We know navigating the holiday dessert table can be a challenge if you’re trying to stay healthy. Fortunately, you can enjoy this chocolate chia seed pudding with less guilt—and without sacrificing taste!

This treat is decadent and packs some great nutritional value, too. With just six simple ingredients, you’ll have plenty of time to whip up this dessert and enjoy your holiday festivities.

The secret is in the superfoods: chia seeds and cacao powder. 

Benefits of chia seeds: These nutrient-dense seeds are tiny (about the size of a poppy seed) but big in nutritional value. Chia seeds provide a healthy dose of protein, essential fatty acids, calcium, and zinc. Because our bodies cannot produce the required amount of essential fatty acids, including chia seeds in your diet can help boost your intake of omega-3 for improved cardiovascular health and omega-6 for bone and brain health. Rich with fiber, one tablespoon of chia seeds supplies about one-fifth of your recommended daily intake.

Other ways to incorporate them into your diet: Chia seeds are extremely versatile. Sprinkle them onto salads, add them into baked goods or homemade protein bars, toss a spoonful into a fruit smoothie, or blend them into jams.

Benefits of cacao powder: Packed with antioxidants, iron, potassium, magnesium, and fiber, raw cacao powder aids in supporting brain and cardiovascular health while delivering a rich chocolate flavor. An important difference between cocoa powder and its healthier counterpart, pure cacao powder, is the amount of processing the beans from the cacao tree undergo post-harvest. Unfortunately, when the cacao bean is highly processed with added sugars and preservatives, it becomes cocoa powder and lacks nutrients.

Other ways to incorporate cacao powder into your diet: Raw cacao powder will certainly take your chocolate brownies to the next level. Easily integrate this superfood into your meals by mixing cacao into a smoothie or adding it to a hearty bowl of oatmeal. Cacao powder can also be used in savory dishes such as stews or mole sauce.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 4


1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup chia seeds


Step 1: In a medium-size mixing bowl, add cacao powder, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Step 2: Slowly add almond milk, continue whisking until smooth.

Step 3: Add chia seeds, whisk to combine.

Step 4: Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours (overnight is preferable) until the chia seeds absorb the almond milk, creating a pudding-like consistency.

Step 5: Serve chilled. Add preferred toppings such as fresh berries or shredded coconut.

Tips: Sift cacao powder to eliminate clumping. After 30 minutes in the refrigerator, whisk pudding to distribute chia seeds evenly.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan