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Flash in the Pan: Inter-Faith Holiday Pudding!

[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]


I had hoped to post recipes for both Easter and Passover (occurring only one day apart this year), as a way to help celebrate each.  Well, even the best laid plans, as they say. . .

My attempts to perfect the Eggy Soufflé I mentioned earlier were to no avail, yielding truly abysmal results: the interior was too soggy, the crust was too hard, and the poor thing sank like the spirits of a toddler who just learned there’s no Easter Bunny. It does look good, however, so I’m going to keep at it.  For the time being, though, scratch that one.

No fear, thought I, there’s still the feast of Passover–and Mock Chopped Liver!


When I was a child, my mom used to make a mock chopped liver from cooked green beans (the canned variety, which were called “French Style Green Beans,” for some reason–did they trill their Rs, or something? Grrrrrrrrrreen beans!). When I found a similar recipe featuring eggplant, I was certain I’d hit upon my holiday jackpot.  I roasted the eggplant, scooped the flesh, sautéed the onion, blended the whole mess in the food processor. . . and wound up with a serviceable, if not overly flavorful, eggplant dip.  No, not exactly holiday fare.  And so, scratch that one, too. 

While contemplating dressing The Girls in bunny ears for an Easter shot (definitely scratch that one), I suddenly remembered this magical, ridiculously easy recipe–a Flash in the Pan that I’d actually intended to blog about almost a year ago (complete with original photo).  I call this “Chia Tapioca,” and it’s one of my favorite quick desserts. I could eat this pudding almost every day and never tire of it–even when I’m not on the ACD. I like it that much! 

If you’re a fan of tapioca pudding, you will adore this dessert.  Essentially, all you do is add a liquid to whole chia seeds, allow the mix to sit for 20-30 minutes (or more), then gobble up with a spoon.  Because the chia absorbs up to five times its volume, the seeds plump and soften, creating a slightly gel-like pudding base around them.  The longer the mixture sits before you eat it, the larger and softer the chia “pearls” become.

You can switch up the flavors by choosing different juices or alternative milks. For instance, the HH prefers his pudding with chocolate almond milk, while my all-time favorite variation is made with strawberry soymilk (which I’m sorely missing at the moment, as it contains sugar).  

As a bonus, chia seeds provide an incredible source of Omega 3 fatty acids (as I’ve mentioned before, they’ve overtaken flax as the star in that area), they’re high in protein, and they contain a host of antioxidants.  So you can preserve your heart health, decrease inflammation, promote bowel regularity and feed your brain–all while enjoying a delicious, decadent-tasting dessert! 

And because chia is a gluten-free seed, it’s also acceptable for Passover. Beauty!

To everyone who’s celebrating this weekend, whether Easter, Passover, or both–enjoy your holiday! 🙂

Elsie, did you see this pudding?  I’d dress up in bunny ears for a taste of that. . .”

Zip it, Chaser, do you want a repeat of our Christmas embarrassment?  Just whine a little and look sad, and Mum will give you the pudding anyway.”

Almost Instant Chia “Tapioca” Pudding


This recipe offers the most basic version of this pudding, but variations are endless–add whipped topping, puréed pumpkin or squash, melted chocolate or chocolate chips, shredded coconut, chopped fresh fruit. . . it’s all good!

2 Tbsp (30 ml) whole white chia seeds (the grey are fine, too, but they don’t look as pretty)

1/3 cup to 1/2 cup (80 ml to 120 ml) liquid of choice: plain or flavored soy, almond, rice, hemp, oat, or other milk, or juice

1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) additional sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar, etc.), if desired

Place chia in a small bowl and add the liquid.  Stir well to try to submerge most of the seeds.  Allow to sit 20-30 minutes, stirring once after about 5 minutes to prevent clumping.  Stir again before serving.  Makes one serving.

Note: you can also mix the chia and liquid, cover and refrigerate overnight for a lovely, soft breakfast pudding the next morning.

Anti-Candida Variation: Use unsweetened almond or soy milk with 5-7 drops of stevia for sweetness. 

Last Year at this Time: Tagine of Quinoa with Chickpeas, Olives and Prunes

© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs


46 comments to Flash in the Pan: Inter-Faith Holiday Pudding!

  • Oooh, love your favorite version of it with the strawberry “milk”!!


  • Oh, I was thinking of getting some chia seeds, but wondering what I’d do with them. And here you are with the most perfect answer: a quick and simple tapioca-like pudding! What’s not to love? I’m definitely adding chia seeds to the list for my next trip to the food co-op… and I may make that trip sooner than anticipated! I can’t wait to try your recipe!
    Oh, by the way: I agree, strawberry soymilk is to die for! (well, the brand we get here, Natura, totally is!)


  • I love all the wonderfully inventive ways you use chia seeds. Never enough ways to eat them!


  • I need to get some chia seeds. I’ve been seeing them around the blogworld lately and they look like fun!


  • I’ve been wanting to try this chia tapioca pudding. I have the dark seeds at home and will give it a go as soon as I have a chance!


  • Fresh string beans and toasted walnuts made a great “chopped liver.”

    I’ve never seen chia seeds but will look harder so I can try the pudding!


  • mmmm. tapioca pudding! yummy 🙂


  • Tapioca is my FAVorite…and with the chia seeds, even betta. I might even try it with coconut milk and toasted flakes. I noticed on your photo that it said “salba.” Are chia and salba the same?


  • Awesome idea for both pudding AND chia seeds and yum! And lol, I’m guilty of dressing the cats in ears, except they were reindeer ears and it was for Christmas *blush*


  • i’ve never heard of chia seeds but will now look into it. the photo looks fantastic!


  • Chia seeds sound so fun to work with. I must get my hand on some =) This pudding is great!

    Strawberry Soymilk? YUM!


  • another great FITP recipe! I’m sure the Girls enjoyed their bite.


  • Claire

    Why not puree some strawberries and add them to your pudding? then you get strawberry flavor without the extra sugar of strawberry soy moo. you could even thaw some frozen ones if you can find good fresh ones. I’ll have to search for chia down here south of the border.


  • Courtney

    I was looking forward to that souffle recipe, but this is great! Thank you for the passover friendly/Easter dessert idea…I think I am going to try it tonight! I can only find the gray chia seeds, so I am sure my pudding will be sufficiently gross looking :o)



  • Can’t say I have ever had chia seeds – and I was always a little wary of tapioca pudding but am curious about this dessert and will try and remember it if I do manage to find chia seeds.

    I have a finnish green bean pate on my blog which is probably my favourite pate – I have made it a few times and it is excellent – so you might find it has some similarities to your mum’s???

    hope you have a happy holiday


  • oooo!! i just bought chia seeds and i’m definitely going to make this recipe!! yay! now i know what to do with them!
    happy holidays!


  • That’s so cool! You have the neatest recipes. I have to tell you, I made chocolate cake with your sweet potato frosting filling and it was AWESOME. I am going to post about it soon and of course link to your recipe. Thanks!


  • Jes

    The whole chia thing is still pretty strange to me, but disguised in pudding, how could it be bad?!


  • i’ve gotta get some of those chai seeds! ooooooh! i loooove me some tapioca pudding – and i can’t wait to give this pudding a whirl! i think the girls in bunny ears would be just too cute! ahahahaaaaahaa! yay!


  • I am most definitely going to make chia pudding now, it looks so good!


  • Cool! I’ve heard a lot about chia seeds but have never used them


  • I’ve actually never seen white chia seeds before, but they’re so lovely in this pudding, I will definitely keep an eye out for them. Looks just like tapioca, but so much more nutritious!


  • never seen the white seeds before. I’ll have to hunt them down!


  • Happy Passover!! What a gorgeous, healthful, elegant passover (and anytime 🙂 dessert!! The texture you described makes me think of my recent bubble tea discovery, so I know I’ll love it!

    Oh my, strawberry soymilk sounds amazing! Where do you find such a treasure?

    Happy Passover and Easter!! Wishing you much Passover and Easter joy! 🙂

    (btw, if you manage to convince the girls to put on those bunny ears, I would loooove to see a photo… I can imagine how incredibly cute they’d look… 🙂


  • Strawberry soymilk?! Where do you buy yours? I’ve looked for years with no success for a strawberry version. I can only find strawberry banana. With my luck, you can probably only buy yours in Canada, right? Let me know, oh and that pudding looks great!


  • Liz

    I looooove your idea of using strawberry milk. YUM! I’ve been eating chia pudding before workouts and have noticed I don’t get dehydrated as easily. SCORE for health foods!


  • I didn’t know white chia seeds existed! Well you learn something new everyday, no? I loved the simile usage in that souffle story too.


  • What an interesting pudding. These seeds are so hard to get here in the EU (not approved as a food), I wish I knew hot they tasted. They look pretty anyway. Happy holidays to you, Ricky.


  • Oooh! I think I would really enjoy that pudding. I’m a huge fan of tapioca. I really need to do my research on chia seeds. I don’t know a whole lot about them. Thanks for the great idea!


  • I know that I want to eat something now! feeling. Sometimes i get so frustrated that i have to first make & eat that i end up eating a bowl of cereal:-( Love this sweet little dessert, & I love those crackers & eggplant dip!


  • Ooo I’m going to have to try this!


  • Yay for chia pudding! I only have the dark seeds… but they still taste awesome in pudding. I need to soak some almonds tonight for milk..

    Happy Passover/Easter!


  • That pudding looks good!


  • You make this sound really good. I definitely want to try it! And I commend your inter-faith efforts. They make for a great little story.


