Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding 2-4 servings 2 cups plain almond milk 1/2 cinnamon stick 1 inch piece of lemon rind 1/4 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise Sweetener, to taste 4 tablespoons chia seeds Ground cinnamon, for dusting (optional)

Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding

I’m getting into the peak of my marathon training and, like last year, I’m trying to focus on what I can control: eating healthy food!

For some reason I thought training for my second marathon would be much easier than the first. Yeah, not so much. I’ve stopped and started up again several times due to a mild leg thing (I don’t want to jinx it by calling an injury!), and my school schedule is particularly wacky right now.

I don’t know if chia seeds can fix my leg (doubt it), but eating them certainly makes me feel healthy and more energized.

Chia Seeds

They’re an excellent source of omega-3’s, fiber, and even protein (source). While they may be a little funny looking, they actually have a mostly neutral flavor, making them perfect for throwing into smoothies and topping salads.

I think one of the niftiest things about chia is their ability to form a gel in liquid. Mixed with milk, they form a pudding-like texture that can be flavored however you want.

This vanilla bean and cinnamon chia pudding is inspired by one of my favorite desserts of all time – arroz con leche. I called it “chia con leche” at first, but it sounded too confusing. Matt kept asking me how I was incorporating the rice…

Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding

So “vanilla bean and cinnamon chia pudding” it is! I started by steeping fresh vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick, and lemon rind in almond milk. There’s nothing better than fresh vanilla…

Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Once the milk mixture was steeped with all of the delicious flavorings, I just whisked in the chia seeds and let sit overnight.

Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Despite the name confusion, Matt loved this. And that’s a big deal, because he usually acts a little grossed out when I break out the chia seeds. I think I converted him!

Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Yield: 2-4 servings

Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Chia Pudding


  • 2 cups plain almond milk (you can use any milk you like)
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 inch piece of lemon rind (make sure it doesn’t have any white pith on it)
  • ¼ vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • Sweetener, to taste (see note)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting (optional)


  • Combine the milk, cinnamon stick, and lemon rind in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the inside of each half and add to the pot along with the bean itself. Bring to a gentle boil and then remove from the heat. Add desired sweetener and let cool.
  • Remove the vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and vanilla pod from the milk. Whisk in the chia seeds. Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight. If you remember, shake the container every so often to avoid the chia seeds clumping together.
  • Serve cold with a dusting of cinnamon.


Use whatever sweetener you like (regular sugar, stevia, agave, etc). You will need to keep adding a little at a time and tasting to reach desired sweetness.

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  • Simply Life

    hope training is going well! Looks like the perfect thing for this weather!

    • Colleen

      Thank you! I tend to love anything with cinnamon when the weather gets all fall-like!

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    Somehow I didn’t realize you were training for a marathon also! Which one?? I love chia seeds (especially all gel-ed up like this!) but definitely do not use them enough! The vanilla and cinnamon flavors would have me eating this every day. (Also bummer about your leg!! I have an AWESOME physical therapist around here if you need a recommendation!! And also also, I owe you an email and a date!)

    • Colleen

      I’m running philly again…hopefully! I definitely might be in need of that physical therapist!

  • Bianca Garcia

    Mmmm I love chia pudding AND arroz con leche! This looks soooo delicious. Good luck with marathon training!

    • Colleen


  • Emily Hawkes

    Hi Colleen – this looks beautiful. Do you mind if I use your image on my blog – I will credit you and link to this page. I took a picture of my chia pudding, but let’s just say I was half asleep at the time.

  • Sacha

    This might be the best chia pudding recipe I’ve seen. It’s perfect for the season.

  • Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

    I love chia pudding, but I always make chocolate. I need to branch out into vanilla! 😀

  • Meghan

    I am in the exact same place; I just went shopping and am trying to really get a handle on my nutrition in the month leading up to the marathon. I love chia seeds!

  • Lara Franzi

    Wow seriously the most amazing recipe I’ve seen! 🙂 Thank you for making being healthy easy.

  • MySeeds

    Vanilla & cinnamon are such a great combination!
    The cinnamon is a super touch, especially if you choose Ceylon Cinnamon. Ceylon has a better depth of flavor that goes with the real vanilla bean, but it’s not what’s on most grocery shelves. An easy healthy recipe with three fabulous flavors.

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