(With cinnamon cream cheese!!)
You can eat chia seeds sprinkled on top of foods such as breakfast quinoa or mixed into foods such as energy bites, but if you soak them in liquid, they plump up and turn into a nice thick pudding. Whether you eat these healthy puddings for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack, you can feel good about them because they’re filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, they’re refined-sugar free!
Chia pudding is super easy to make – kind of like overnight oats! When I made these, all I did was mix some almond milk and chia seeds together on a Friday night and let them soak overnight. (Yup, my Friday nights are pretty crazy.)
I added all of the other ingredients (pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt) the next morning. This was really only because I barely even had the energy to mix almond milk and chia seeds the night before, and I had plenty of time on Saturday morning. If you’re in more of a rush in the morning, though, you could definitely combine all of the ingredients the night before! It has worked either way for me, so do what works for your energy levels.
This is what the chia pudding looks like before you whip it, whip it good. I’ve had chia pudding that wasn’t whipped before, and while I think it’s pretty good, I don’t love the texture. I’ve heard others describe the texture kind of like tapioca pudding. However, when you whip everything up in the food processor, the pudding gets thicker and fluffier like a pumpkin cinnamon roll cloud. Wouldn’t you like to eat a pumpkin cinnamon roll cloud this fall?
The puddings are topped with a cinnamon “cream cheese” swirl! Instead of cream cheese, I used Neufchâtel cheese, which is naturally lower in calories and fat. This topping makes these healthy treats feel really decadent and hits the same bells and whistles as pumpkin cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.
(I still totally think we should have a real pumpkin cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing this fall, too. Everything in moderation!)
I’ve used Neufchâtel in place of cream cheese for years in dip recipes. I loooove dips, so I’m happy for anything that makes me feel slightly better about eating them! After trying this recipe, I don’t know why I haven’t swapped Neufchâtel for cream cheese in more sweet recipes. I seriously don’t notice any difference in flavor or texture between the two cheeses!
When I was writing this post, I decided to look into the differences between the two cheeses a little bit more. According to this site, cream cheese is made with milk and cream and has about 33 percent milk fat, while American Neufchâtel is only made with milk and has about 23 percent milk fat. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!
Also, it says the French Neufchâtel is often molded into the shape of a heart! Why will this cute random fact cement itself in my brain forever, but I have the hardest time remembering birthdays, passwords, where I put my full bottle of cinnamon after making this recipe, etc.? (I seriously have no idea where my cinnamon went.)
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Whipped Chia Seed Pudding
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This fluffy whipped pumpkin cinnamon roll spiced pudding topped with a cinnamon cream cheese swirl is the perfect fall treat!
- For the chia seed pudding:
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 c. plain pumpkin puree (I used canned, but fresh would also work!)
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- pinch of sea salt
- walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional garnish)
- For the cinnamon "cream cheese":
- about 1 oz. Neufchâtel cheese
- 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp. vanilla
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- Combine the chia seeds and almond milk in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- When the chia seeds are done soaking, pour the mixture into a food processor or blender along with the pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Purée until it's thick and blended.
- If you have time, chill the whipped pudding for about a half an hour to an hour.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the cinnamon cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for a couple of seconds, until the cheese is softened and it's easy to stir everything together.
- Swirl the cream cheese mixture on top of the chia pudding. Garnish with a couple extra sprinkles of cinnamon and some walnuts, if you're feeling it!
If you're tired the night before you make these, you can get away with only combining the almond milk and chia seeds and adding the other ingredients the next day. If you're making these for breakfast and if you're in a rush in the morning, you can combine all of the pudding ingredients the night before. Do what works for you!
(I’m sorry if you’re singing “whip it” in your head for the rest of the day.)