  • I really need to get my hands on some chia seeds dawg-gonnit! They sound like such nutritional powerhouses!
    Happy everything and anything, Ricki! We’ll be putting together pagan bunny baskets tonight!


  • awesome! i JUST bought some chia seeds 🙂 they’re not the white ones, but i must try this pudding anyways!!!


  • Where do you get your Chia seeds? I looked in Whole Foods but couldn’t find them… So instead I made regular tapioca pudding, since coincidentally my boyfriend announced that he would really like some coconut tapioca pudding…


  • I Just made this and posted it at http://dontwhitesugarcoait.blogspot.com!! Delicious!! Love the consistency with the whole chia seeds. I only had black seeds, so it wasn’t quite as pretty! I found my seeds at a natural foods co-op-in the bulk section. I know you can order them from a lot of places online as well.
    Thank you so much for the recipe!


  • Vegyogini,
    Dark seeds will work just as well! As far as I can tell, they taste exactly like the white ones; they just don’t look as pretty. 🙂

    That sounds like my mom’s recipe, too!

    Salba is, indeed, the same as chia; Salba is the most common brand name (and the first company that marketed chia seeds). These days, you can buy many different kinds of chia, though, and Salba is generally more expensive than the others. As long as it’s a reputable company, most brands should work just as well. 🙂

    Yes, The Girls did have Christmas costumes last year, too. . .but they vetoed the Easter ears! 😉

    Oh, yes, they definitely enjoyed their share! 😉

    Fabulous idea! I love it–and am going to try it the MINUTE I’m allowed fruit again. Thanks! 🙂

    I’m sure the seeds won’t make much of a difference, really! And it will taste great. I’m still working on the souffle–haven’t given up on that one yet! And will post as soon as I’ve got one that works. 🙂

    Except for the dill pickle, this does remind me of my mum’s. Though I seem to recall that her recipe had no more than about 5 ingredients!

    Yay! So glad you liked it. I had to stop making it because I was eating the frosting as-is. . . well, I guess that’s why I’m on the ACD now, eh?! 😉

    Astra Libris,
    I hadn’t thought about it, but I guess it would be very similar to bubble tea (which actually contains tapioca, right?). Thanks for the holiday wishes, too. 🙂 And I’m working on The Girls . . . .

    Strawberry soymilk is pretty common here in Toronto. I think it’s a Canadian brand that originates out west (British Columbia), so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s available in Western states. It’s called Natura (webpage can be found here.)

    So sorry you can’t get them there–but they seem to be getting more and more popular, so who knows? And hope your holidays were very happy as well! 🙂

    Thanks for the well wishes, and can’t wait to see the pics of the pagan bunny baskets 😉

    Well, regular tapioca is great, too, no? I buy my seeds in the health food store over here. . . they’re quite common in Toronto. They even sell them in bulk stores! 🙂

    So glad you enjoyed it! I think the dark seeds look just as good (especially with chocolate milk) 😉 And thanks for the shout-out. 🙂


  • Whoa! Hold it right there! There is… no Easter Bunny? *sobbing inconsolably* 😀

    This pudding looks so interesting, I’ve never had chia seeds but you had me at “feed your brain”.


  • I had never heard of salba or chia seeds, but I love tapioca. When I was growing up, my mom used to call it frog’s eye soup.

    Claire’s idea of blending fresh fruit into the pudding sounds delicious. If I can find some, I may make it with chocolate soy milk and blended strawberries.


  • Whoohoo! I found chia seeds today at my local health food store. The ladies thought I was crazy, I was so happy. Can’t wait to try this recipe!!


  • Mom

    So it’s now 2010 and I’m just now getting around to trying this! But it is fascinating in that something that tastes good can be so good for you. A real win-win recipe. Thanks so much for all that you share with your readers.


  • […] and that liquid stevia. And finally I have really gotten into Ricki’s super healthy creation Chia “Tapioca” Pudding. I’ve been having it most mornings for a couple of […]

  • Brooklyn

    Hi there! I stumbled across your blog while looking for ACD friendly meals. I did not even imagine I could eat any form of a dessert! The name of your blog caught my attention above the others, I too am a sucker for the four-legged’s! I’ve bookmarked several of your recipes to try, wish a bit of a shopping list to fulfil first. I happened to have all of these ingredients on hand and threw it together tonight. The stevia I have comes in little packets, I used one packet and I find it was a bit too sweet. I must admit I never thought I’d say that! Aside form needing to lessen the sweetener, this totally hit the spot for me! I’ve gone 6 weeks without eating any sugar, only in the last two weeks have I had carbs. I am so glad I found your blog, and look forward to trying many more recipes! Thank you so much for sharing your journey!


    Ricki Reply:

    Brooklyn, thanks so much for your comment, and for reading! I’m so happy that the recipe hit a “sweet” spot for you. It’s so important to feel as if you’re eating satisfying food (and treats!) to be able to stick with the diet. Good luck with it! 🙂


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