recipes
If you’d like your pudding to be more of a liquid, you can add unsweetened almond milk or macadamia nut milk.
Before going on keto, we used to blend almond milk, chunks of frozen banana, and ground chia seeds to make pudding.
It was delicious, but the banana and lack of fat (we didn’t use coconut milk) turned it into a high-carb treat that wasn’t compatible with keto at all.
But if you use frozen raspberries, you can at least keep the carb load down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chia seeds are often labeled as a superfood because they have high concentrations of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and iron.
However, what you don’t hear very often is that chia seeds are also rich in antinutrients like phytic acid, which bind to some of those positively-charged minerals and prevent your body from absorbing them.
That’s why I normally recommend soaking, roasting, sprouting or fermenting any nuts and seeds you eat, to destroy some of those chemical compounds. You can learn more about that here.
The issue with this recipe is that we need the seeds to soak up the liquid of the coconut milk to create a pudding-like consistency. As a result, we can’t soak or process the seeds beforehand.
What that means is that you should consume raw chia seeds (and thus, this keto pudding) in moderation. And you should lower your expectations about the health benefits of chia seeds.
The good news is that consuming foods with phytic acid only hampers the mineral absorption of that particular meal. In other words, there’s no long-lasting impact to worry about.
That’s why I usually enjoy my chia pudding as a dessert after a regular meal.
Yes, black and white chia seeds are almost identical nutritionally. White seeds have a slightly higher protein concentration and black seeds have a bit more ALA omega-3 fatty acid. Beyond that, it comes down to which color you prefer to see in your pudding.
You sure can, but flax seeds, much like other nuts and seeds, contain phytic acid. So you won’t get around the mineral absorption issue.
Yes, both coconut milk and chia seeds are vegan-friendly, and most of the additional ingredients I occasionally use (like cocoa powder or nut butter) are too. As a result, my recipe is keto, paleo and vegan-friendly.
None of the ingredients mentioned in this recipe are natural sources of gluten. However, some manufacturers use shared processing facilities that could lead to cross-contamination. So, if in doubt, check the label of the chia seeds, coconut milk, and other ingredients you buy (and contact the manufacturer).
I recommend roasted nut butter because the roasting process destroys some of the antinutrients in nuts and thus makes them overall healthier than their raw counterparts.
I recommend staying away from peanut butter because it’s a source of aflatoxins (a carcinogenic mold that grows on peanuts) and phytic acid (an antinutrient).
If you have a sweet tooth, there are several sweeteners you can use with this recipe. My favorites are stevia extract and monk fruit extract. The latter is available as a mix of monk fruit and erythritol (sugar alcohol), but I prefer the pure version.
Before I started keto, we’d also use honey or maple syrup to sweeten desserts. But these otherwise healthy sweeteners raise your blood sugar level and are thus not considered keto-friendly.
Yes, absolutely! Coconut cream is even richer than coconut milk because it has a higher coconut to water ratio.
Low Carb Chia Pudding Recipe
A keto chia pudding is incredibly easy to make and tastes anywhere from good to delicious — depending on the toppings and extra ingredients you use. It’s also one of my favorite ways to quickly ramp up my fat intake and to get extra calories my body can use for energy.
The only downside to this keto dessert is that chia seeds aren’t the superfoods many people think they are — at least not when they’re raw and unprocessed. So don’t eat them with every meal to ensure your body gets sufficient minerals from your food.
If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment and rating below! Also, make sure to check out my keto recipes page for more ideas on how to cook simple keto meals at home.
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