Types of milk
- Cashew milk - makes it light and creamy. You can click the link to the left to get my full recipe but the basic idea is to blend 1/4 cup raw cashews with 1 cup of water in a Vitamix * or other high-speed blender. I especially don't soak my cashews when making the milk for pudding since I know it is going to sit overnight anyway. This is my personal favorite milk for pudding for both taste and ease of use.
- Coconut milk - Refrigerated coconut milk * works the best but the brand I use needs 4 Tbsp of chia seeds * instead of 3 Tbsps to get properly thick. My children like the taste of refrigerated coconut milk * slightly better than the cashew milk. I haven't had good luck myself with canned coconut milk *. If you make it full strength, it is hard as a rock (like you can hold it upside down and it doesn't come out) and if you mix half milk, half water the consistency is more or less correct but it just wasn't right. The whole thing has kind of a gray color, the chia seeds * didn't fully absorb and I didn't think it tasted all that great. A good combo is about 1/4 canned coconut milk * and 3/4 cashew milk. You kind of get the best of both worlds.
- Almond milk - makes it light and creamy. I don't generally use almond milk myself though because the stuff from the store has added ingredients I don't want to eat and cashew milk is a lot easier to make.
- Dairy milk - regular dairy milk doesn't work super great for pudding with chia seeds *. I don't understand why, but the chia seeds * don't seem to soak up the milk as well and it makes it really runny, especially at first. If you let it sit overnight it is thicker but still not thick enough and it really doesn't taste right at all.
How long should I soak my chia seeds?
Amazingly, the seeds set quite well in only 15 minutes with cashew milk. However, I really prefer to soak them overnight because it is faster in the morning, but more importantly, it tastes better. I don't really like this warm, plus the seeds absorb a bit more over time and have time to soak in the flavor. You could help the temperature of the pudding by doing part of the cashew milk water as ice cubes though and eat it in 15 minutes if you want.
Here are some common sugar substitutes and the amount approximately equal to 1 Tbsp sugar. Pick the one that works the best with your diet and taste preferences. You may always use a little more or a little less than the listed amount to suit your taste preferences. (I personally almost always use maple syrup * because it is easy to use, I tolerate it well and I love the flavor. )
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup * (Paleo, Vegan)
- 1 scant Tbsp honey (Paleo)
- 6 drops liquid monk fruit (Keto, Paleo, Vegan)
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar * (Paleo, Vegan
- 6 drops liquid stevia * (Keto, Vegan)
- 1 Tbsp date sugar (Paleo, Vegan)
- 4 Dates (Paleo, Vegan)