Chia Seed Pudding: Recipe with Vanilla and 100% Vegan

Chia seed recipes, such as this chia seed pudding, are all the rage lately, and for good reason. Chia seeds, when combined with water, juice, or milk, gel up and thicken, creating the most delightful smooth, tapioca-like texture that is perfect for chia smoothies, puddings, and other desserts.

Chia pudding a quick and easy breakfast or snack (no cooking required!) is the perfect option when you are on the go. It features nutrient-rich chia seeds, rich in fiber, anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a definite upgrade from processed breakfast cereals or commercial puddings!

What’s interesting is that chia is an ancient crop that is experiencing a renaissance. The little black and white seeds used to be a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with the Native Americans of the southwest.

Many chia pudding recipes call for soaking the seeds whole, resulting in a tapioca-like texture. Another option is to simply blend all ingredients in a blender for a more uniform, creamy porridge.

The seed flavor is neutral enough that you can add your favorite spices and toppings. In my case, that means vanilla bean paste and banana, with a dash or cinnamon; or perhaps combo of strawberries, coconut, and lime.

Chia Pudding Recipe (with Vanilla)

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding


  • 1/2 cup chia seeds (organic are best)
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave nectar (or 3 dates)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until a uniform texture is achieved. Transfer to a sealed container and allow to chill overnight.
  2. Another option, if you prefer a tapioca-like texture, is to whisk together all of the ingredients, and refrigerate for a simply stir a few hours or overnight.

Make a large batch of this pudding over the weekend, then divide it into individual containers to keep in the fridge, for a quick grab-and-go breakfast all week long. Top with a sliced banana and/or other fresh fruits for a delicious and filling meal!

Chia puddings may take practice to get the texture “just right” to your liking, so feel free to adjust the amount of seeds or liquid to achieve the result you desire.

The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant. That means you can easily combine it with other foods without changing the taste dramatically.

Below is an unblended version. It will have nice “bumpy” texture with slightly crunchy seeds. If you prefer smooth pudding, use a blender.



A note on chia seeds: For best results, I recommend sticking to organic varieties! Nativas Naturals is a trusted brand (this is the one I used for this recipe), and Whole Foods also carries a 365 brand that I enjoy.


Chia Seeds Benefits

They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fiber.

So, what are some of the health benefits of eating chia?

* Provides energy
* Boosts strength
* Bolsters endurance
* Levels blood sugar
* Induces weight loss
* Aids intestinal regularity

Chia seeds are said to have:

*2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
*5 times the calcium of cow’s milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones,
*2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
*3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
*3 times more iron than spinach
*abundant amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids

Chia seeds are a wonderfully rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. I’ve written extensively about the omega-3s, which are essential for healthy heart, normal blood sugar, healthy hair, skin and nails. An ounce of chia seeds also contains 18% of your daily calcium needs, which is three times more than cow’s skim milk!

They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fiber. Like flax, chia is highly hydrophilic: the seeds absorb water and create a mucilaginous gel. They can hold 9-12 times their weight in water and they absorb it very rapidly – in under 10 minutes. One advantage of chia is that because it has such a high antioxidant content, the seeds stay stable for much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. (via NaturalNews)

Chia Seed Side Effects

Also, be sure to check with your doctor before regularly adding chia seeds to your diet if you are on any blood sugar or blood pressure regulating medication–> chia seeds naturally help regulate both, and may make your medications too powerful, so your doctor may want to reduce your dosage.

Where to buy chia seeds?

Chia seeds can be quite expensive, but keep in mind that you’ll only use a teaspoon or so when making a smoothie, while still getting lots of valuable nutrients. If you cannot find chia at your local health food store, perhaps you can buy them online, for example, on Amazon:

Buy chia seeds on Amazon


Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this green smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!

Easy Berry Chia Pudding Pie (No Bake Dessert)

This weekend, I was looking for an easy recipe to make a fruit pie. I searched online and in my recipe books, looking at various traditional recipes, but then I came across this no-bake version made with berries, nuts and seeds, chia seed pudding and vanilla.

Since chia seed recipes have been on my radar lately, as well as I was looking for more ways to use my vanilla bean paste from Tahiti, I decided to give it a try.

It’s a quick and easy dessert, as no baking is required! This is nice, especially on a hot summer day (who wants to spend time in hot kitchen!)

No-Bake Berry Chia Pudding Pie

gluten-free, wheat-free, cholesterol-free, soy-free
(recipe inspired by Simple Chia pudding Pie)

This Tart needs time to ‘cook’ in the fridge, so you may start it the night before or in the morning for dinner.

