Kefir Chia Pudding

kefir chia pudding

Kefir chia pudding is a gut health powerhouse as it combines two of the most foundational foods that fuel protective bacteria in the microbiome: probiotics and prebiotics. It’s delicious as a snack or can be eaten on-the-go for breakfast.

When you’re short on time but want something to eat that will keep you full and satisfied for hours, kefir chia pudding is the way to go. It’s balanced with fiber and healthy fats from chia seeds and the kefir contains protein and probiotics that support your gut health. 

If you struggle to find healthy snacks you enjoy or you find it difficult to eat breakfast every morning, this kefir chia pudding might be your new best friend.

Kefir and chia seeds: the stars of this pudding

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that has been consumed for centuries, particularly in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. It is made by fermenting milk with kefir grains, which are a combination of bacteria and yeast. 

Chia seeds are small, nutrient-dense seeds that come from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala. These seeds have been consumed for centuries and were an essential part of the Aztec and Mayan diets.

Why you’ll love this kefir chia pudding

  • It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare
  • It’s an easy meal prep option for snacks or breakfast
  • You can customize it so you never tire of the recipe
  • It’s healthy and delicious!

What makes kefir chia pudding a healthy meal or snack:

Kefir contains probiotics

Probiotic foods like kefir populate your microbiome with the protective bacteria they contain. Probiotic foods help maintain an environment in the gut that supports the good bacteria, rather than the inflammatory bacteria. 

Additionally, probiotic foods strengthen the gut lining which helps keep toxins, allergens, and toxins from crossing from the gut into the bloodstream. 

Kefir is one of many probiotic foods that should be included as part of a well-rounded diet that supports gut health. For a list of other probiotic foods and how to use them, check out this article on non-dairy probiotic foods.

Finally, although kefir is usually made from cow’s milk, many non-dairy options exist as well. However, most people can tolerate traditional kefir because the probiotics it contains have digested the lactose for you making it almost completely lactose-free!

Chia seeds are a great source of fiber

90% of Americans fail to meet their daily fiber requirements. One serving of this kefir chia pudding contains 10 grams of fiber. That’s 40% of women’s daily fiber needs and 25% of men’s daily fiber needs. To learn more about fiber, read this article. 

The high fiber content in chia seeds improves gut health by promoting regular, well-formed bowel movements, preventing constipation, and supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Also, fiber is an important nutrient that is often overlooked. Its benefits go far beyond gut health. Fiber increases satiety (meaning you stay fuller, longer) which can reduce overeating and support weight loss efforts. It slows down stomach emptying which supports more balanced, regulated blood sugar levels. 

Kefir and chia have protein

Both chia seeds and kefir contain protein to help keep you full until your next meal. One serving of this pudding includes around 7 grams of protein making it an excellent snack to help you meet your total protein needs over the day. 

Kefir chia pudding is anti-inflammatory

The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and improve heart health. Consuming foods rich in omega-3s is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Tips to make the best kefir chia pudding

  • Double or triple the recipe so you have snacks on hand for your busy week. This recipe lasts about 5 days in the fridge.
  • Use glass jars so you can make sure the chia seeds aren’t clumping. Glass jars allow you to see if you need to give the pudding a final stir before storing in the fridge.
  • Play around with the ratio of milk to chia seeds. Add slightly more milk if the pudding seems too thick. 
  • Store your chia seeds in the freezer. Chia seeds contain fats that can go rancid if they sit on pantry shelves for too long. They are shelf stable but this can extend their shelf life.
  • Choose plain, unsweetened kefir whenever possible to avoid added sugars. This lets you be in charge of how sweet to make your pudding. 

Substitutions and Swaps

  • Use your favorite milk of choice. Soy and dairy-based milk will include more protein than rice, almond, or oat milk but the ratio will be the same regardless
  • Sweeten things up with syrup, honey, agave, or any other sweetener you like. Sweetening this recipe is optional. If you top the kefir chia pudding with fruit, you might not even need to add the sweetener at all. 
  • Mix in your favorite additions. Fruit compote, granola, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, chocolate chips, pomegranate seeds, shredded coconut, or nut butter would all make excellent additions to this recipe. Adding these will boost the nutrient profile of the pudding making it a great breakfast option that will keep you full for hours. 

Kefir Chia Pudding Recipe

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Kefir
  • 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Maple syrup to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Pour kefir into a reusable glass jar or container with a lid
  2. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, and sweetener if using.
  3. Whisk or stir until chia seeds do not clump.
  4. Wait 5 minutes then stir again.
  5. Allow to set in the fridge for a least an hour or overnight.
  6. When you’re ready to eat it, add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

How else can I use the kefir chia pudding base?

  • Mix into your oatmeal. Add creamy texture to your bowl of morning oats by stirring in some kefir chia pudding.  
  • Add to a smoothie. Scoop a serving of the pudding into a smoothie and blend up with fruit, protein, powder, and additional liquid for a balanced breakfast. 

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