Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Chia Pudding Bowl

Dairy-Free, Tree Nut-Free Chia Pudding Bowl

Anyone else love food?  Food that tastes good and feels good?  This creamy & dreamy chia pudding bowl is just that, and you can build it to fit your tastes and health choices!  If you can eat tree nuts (I can’t), you can sub the coconut milk for almond milk, or use granola that has nuts, or just add nuts to the layers.  The sky is the limit (kind of).  This bowl suits us because we are dairy-free (my husband) and nut-free (me). Note: peanuts are a legume, so I do use peanuts in this.

This deliciousness can also be a great fit for your lifestyle.  If you’re an on-the-go person, pour a little pudding in small containers so they’re ready for you on your way out the door.  You can layer on some sliced bananas and sprinkle some granola on it, and bam!  You’re on your way.  You can eat it in the car (is that illegal?), when you get to work, or stick it in the fridge as a snack later.

If you have kids, this can be like a build-a-bear or a yogurt place.  Let them pick the toppings and layer it on top of the chia pudding themselves.  This would be a wonderful replacement for build-your-own sundaes.  The texture of chia pudding is different; I’m not gonna lie.  It kind of reminds me of those Korean bubble teas – but those have taken off, at least around Atlanta.  If that worries you, let it be known that my husband will eat chia pudding, and he does not like Korean bubble teas.  So there’s that.

The idea for a homemade Chia Pudding Bowl came from my obsession with Acai Bowls and my visit to this adorable place in none-other-than Lexington Kentucky.  We stumbled upon it when we were in town watching my also adorable step-son play in a tennis tournament there.  This place introduced us to coconut wraps as a replacement for pita, bread, or regular wraps.  We ate there three times in one weekend.  I’m not even lying.

Anyway, one of the times we ate there, I noticed they had pre-packed chia bowls in their fridge.  For $5, you could add two toppings.  I chose bananas and strawberries.  It was de-lightful!  Why had I forgotten how much I loved chia pudding when we’ve made it?!  It reminded me that I am perfectly capable of making this super easy and super nutritious dish at home.

Fast forward to the past couple of weeks when my husband and I went back on clean-eating again (or mostly clean-eating is our motto), and I asked D to whip up some chia pudding.  Side note: a couple of months ago, he liked it so much that I conned him into making it.  This is perhaps the greatest evidence of how awesome and easy this is to make – if this was even remotely difficult, he would not do it.  All that to say – this is EASY to make!

He made my version which stemmed from one I found on another great blog.  (Months ago when I first made it, I found a recipe at the Minimalist Baker – Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding, and then I made some modifications to fit our dietary needs.  My version is listed on this post.  This is what we now make all of the time.)

To add to the simplicity of 4 ingredients, it is also super easy to put all the ingredients in this old, cleaned-out glass jar, shake it, and then chill it.  It’s easy, looks cute, and fits the amount of pudding we make.  Done in 3 steps!!!

Shaken, Not Stirred in 3 Steps


Back to the chia pudding bowl I made –  after letting the chia pudding form (overnight), I was ready to build my bowl with my super foods.  I started with the amount of pudding I wanted on the bottom, added the granola, added chopped strawberries and bananas, cacao nibs, and I threw in a dollop of peanut butter.  If I eat it as a dessert, I usually make a smaller version and drizzle some honey on it too.  Because I’m not opposed to honey.

You can eat this for breakfast (take out the cacao if you want), a snack, a hefty dinner/dessert, or even a dessert at night.  Swap out the fruit.  Use whatever granola strikes your fancy.  Add goji berries, which seem to be climbing in trend.  Remember – this should fit YOU!

Hope that you LOVE yourself with this Chia Pudding bowl – food that tastes good and feels good!  Enjoy!

Dairy-Free, Tree Nut-Free Chia Pudding Bowl

 Prep Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 15 minutes


Chia Pudding

1 ½ cups of coconut milk

1/3 cup of chia seeds

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

½ tsp of vanilla


Sliced Bananas

Sliced Strawberries

1-2 tablespoons of Cacao Nibs

1/3 cup granola

1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Other Topping suggestions: coconut flakes, blueberries, honey, etc.



Chia Pudding

  1. Add all chia pudding ingredients to a Mason jar or old spaghetti jar. (Adjust sweeteners to fit your taste.)
  2. Shake until you see all the seeds distributed evenly in the jar. It will be in liquid form just like you would make a box-made, dairy pudding.
  3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Sometimes I’ll shake it again after a couple of hours to redistribute the chia seeds.  It should remain good for 4-5 days.

Chia Pudding Bowl 

  1. Layer beginning with chia pudding at the bottom, adding the dry ingredients on top, then the fruit, and if you’re adding honey or peanut butter, drizzle that at the very end.
  2. Enjoy!
Dairy-Free, Tree Nut-Free Chia Pudding Bowl

*Adapted from The Minimalist Baker

*Total Time does not include the chill time