It’s Pumpkin Season

Pumpkin Pie Spice Chia Pudding

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Tis the season for pumpkin – and for those who crave it, pumpkin pie spice.   

When I’m tempted by a syrupy, pumpkin spice latte, I stir up a batch of this Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding. I get my pumpkin spice fix and a nutrient boost. Pumpkin spice not your jam? Try Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding. It’s not quite a chocolate peanut-butter cup, but it might satisfy your craving, and power up your day.

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Chia pudding is a snap to make – under 5 minutes, plus 2 hours of chilling and gelling time. (Make it in the evening and enjoy the following day.)  

Chia seeds, grown in Mexico, Central and South America, have a superfood status that goes back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. This reputation is well deserved considering the concentration of nutrients packed into these little seeds.

Chia seeds are rich in quality protein, with all essential amino acids and dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber. They’re a top source of the plant-based omega-3 fat, alpha linolenic acid, with even more than flaxseeds. You also bank calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and other essential nutrients, plus antioxidants which protect health. Eating chia seeds may benefit cardiovascular health, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood pressure and help with satiety and stabilizing blood sugars, however more research is needed.

Nutrients in 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) chia seeds (4): 140 calories, 5 g protein, 10 g dietary fiber (36% Daily Value), 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 10 g dietary fiber (36% Daily Value), 0 g sugar.  

Unlike flaxseeds, you don’t need to grind chia seeds to absorb their nutrients. When mixed with liquid they form a gel which  can be used as a thickener (as in pudding) or as an egg or pectin substitute. You’ll also seem them sprinkled onto foods and tucked into baked goods and other recipes.  

Say goodbye to boxed pudding and hello to chia pudding for a nutrient-packed snack, or breakfast with staying power.

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

Serves 2

1 cup fat-free or lowfat dairy milk or plant-based milk such as soy

¼ cup chia seeds

6 tablespoons pure unsweetened pumpkin

2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or molasses

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt


½ cup unflavored Greek yogurt

2 tablespoon toasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or granola

½ apple, sliced or diced

Pinch or pumpkin pie spice or chopped crystallized ginger

  1. In a bowl, combine milk or plant milk, chia seed, pumpkin, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to blend well.
  2. Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  3. To serve, top with yogurt, nuts, apple and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice.

Nutrients per serving with lowfat milk and toppings: 370 calories, 14 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams (46% DV) dietary fiber, 16 grams protein, 220 mg sodium, 32 g sugar, 6% DV vitamin D, 30% DV calcium, 6% DV iron and 8% DV potassium.

Chocolate-Peanut Chia Pudding

Serves 2

¼ cup chia seeds

¼ cup peanut butter powder

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, more to taste

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups fat-free or lowfat dairy milk or plant-based milk such as soy

Toppings (optional):

Chopped peanuts

Sliced banana


Cocoa nibs or chopped dark chocolate  

  1. In a bowl, combine chia, peanut powder, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in milk. Taste and adjust ingredients to your taste.
  • Cover and chill for 2 hours or up to overnight. 
  • Serve with toppings, if desired.

Nutrients per serving with soy milk (without toppings): 312 calories, 12 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 14 grams (50% DV) dietary fiber, 15 grams protein, 300 mg sodium, 21 g sugar, 10% DV vitamin D, 30% DV calcium, 15% DV iron and 6% DV potassium.


  1. Chia Seeds. The Nutrition Source. Accessed October 28, 2021.
  2. Chia Seeds  – Tiny Seeds with Rich History. Kerry Neville Food and Nutrition Magazine. December 28, 2013.
  3. The Truth About Chia. Can chia seeds really help you lose weight? By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD. Accessed October 28, 2021.
  4. The Food Processor, ESHA Research. 11.9.13
  5. What Are Chia Seeds? Sarah Klemm, RDN, CD, LDN. January 25, 202.

© Lorelle Del Matto 2021

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.


  1. […] about the goodness in chia seeds and check out my Pumpkin and Chocolate Chia Puddings […]

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