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:
WHAT MAKES THIS FRUIT-ON-THE-BOTTOM CHIA PUDDING SO GREAT:
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. You can make fruit on the bottom chia pudding all year round, 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. 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!
THEY’RE PERFECT FOR LOTS OF DIFFERENT DIETARY NEEDS. The other reason I love them? They’re gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo AND Whole30 approved. Naturally sweetened with orange juice, the fruit layer has no added sugar, and it’s 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!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR FRUIT ON THE BOTTOM CHIA PUDDING:
DO YOU HAVE TO PUT THE FRUIT ON THE BOTTOM? You can absolutely do the fruit puree on top of the chia layer. 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. My fruit on the bottom chia pudding 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.
GET THE SWEETNESS JUST RIGHT. 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!
HOW LONG DOES CHIA PUDDING STAY FRESH? 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 YUMMY OPTIONS? 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)