Chocolate banana kefir chia pudding is a delicious, no sugar added breakfast or snack that's so easy the kids can make it (and eat it, too!). Loaded with prebiotics and probiotics, it's naturally gluten-free and nut-free, making it an allergy-friendly, easy meal prep recipe for many.
Gut health is super trendy right now, as more awareness is being brought to the fact that so much of our total health and wellness is connected to the health of our gut, or our microbiome. Afterall, 70% of your immune system is in your gut!
With all this talk about gut health though, I wanted to talk about two important aspects: probiotics and prebiotics. Now, while they sound similar and they both operate to support our microbiome, they individually function a little differently.
- Probiotics contain live bacteria that's good for your gut. When you eat probiotic-rich foods or a probiotic supplement, it's essentially an infusion of ready-to-go healthy bacteria right into your gut.
- Prebiotics feed the gut-friendly bacteria. When you eat prebiotic-rich foods or a prebiotic supplement, it provides nourishment to feed the friendly bacteria in your gut so they (and you) thrive.
This is definitely an incredibly simplified explanation, but this basic understanding can be a great building block (that many people aren't even aware of!).
Both probiotics and prebiotics can be found in capsule and powder form, but they both can also be found in my favorite source - your diet!
Foods that are naturally rich in probiotics include yogurt, kefir (fermented milk), kombucha (a fermented drink), sauerkraut, kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage), and all kinds of pickled vegetables, including pickles themselves.
Foods naturally rich in prebiotics include asparagus, carrots, garlic, okra, onions, radishes, banana, artichoke, tomatoes, turmeric, cinnamon, dark chocolate or cocoa, and many more.
This Chocolate Banana Kefir Chia Pudding provides the best of both gut-healthy worlds, with plain kefir (probiotic!) flavored with banana and cocoa powder (both prebiotics!). These three ingredients are blended into a mixture that has a great flavor (the sweetness from the banana really mellows out the tartness of the kefir, FYI - my husband was nervous about it after tasting the kefir plain, but really enjoyed the finished product!). Then this blended liquid is combined with chia seeds, which is also gut healthy because of its high fiber content which can also help feed gut-friendly bacteria and keep things moving regularly in your GI tract.
Once you allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid from the chocolate banana kefir mixture, the result is a Chocolate Banana Kefir Chia Pudding that is thick and luscious (I'm not a fan of soupy chia puddings!!), slightly naturally sweet, and delicious!
Oh, and did I mention it takes less than five minutes of hands-on prep time?! Winner, winner!
Now, of course not all things are created equal. While this Chocolate Banana Kefir Chia Pudding is packed with all sorts of gut-healthy goodness, it's on a very generalized plane. As we know, nutrition has to be individualized to make a lasting difference. If you have a disorder like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), all the prebiotics here may actually make your symptoms worse. If that's you and you're concerned about what to do for you individually, please reach out to a dietitian for help (like myself!).
More Chia Pudding Recipes
- Coconut Vanilla Chia Pudding
- Pumpkin Chia Pudding
- Orange Creamsicle Chia Pudding with Collagen
- Tropical Mango Chia Pudding
- Pomegranate Cherry Chia Pudding
If you're ready to give this Chocolate Banana Kefir Chia Pudding a go, let me know what you think! Please share your thoughts in the comments, or take a pic of your finished product and share with me on social media (NTF Facebook, NTF Insta #nutritiontofit). May you (and your gut) be healthy and well!
Chocolate Banana Kefir Chia Pudding
- 1 medium banana ripe
- ¾ cup plain, lowfat kefir
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- optional garnish: cacao nibs, banana slices
- Combine banana, kefir, and cocoa in a blender. Blend on high 30-60 seconds, or until smoothly pureed.
- Stir chia seeds into banana kefir mixture.
- Pour mixture into a resealable container and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
This looks delicious! Yum 🙂
Lindsey Janeiro says
Thank you Kirstin!
Karman | The Nutrition Adventure says
Wow! This is definitely chock-full of gut-friendly ingredients!
Lindsey Janeiro says
Thanks Karman! It's so gut-friendly and so EASY and tasty, too!! 🙂
Carol Doherty says
Hi - So there's no sweetener other than the banana? I'm assuming this is unsweetened cocoa powder? I wonder could this be made from kefir cheese? I'll give it a try as I love kefir - but also love chocolate pudding!
Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, CLT says
Hi Carol! Correct - unsweetened cocoa powder, the only sweetness comes from the banana. My family and I found that sweet enough, but feel free to adjust to your tastes (a drizzle of honey could go a long way!). I haven't tried this with kefir cheese. I'm not super familiar with kefir cheese, but from my understanding it's thicker and more cheese-like (lol for lack of a better descriptor) than kefir? If so, it likely wouldn't work as well in this recipe. The chia seeds need liquid to absorb and become "pudding"-like, which is why the liquid in regular kefir is needed. Hope that helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions, and let me know how you like it if you give it a try!
Is it ok to put a tablespoon of protein powder or some sort of powder for shake? It seems delicious.
Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN says
Absolutely! That'll help make it more balanced, too!
This looks very yummy! Do you seal the container when you put them in the fridge or leave them unsealed?
Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN says
I seal the container!