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Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding (Vegan, Paleo & Whole30!)

Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding – Light, refreshing, and totally meal prep friendly, this yummy chia pudding is also vegan, paleo, and whole30 approved!

Paleo, Whole30 & Vegan Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life

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:

Strawberry Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life

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!

Paleo, Whole30 & Vegan Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life Blueberry Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life

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, Whole30 & Vegan Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life

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Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life

Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding (Paleo, Vegan, Whole30!)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 15 minutes hands-on
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale

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)
  • 34 Tbsp orange juice

Instructions

For the chia pudding:

  1. 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:

  1. Blend or mash together fruit and orange juice. (I like using an immersion blender for this)

Assemble:

  1. Spoon fruit mixture into 2 (6-8oz+ capacity) jars.
  2. Give the chia mixture one last mix, then gently scoop over the fruit layer.
  3. Cover and refrigerate a few hours, or overnight.
  4. Chia puddings will keep fresh for about 4 days.

Notes

*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!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (+2 hours to chill)
  • Category: Breakfast, Meal Prep
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Calories: 285kcal
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding, Chia Pudding Recipe, Whole30 Chia Pudding

Paleo, Whole30 & Vegan Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely LifePaleo, Whole30 & Vegan Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life Paleo, Whole30 & Vegan Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding from One Lovely Life

16 Comments

  1. I’m excited to try this one out! Have you ever tried substituting the OJ for other fruit juices? I am allergic to citrus and am hoping Apple juice would work. Looks like a fun treat!

  2. Ok.. Did I do something wrong? The coconut/chia mixture was very thin. I used light coconut milk in the can. When I added it on top of fruit it didnt layer. This looks so good I wanted to love it.

    1. Nikki – I’d love to help! Did they set up more in the fridge? How long after you mixed up the chia mixture did you pour it over the fruit layer?

      Using lighter milks will make the chia mixture thinner, but sometimes this can be offset by waiting a little bit longer before pouring the chia mixture over the fruit layer (since it thickens as it sits).

      If you don’t want to use full-fat coconut milk and you want to get nice, crisp layers, you can try pouring holding a spoon over the fruit layer and pouring the chia mixture over the spoon, which will slow it down and give it a chance to spread out a bit instead of sinking down.

      I hope those tips help! I’m happy to trouble shoot more if you’d like!

  3. Is the chilling of the coconut milk what makes this thicken? I am allergic to coconut, so I would need to substitute something, but I’m guessing that it what is making that later set up.

    1. Kristie – Coconut milk will make for the thickest pudding, but the real thickening is because of the chia seeds. They continue to absorb liquid and expand, which thickens the pudding over time. Coconut milk has a higher fat content, so it will create the naturally thickest chia pudding (and the best layers), but other milks DO work. I’ve done it with all almond milk, etc. It’s slightly thinner (so I try to be more careful when layering), but it will also thicken up overnight. Hope that helps!

    1. Dianne – a lot of people put chia seeds into their yogurt. I usually like to mix it up about half milk/half yogurt if I do it that way so that it’s not SUPER thick, but it’s a matter of preference. I’d love to know what you think if you try it with yogurt!

  4. So good and easy to make. Thank you! This recipe will be on regular rotation in my household 🙂

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