Easy Fruit Tart (No Bake Dessert)

Easy Fruit Tart (No Bake Dessert)


    For the crust
  • 1 cup of pitted dates (use less for less sweet pie)
  • 1 cup of nuts or seeds (I used pumpkin seeds for nut-free pie. You can use pecans, walnuts, macadamias, Brazil, sunflower seeds, etc)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or real Vanilla (the black seeds from a pod)
  • a pinch of salt (optional)
  • For the filling
  • 1 cup mixed berries or berries of your choice
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 teaspoons of Agave nectar or 3 dates (pre-soaked)
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon real Vanilla
  • 1 cup berries for decoration


  1. For the crust: Soak the dates for 5 minutes. In your blender or food processor (I used my Kitchen Aid for this job), grind the nuts and/or seeds into a flour. Add the remaining ingredients and process until dough starts to form. Press the dough down firmly until it forms a crust on a 8-10 inches baking form (20 cm).
  2. For the filling: Add all of the ingredients to your blender. Pour the filling over the base and spread evenly. Decorate with berries and other toppings (nuts, shredded chocolate pieces, etc.)
  3. Keep in the fridge to chill a couple of hours before serving or overnight.

I only had frozen berries and some fresh strawberries, but it will also be wonderful with fresh fruit.



Variation of the filling

You can skip the banana and add 1 cup tofu to the filling, plus one orange (peeled) or some orange juice. Or add both banana and tofu.


Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this green smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!

Vanilla Bean Paste (straight from Tahiti, plus the story of vanilla)

I love vanilla flavor. Even though it’s not an essential ingredient in smoothies or other recipes (and I don’t think it has any significant health benefits), it’s certainly one of the most delicious additions.

Vanilla extract is an ingredient in so many cooking and baking recipes that it’s almost automatic to add it in when you’re making cookies or pancakes, so when you see the words “vanilla extract” replaced with “vanilla bean paste” you might have to do a double take before you realize that these are quite the same thing.

So what’s the difference between the two?

What is Vanilla Bean Paste?

I often use vanilla extract in my recipes, but I was not familiar with vanilla paste until a couple of weeks ago. The first time I heard and saw vanilla paste was a couple of weeks ago, when my husband brought me a jar of vanilla paste from his sailing trip in Tahiti.

It turns out that vanilla bean paste is delicious! It is much thicker than vanilla extract; it’s actually a like thick syrup. While the taste  is probably a bit strong (not to mention expensive) to, for example, pour on your pancakes, but it’s delicious when added to baked goods or pancakes.  You can use the paste in place of vanilla extract in any recipe where you want the beans to shine.

vanilla bean paste

Vanilla extract is made by infusing vanilla into alcohol, which bakes off leaving the vanilla flavor behind. Vanilla bean paste is made by infusing vanilla beans into a thick, sweet syrup made with sugar, water and some sort of thickener. The main distinction is is that the vanilla beans are scraped into the paste, so you get all of those lovely little vanilla bean specks in whatever you’re baking along with the vanilla flavor!

Vanilla bean paste can often be found at specialty stores, and you can find it online easily, as well. It can be used in place of vanilla extract in any recipe. I particularly like to use it in things like banana smoothie with vanilla, vanilla pudding (like this chia seed pudding) and vanilla ice cream.

Tahiti - land of beauty and vanilla

The Story of Vanilla

There is actually quite an interesting story behind vanilla. It’s one of the few crops that need to be hand-pollinated to produce fruit.

The flowers can be naturally pollinated only by a specific Melipone bee that is only found in Mexico. Thanks to this bee, Mexico enjoyed for a long time a with a monopoly on vanilla production, until a substitute was found for them. The vines would grow, but would not fruit outside of Mexico. Growers tried to bring this bee into other growing locales, to no avail.

The only way to produce fruits without the bees is artificial pollination. And today, even in Mexico, hand pollination is used extensively.

In 1836, botanist Charles François Antoine Morren was drinking coffee on a patio in Papantla (in Veracruz, Mexico) and noticed black bees flying around the vanilla flowers next to his table. He watched their actions closely as they would land and work their way under a flap inside the flower, transferring pollen in the process. Within hours, the flowers closed and several days later, Morren noticed vanilla pods beginning to form. Morren immediately began experimenting with hand pollination. A few years later in 1841, a simple and efficient artificial hand-pollination method was developed by a 12-year-old slave named Edmond Albius on Réunion, a method still used today. Using a beveled sliver of bamboo,[18] an agricultural worker lifts the membrane separating the anther and the stigma, then, using the thumb, transfers the pollinia from the anther to the stigma. The flower, self-pollinated, will then produce a fruit. The vanilla flower lasts about one day, sometimes less, so growers have to inspect their plantations every day for open flowers, a labor-intensive task. (via

Types of Vanilla

Bourbon vanilla or Bourbon-Madagascar vanilla, produced from V. planifolia plants introduced from the Americas, is the term used for vanilla from Indian Ocean islands such as Madagascar, the Comoros, and Réunion, formerly the Île Bourbon. It is also used to describe the distinctive vanilla flavor derived from V. planifolia grown successfully in tropical countries such as India.

Mexican vanilla, made from the native V. planifolia, is produced in much less quantity and marketed as the vanilla from the land of its origin. Vanilla sold in tourist markets around Mexico is sometimes not actual vanilla extract, but is mixed with an extract of the tonka bean, which contains coumarin. Tonka bean extract smells and tastes like vanilla, but coumarin has been shown to cause liver damage in lab animals and is banned in food in the US by the FDA.

Tahitian vanilla is the name for vanilla from French Polynesia, made with the V. tahitiensis strain. Genetic analysis shows this species is possibly a cultivar from a hybrid-cross of V. planifolia and V. odorata. The species was introduced by French Admiral François Alphonse Hamelin to French Polynesia from the Philippines, where it was introduced from Guatemala by the Manila Galleon trade.
West Indian vanilla is made from the V. pompona strain grown in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The term French vanilla is often used to designate preparations with a strong vanilla aroma, contain vanilla grains and may also contain eggs (especially egg yolks).

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!

Broiled Grapefruit: Super Easy Dessert Recipe

Have you ever tried broiled grapefruit? I have a few days ago.

Up until recently, I’d just cut it and eat it straight from the bowl. Turns out, broiled grapefruit is delightful!

Broiling brings out the sweetness and tampers the acidity of the grapefruit. It’s a wonderfully sweet and delectable addition to any meal or dessert.

It can easily be modified to use many different fruits such as peaches, apricots, or pineapple.

I strongly suggest cutting sections prior to broiling. Otherwise, you’ll have a very sticky mess on your hands!

Broiled Grapefruit Recipe

Broiled Grapefruit: Easy Dessert Recipe

Broiled Grapefruit: Easy Dessert Recipe


  • 2 grapefruit, cut in half
  • 1 banana or other sweet fruit (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons (or to taste) brown sugar (stevia or agave syrup will work too)
  • a dash of cinnamon (pumpkin spice, nutmeg, or ginger powder)


  1. Preheat your oven's broiler.
  2. Cut the grapefruits in half and place them cut sides up, onto a baking sheet. Use a small serrated knife to cut out the sections in the halves.
  3. Slice banana and place the slices on top of the grapefruit halves.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar over grapefruit sections, using more or less as desired.
  5. Broil for 4 to 6 minutes, until sugar is starting to turn brown.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes before eating warm.

To make it easy to eat the grapefruit, use a serrated knife to slice the segments and then all around the outside (see instructions here). It will make it easier to eat. They also make grapefruit spoons.

If you aren’t into adding sweetener, then just broil the grapefruits without any sugar. If you’re OK with adding a little sweetener, then use whatever you have in your pantry – regular sugar, brown sugar, agave or maple syrup, or stevia.

broiled grapefruit

These would be a great dessert to impress your guests – even at those who come unexpectedly – because they look pretty and take under under 10 minutes to prepare.





Just like regular grapefruits, these are great anytime – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert.


I’d never think about broiling a grapefruit, until I found this inspiration. When I saw the amazing pictures on that site, I knew I had to try it.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!

3 Brilliant Desserts Made From All Natural Ingredients

(Guest Post)Whether you are planning a dinner party, or just want to make a special dessert for a family dinner, these recipes are sure to please. The ingredients are wholesome and keep it healthy, but the are still delicious. Dessert is a great way to round out a meal and gives everyone a special sweet treat to look forward to. The following recipes are sure to become guilt-free, animal-product-free, favorites. Those recipes included are also very versatile, they can be packed in lunches for a midday treat or served at your next summer barbecue…everyone needs to have  at least a couple sweet recipes that can be made when time is short.

Caramel Bananas

This recipe is from the blog Uncooking 101, and is so ridiculously easy that you could let the kids make it for you. They would even be great served alongside a scoop of raw vegan ice cream. The ingredients list is really short, consisting of:

  • 3 raw bananas
  • 1/2 cup cashews that are nice and dry; and
  • 2 tbsp of coconut crystals

On the blog there are detailed instructions, not to mention some great pictures as to how to assemble these impressively delicious treats that are going to be sure to please. The gist of it is that the bananas are cut into lengthwise pieces, that are halved, and then sprinkled with a crumbly mixture of the coconut crystals and cashews. Something this simple is exactly what you need when there are unexpected guests–Oh, and they are raw vegan as well!

