Chia Pudding with Fresh Coconut

With nourishing chia seeds and fresh young coconut, you can make a delicious, fiber-filled chia pudding, a perfect breakfast for mornings on the go.

6 persons
Cooks In
1 hour

1 young coconut

¾ cup chia seeds

3 tsp vanilla extract

2-2 ½ cups milk of choice

½ cup strawberries

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp maple syrup

Optional toppings: coconut flakes, chocolate chips, chopped strawberries

  1. To cut the coconut, you’ll need a large kitchen knife or cleaver. Your coconut should have a flat bottom and a pointy top; you’ll need to shave the white outer husk off the top of the coconut in order to cut a “lid” from the hard inner shell. Hold the coconut firmly on its side and carefully shave the white upper husk off the top area in small chunks. Use short strokes and rotate the coconut as you go, shaving until you reveal the hard inner shell. Next, sit the coconut on its flat bottom surface and grasp it on the side with one hand. Carefully but firmly tap the butt of the knife against the hard shell, continuing until you break through to the inside of the coconut. Careful, you might get splashed by the fresh coconut water inside! Continue making small cuts in a semicircle to form the lid. At this point you should be able to pry it open, revealing the coconut water and meat inside. If you need a visual for this step, try following this video
  2. Pour the fresh coconut water into a blender or food processor. Sneak a little sip and picture yourself on a tropical beach, because you deserve it. Scrape out the fresh coconut meat with a spoon and add to the blender. Add the three tsp of vanilla extract and one tbsp maple syrup and pulse this mixture until smooth. Pour in milk of choice until you have 3 total cups of liquid and blend; depending on how much water your coconut came with, you’ll need between 2 and 2 ½ cups. Now you have the vanilla flavor, which also serves as the base for the strawberry and chocolate versions. 
  3. To make the other two flavors, pour out 2 cups of the mixture, dividing it into two separate containers (I use mason jars); you should have 1 cup remaining in the blender. Add ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries to the blender and pulse until smooth. Pour this mixture into its own jar. Rinse the blender. Pour in one of the cups you set aside earlier and add the cocoa powder. Pulse until smooth and return to its jar. 
  4. Add the chia seeds: mix 4 tbsp chia seeds into each flavor base, stirring until well combined. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the seeds to gel, then stir again to break up any chunks. Divide each flavor into two jars so you have 6 total servings. 
  5. Add desired toppings, seal the jars, and store them in the fridge for easy on-the-go breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before eating. 

About This Recipe

There comes a time in life when we must accept that, despite our best intentions, some weekday mornings will be too hectic for a sit-down breakfast. You know the type: those days when you’ve slept through your third alarm and have to rush out the door to work disheveled and hungry, having had no time to even pour a bowl of cereal. Luckily, this recipe for overnight chia pudding made with juicy young coconut is here to save you from your rumbling belly and the dreaded 11 a.m. slump. In fact, this recipe makes 6 portable, single servings in three different flavors, so you’re covered all week long with nourishing and vibrant first meals.

Chia seed is one of my favorite ingredients of all time. I grew up in the 90s, so until they underwent a renaissance in 2014 as a health food staple, chia seeds were known to me as one half of a bewitching time lapse equation. When I was little, all you needed were some chia seeds, water, and a perforated kitten figurine, and you had yourself four to six weeks of slow-release magic known as the Chia Pet. These made for a fun introduction to horticulture, though my struggling houseplants will tell you my green thumb never really progressed. There was a certain poetry to the simplicity of a Chia Pet; with just two ingredients and minimal effort, you could enjoy a wholesome and delightful creation. So you can imagine the thrill I felt upon learning that, coincidentally, chia seeds also make a delicious two-ingredient breakfast food. 

Truly, all you need to make tasty chia pudding are two things: chia seeds and a liquid in a 1:4 ratio. When stirred into water or milk, the soluble fiber in chia seeds forms a gel that allows the mixture to take on a thick, creamy viscosity similar to tapioca pudding. This is just one amazing characteristic of chia seeds, of which there are many. Did you know that these tiny powerhouses are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid, a nutrient that’s super important for long term heart health? They’re also loaded with crucial vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, and zinc. Up close, they look like dinosaur eggs. And the list goes on.

Young coconut, also known as green coconut, makes a wonderful addition in chia pudding. Thanks to the natural sugars in fresh coconut water, you don’t need to add any sweetener, though you can if you prefer it. The meat from a young coconut is moist and creamy, and when you blend it with coconut water, presto: fresh coconut milk. Coconut milk on its own has a delicate, naturally sweet flavor, and serves as a neutral base for fancier flavor combinations like strawberry or double chocolate, as in this recipe. 

Some people don’t care for the bouncy, chewy texture of chia pudding; if you know you’re not a fan of bubble tea, you might want to use ground chia seeds or try adding whole chia seeds during the blender step to get a smoother finish (don’t worry, it’ll still form a gel). You can store chia pudding in the fridge for up to five days and up to a month in the freezer. I find that freezing a pudding made with ground seeds has a nice froyo-like consistency, perfect for warm summer mornings. Since this bulk recipe makes enough pudding to last a week, you can mix it up with different fruit add-ins, like pineapple or mango, and toppings such as chopped nuts, fresh berries, or peanut butter.