chia seed pudding with star anise, cherries and almond

There are so many special diets out there nowadays that staying aware of them all can make your head spin. There are also so many different reasons for each, but there’s one thing that all of these diets have in common: healthy eating habits.

My family and I don’t follow a special diet; we simply stay away from heavily processed foods and eat as fresh as possible. For us, this means being able to incorporate variety and, most importantly, venturing out to discover the best recipes from all types of diets – because the same-old stuff hitting the table is boring.

A year ago, I picked up a vegan cookbook to broaden our palates. Wholegrains, vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts were all the things we loved, so we dived right in. Veggie stir-fries, quinoa cakes and nut bars were all delightful (except for the tofu, which did not fly with the kiddo) but there was one ingredient that stood out among the rest: chia seeds. An omega-3 rich seed, these little guys pack a nutritious punch and can be added to practically anything. I would have never known if it wasn’t for trying my hand at a new diet.

chia seed pudding

Chia seed puddings are one of our favourite go-to breakfasts these days. It’s an amazingly simple recipe that can be thrown together the night before to make breakfast time a breeze – and when you have a family rushing out the door that’s a must! Made with almond or soy milk, these delicious puddings are more like having a tapioca to start your day, and I see no problem with that.

A maple syrup-kissed, velvety pudding, adorned with a luxuriously sweet cherry compote touched with star anise and topped with toasted almonds is an easy, healthy, and beyond awesome breakfast to begin your mornings! Who am I kidding? I’d eat this anytime of the day. Vegans – you’re on to something here.

Vegan overnight chia seed pudding recipe

With star anise cherries

chia seed pudding

Quantities are per person


  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure (vegan friendly) maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (about 8) frozen or fresh pitted cherries
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds


In a bowl or sealable container like a glass jar, combine the chia seeds, almond milk, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the vanilla. Stir, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

In a saucepot, combine the cherries, water, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and star anise. Bring it to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer until the water has reduced by ¾ and has thickened slightly, probably about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the star anise. All this can be done in advance and refrigerated until served.

In a dry frying pan over medium heat, toast almonds until golden, about 5 minutes.

To serve, pour cherry compote over chia seed pudding and top with toasted almonds.

For more great special diet-related ideas, check out the rest of our articles from August.

About the author

Meredith Steele

Meredith Steele is a mum and has also forged a path as a professional recipe developer and food photographer.

Meredith Steele


Desserts, Healthy