Not only are these unicorn chia puddings a cinch to make, they are also refined sugar free, healthy and oh so pretty. You can make them with the kids on a cool Sunday morning, right at the start of their school holidays – while everyone’s still tired and cranky. The perfect fun and relaxing activity, truly. Bonus – this is no play-doh, people, when you’re finished, you can eat it all up!
Unicorn chia puddings – healthy snacks or breakfast
We have eaten these both ways – and both are great. Once you layer them, they are good to be eaten immediately, or you can store them in the fridge for a day or two. I even ate one of these poured over the top of my healthy cookie granola one morning and it was all kinds of delicious. Just imagine those crunchy spice-coated maple-sweetened granola chunks with this gorgeous yoghurty chia pudding over the top, swirling with unicorn colours. Got that image in your mind? Add some fresh fruit on the top and you really have something there.
And don’t be fooled by the good looks because, you see, all the ingredients in these unicorn chia puddings are good for you.
Chia seeds are a veritable nutritional powerhouse. I might say this about a few ingredients but I am definitely right about this one. Just consider this – a single ounce (28 grams or about two tablespoons) serving of chia seeds contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of protein
- 9 grams of fat (5 grams of which are omega-3s)
- 18% of the RDI of calcium
- 30% of the RDI of manganese
- 30% of the RDI of magnesium
- 27% of the RDI of phosphorus
- a decent amount of zinc, vitamins B1, B2 and B3 and potassium.
Plant based milk and yoghurt
The chia seeds get mixed with plant-based milk (I use almond or macadamia milk but any type is fine, and even cow milk should work) and a bit of maple syrup and placed in the fridge for at least 15 minutes so that the whole mixture thickens up nicely and becomes chia pudding.
Chia pudding then gets layered with some natural/unsweetened plant-based yogurt (I like Nakula probiotic as well as the Wise Bunny range but you can also use coconut yoghurt or even plain Greek yoghurt if you prefer) which you can sweeten with a bit of maple syrup if you like.
The yoghurt then gets divided into thirds and coloured with natural colourings. And this is where the fun begins!
As you can see below, we went with pink, blue and green – the perfect unicorn colours!
- the pink colour is achieved by mixing a bit of beetroot powder into the yoghurt;
- for the blue colour, you mix a bit of blue spirulina/freeze dried blueberry powder into your yoghurt; and
- to get that beautiful green colour, you mix your yoghurt with a bit of green spirulina powder.
That’s it! Then start layering. You need to make sure that your chia pudding mixture is firm enough to be able to achieve layers. That said, my middle layer always kind of sinks in and gets absorbed in all that chia. If that happens to you, don’t despair! What you have there is a surprise unicorn chia pudding – the third colour will become visible once you dip your spoon into it – just like in the photos above. It’s all good!
Unicorn chia puddings [refined sugar, dairy, nut and gluten free]
Chia pudding layer
- 1/3 cup chia seeds (black or white, or a mixture of both)
- 1 1/3 cup (330 ml) plant based (almond, macadamia, coconut or any other) or cow milk
- dash (1/2 tsp) vanilla paste or extract
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cup (420 ml) plant based (coconut or other) or Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp blue spirulina/freeze dried blueberry powder
- 1/2 tsp beetroot powder
- 1/4 tsp green spirulina powder
- diced or cut out fruit (watermelon, berries, kiwi), to decorate
Chia pudding layer
- Whisk the chia pudding ingredients in a small bowl for about 2 minutes or until the chia seeds have been properly dispersed through the milk. Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
- Mix the yoghurt with the maple syrup (if using) until well incorporated. If you're not using maple syrup, skip this step.
- Separate the yoghurt mixture (or yoghurt, if not using maple syrup) into three small bowls.
- Mix each of the three powders into one bowl of yoghurt (mixture). So you will have one pink (with beetroot powder), one blue (with blue spirulina/blueberry) and one green (with green spirulina).
Layering the puddings
- Using four small glasses, layer each of the puddings as follows: (i) blue yoghurt; (ii) half of the chia pudding mixture; (iii) pink yoghurt; (iv) the second half of the chia pudding; and (v) green yoghurt on top.
- If using, top with fruit.
- Eat immediately or store in the fridge for 1-2 days (but the yoghurts will be better and fresher the sooner you eat them.)
This recipe makes 4 small puddings. They may be small in volume but they are pretty filling with all those chia seeds. Perfect for the grown ups and kids alike.
You don’t need to follow the colours exactly, or the order I have layered the puddings in – they are just suggestions. Feel free to use what you have at home or what you can find online. Have a go at different combinations – the options are endless.
While you’re at it, how about some different toppings? Coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, linseeds, pine nuts, chocolate shavings, or maybe just extra yoghurt.
This recipe is based on a Unicorn chia parfaits recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook #Veganlife (which is awesome!).