Chia seeds have the capacity to absorb ten times their weight in liquid, while creating a gel-like texture. This chia seed–liquid combo can be used as a substitute for eggs but here I use them to make a no-cook vegan pudding.
Leave the seeds whole, and your pudding will have a delightful, slightly bumpy texture, like a thick bubble tea; it also looks fantastic — serve it in glass bowl or small Mason or Ball jar if you can. If you prefer a velvety texture, whir the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Use this recipe as a template, changing the liquid or combination of liquids to whatever you prefer; just keep the ratio of 2 cups liquid to 1/3 cup chia seeds. Chia seeds are forgiving, so if you find that your pudding is thicker than you like, add more liquid and stir; the pudding won’t break. Use any kind of nondairy liquid you like.
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
1. Put the coconut milk, pineapple juice, and chia seeds in a medium bowl or blender. Whisk to combine or process until smooth, depending on the final texture you prefer. If blending, transfer to a bowl. If leaving the seeds whole, stir the mixture after 30 minutes, as the seeds can drop to the bottom of the bowl before the gelling action starts to take effect. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Spoon the pudding into individual bowls and top each with the pineapple, then sprinkle with the coconut and serve. Best enjoyed within a day or two of making it.