Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding – Light, refreshing, and totally meal prep friendly, this yummy chia pudding is also vegan, paleo, and whole30 approved!
This post was created in partnership with Sprouts. All opinions are my own.
Hooray! Today is not only New Year’s Day, it’s also a Monday, which means it’s two fresh starts in one. Since many of you are starting healthy eating resolutions, I thought it’d be the perfect time to share an easy, healthy, meal prep recipe to get you started.
Meal prep can be easy and fast (see my best tips for Meal Prep in Minutes), and can make such a big difference in your day. If you’ve got just 1-2 things taken care of, whether that’s a batch of energy bites, something for breakfast, or simply a good salad dressing or dip for veggies, you’re much more likely to reach for those choices than to go scavenging in the pantry.
This yummy fruit on the bottom chia pudding is such a delicious alternative to oatmeal. I love that it’s light, fresh, feels a little special. Here’s what I love about it:
Chia pudding is PERFECT for meal prep. These beauties keep in little jars or containers for 4-5 days in the fridge, so you can make a double batch and have breakfast done for most of the week in a single go! What makes these chia pudding special is the fruit on the bottom treatment. Not only is it pretty (seriously, it’s just SO pretty), it’s also delicious and keeps things tasting fresh and interesting. You can choose from all sorts of options, from kiwi to berries to mango or peach and more, so you never have to get bored.
These are great in all kinds of weather, too, since the purees can be made from fresh or thawed frozen fruit. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy a bright taste of juicy strawberries with your breakfast in January, or cool off with a refreshing peach option in June. I love that you can make this recipe with either fresh or frozen fruit. This time of year, I LOVE using frozen berries or mangos/peaches from Sprouts. They’re unsweetened, and both the traditional and organic choices are so affordable!
The other reason I love them? They’re perfect for lots of different dietary needs. They’re gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo AND Whole30 approved. Naturally sweetened with orange juice, the fruit layer is such a nice complement to the creaminess of the chia layer. You can enjoy them as-is, or top them with nuts, granola, or more fresh fruit!
Notes on Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding:
Why fruit on the bottom? You can absolutely do the fruit puree on the top. I do it on the bottom to keep it as fresh and vibrant as possible. When cut fruit is exposed to air, it can brown (think a sliced avocado or bananas). It’s still 100% safe to eat, but it doesn’t look as nice. Since I use this for a meal prep and do several days’ worth at once, I put the fruit on the bottom so they keep a little better.
Whole30 Notes. This recipe is Whole30 compliant as written and a delicious option if you’re getting tired of eggs or sausage. The only things you need to watch for are making sure your milks don’t contain carrageenan. This post talks about lots of compliant almond milk brands to make things easier. If you feel like this isn’t quite sweet enough for you, feel free to add a tiny pinch of vanilla powder (ground vanilla beans) which is also compliant.
Sweetness. I’ve come a LONG way in the last few years with re-calibrating my sweet tooth and sweet tolerance. I love these exactly as written–no added sweetener, just a little splash of orange juice and the fruit in the puree do it for me. I really like using unsweetened vanilla almond milk. (The vanilla adds a sweet flavor without any extra sugar!)
That said, if you’re not doing a Whole30 and this just isn’t the right blend for you, feel free to add a few drops of vanilla extract, or a small drizzle of pure maple syrup, honey, or agave to either the chia pudding or the fruit puree as desired. My #1 rule in cooking is you do what tastes good to you!
Mix it Up. You can also alternate layers of fruit and chia mixtures or even mix and match. Why not try strawberry-chia-blueberry-chia? Or mango-chia-kiwi-chia? So good!
Storage and Shelf Life. Chia pudding will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge. The chia seeds will continue to absorb liquid over time, so it will get thicker as time goes on. Feel free to loosen things up with a tiny splash of milk if needed!
Looking for More? You Might Like…
- Paleo Mini Quiche (Paleo & Whole30 approved)
- 5 Fresh Smoothie Bowls to Make Right Now (GF, Vegan, Paleo)
- 7 Ways with Overnight Oats (GF, Vegan)
- Blender Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes (GF, Dairy Free)
PS – Don’t forget to check out your local sale flyer at Sprouts for deals on fruit, chia seeds, milks, and more!
Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding
These easy make-ahead chia puddings are a perfect meal-prep breakfast or breakfast on the go! Make a double batch and have breakfast ready for 4 days!
For the Chia Pudding
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (regular or vanilla)
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder (optional)
- pinch salt (optional)
For the Fruit Layer
- 2/3 cup strawberries* (fresh or frozen)
- 3-4 Tbsp orange juice
For the chia pudding:
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond milk, coconut milk, chia seeds, and vanilla and salt (if using). Whisk until seeds are well distributed. Set aside while you make fruit layer:
For the fruit layer:
Blend or mash together fruit and orange juice. (I like using an immersion blender for this)
Spoon fruit mixture into 2 (6-8oz+ capacity) jars.
Give the chia mixture one last mix, then gently scoop over the fruit layer. Cover and refrigerate a few hours, or overnight. Chia puddings will keep fresh for about 4 days.
*You can use almost ANY fruit you like here--blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, kiwi, mango, peach, etc. It all works! Depending on the kind of fruit and juice you use, you *may* find you prefer to add a little bit of honey or pure maple syrup to your fruit mixture if it tastes a little tart. It's up to you!
**Similarly, if you have allergies, you can sub in cashew, soy, or dairy milk into this recipe. I like the combination of almond and coconut because it gives plenty of creaminess without tasting too strong. Use what you like and what works for you!
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 285kcal Calories from fat 194|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 22g||34%|
|Saturated Fat 12g||60%|
|Dietary Fiber 11g||44%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g|