Chia pudding is my Platonic ideal of a packed breakfast. It’s high in protein, omega-3s, and fiber. I can prepare a batch on Sunday for the rest of the week. All I need are two ingredients—milk and chia seeds. And I can switch up any add-ins (like matcha powder and maple syrup) and toppings (like nut butter and granola) depending on my mood.
But as we get into the colder months of constantly reapplying hand cream and wearing too many layers to count, I find myself craving a cozy breakfast. It turns out chia pudding is great warm too. On a whim, I tried heating it on the stove and in the microwave, and I was delighted by both. It’s comforting like porridge or oatmeal, with a chewy texture reminiscent of tapioca pudding. The heat also quickens up the thickening, which in the fridge would take hours. Now I can eat my gorgeous, nourishing bowl of mush on a moment’s notice and year-round, even when it’s snowing and my radiator is malfunctioning.
Here’s how to make warm chia pudding
Combine 1 cup milk (could be dairy or non-dairy—I use almond) with ¼ cup chia seeds in a storage container or bowl. If you’re prepping this for the week, feel free to double, triple, or quadruple; it’ll stay good in the fridge for up to five days.
The add-ins are your chance to choose your own adventure: Add a dash of vanilla extract or ground cinnamon, a splash of maple syrup or honey, a sprinkle of cacao nibs for crunch, a spoonful of matcha or cocoa powder, or a scoop of protein powder (my go-tos are Form and this Anima Mundi one for a chocolatey kick).
Navitas Organics Chia Seeds
If you’re making a single portion to eat right now: Combine the milk and chia seeds in a small pot on the stove over medium and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2–4 minutes, stirring constantly until the pudding is as thick as you like. Once the spoon starts leaving a trail in the pan, feel free to toss in frozen berries or banana slices to warm with the pudding.
If you’re prepping ahead and will warm up a portion later: Combine the milk and chia seeds in a large container or jar and stir (or shake with a lid screwed tightly on). Pop the container in the fridge. You’ll want to come back to the jar and stir the mixture a few times during the first hour so that the chia seeds don’t gather at the bottom or form clumps. If you find the pudding is getting too thick, you can add more milk; if it’s too loose, add more chia seeds.
To warm it up on the stovetop, place a portion of chia pudding in a small pot over medium-low and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it’s sticking or too thick, just add some milk. If you’d prefer to microwave instead, place in a heat-safe bowl and heat for 60 seconds, then stir and taste. If needed, continue to microwave in 30-second increments until it’s as hot as you like.
From there, eat solo or top with chopped nuts, nut butter, fruit, granola, or yogurt or cottage cheese. It’s fun to layer it as a parfait like this. Even if you’re that person who gets iced coffee even in the depths of winter, this warm breakfast is worth a try.