Mmmm Cookie Dough Balls!

Over on the blog Averie Cooks, there resides a recipe that will please vegan, non vegans and raw foodists–even picky children.  There can’t possibly be a person on this earth who doesn’t love cookie dough. This cookie dough is a million times better, in taste and health wise. The ingredients for these tasty, no bake morsels are:

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

The ingredients list above is not truly raw, if that is a concern for you the actual post tells you how it can be adjusted to be a real raw recipe. Once you have all the ingredients the mixing can all be done mechanically with a high powered blender or food processor. Then all that is left to be done is roll it into balls–or just eat it with a spoon!

Lemon and Coconut–Oh my!

If you love light , melt in your mouth types of cookies, then this is the perfect recipe for you. To make these sweet treats from the blog Addicted to Veggies you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • 1 ½ cups dry shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 6 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon zest

The rest is simple, mix the wet, mix the dry, and then mix them both together. To finish the cookies there are a few options which are well detailed in the original post. You can choose to put them in a dehydrator, or chill them before serving. Whichever method you choose, they will both provide excellent results.

The three recipes above are great for the summer because they don’t involve cooking, but they are also good for the winter when comfort food abounds and the call to consume some, maybe, less than healthy foods beckons you. The saying guilt-free treats truly applies to these, and you should be able to master them whether you are a Nigella, or a kitchen newbie.

This article is a guest contribution by Georgia Webster. Georgia is a vegan who loves sharing the great recipes that she has found and enjoyed.

Easiest Ever Chocolate Mousse: Delicious, Guilt Free Recipe (Vegan, with Avocado)

Chocolate mousse is a great dessert that doesn’t take a long time to prepare (this version, literally takes less than 5 minutes). Plus it’s great for entertaining because 1) it looks pretty, 2) it’s delicious, and 3) you can make it ahead of time.

The recipe that I’m about to share with you has to be one of the easiest and most satisfying desserts around.

How to make the easiest ever chocolate mousse

This Creamy Chocolate Avocado Mousse is rich and decadent. Silky texture and deep chocolate flavor in every spoonful. And you won’t believe how easy it is to make, with just two base ingredients, plus a few optional to be added as you wish.

chocolate mousse recipe

Now, when most people think of avocado, a sweet desert will most likely be the last dish to spring to my mind.

So, if you are skeptical about putting avocados and chocolate together, it’s understandable. However, no worries! One spoonful and you will understand why many people rave about chocolate avocado mousse recipes.

When I made this recipe and dressed it up for the picture, my son wanted to try it immediately. After he did, he said: “You made this? You should be working in a restaurant!” :-).

delicious chocolate mousse dessert

As I said, avocado-based mousse is guilt-free because because it only contains healthy ingredients.

However, it doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free or fat-free, since avocados are quite high in calories and fat (I said guilt-free, not calorie-free ;-)).

Easiest Ever Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Easiest Ever Chocolate Mousse

Easiest Ever Chocolate Mousse


  • 1 large avocado (3/4 - 1 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup vegan hot cocoa mix (sweetened)
  • Optionally add:
  • a pinch of salt
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • You may keep it super simple and just serve the mousse as is. Or build a mousse parfait!
    Here are your optional ingredients:
  • dark chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
  • shredded coconut
  • pecans, walnuts, or other nuts, chopped or whole
  • freshly grated orange zest
  • cinnamon or nutmeg
  • sliced banana
  • sliced strawberries
  • whole blueberries or other berries
  • crushed vegan cookies or grahams
  • brown sugar
  • drizzle of agave or maple syrup
  • cashew cream, soy or coconut whip on top


  1. Mash up avocado with hot cocoa mix. Process in a food processor until smooth with a pinch of salt and a few drops of vanilla.
  2. Serve in pretty glass containers decorated with slices of banana, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, or whatever else you have in your pantry!

Chocolate mousse recipe

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Try it on Sunday, Monday, Thursday or Friday :-). (Or any other day, really). It’s completely up to you!

Healthy Vegan Fridays With Green Thickies

Now, there are people who insist that avocados have no place in the dessert; they claim that they can still taste it no matter how much chocolate and other ingredients they add, and that this is not acceptable. If that’s you, I have another version of chocolate mousse recipe, with another surprise ingredient….