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A Three-Minute Diabetes Breakfast That Changes Lives?

Updated: 8/14/21 4:00 amPublished: 4/26/17
By Adam Brown

By Adam Brown

A video preview of chia seed pudding from the Food Chapter of Bright Spots & Landmines!

Mark your calendar for May 9, when Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me will launch at

The video on chia seed pudding below summarizes just one of the 43 Bright Spots discussed in the book. For those who prefer reading, the written details on how to make chia pudding are below the video. I’ve now made this recipe about 200 times, and after sharing some of the advantages last fall – little impact on blood glucose, very filling and tasty, three minutes to make without cooking, inexpensive, and stocked with Omega 3s and fiber – I’ve been shocked at the positive response. Said one diaTribe reader, “Adam, thank you so much. I’ve been looking for a breakfast like this for 25 years! It has changed my life.”

How to Make Chia Seed Pudding

To make chia seed pudding, I mix 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of water, a hearty amount of cinnamon, 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil, and some combination of toppings like frozen raspberries, shelled sunflower seeds, and nuts. After about a minute of stirring with a spoon and about a minute sitting, it turns into a pudding-like gel. It can also be made in a batch ahead of time by quadrupling the recipe. The water can be hot or cold, depending on your preferences, and the pudding can be made thicker by using less water. Chocolate or vanilla protein powder or pure vanilla extract can be added for additional flavor. Parents have even emailed me with enthusiasm for this recipe – “My son loves this!” – meaning this isn’t just a weird concoction for health nuts like me.

There is nothing “exact” about this recipe, so you can experiment with the components and toppings to fit your tastes. For example, I know someone that makes it with lemon juice, stevia, and almonds. There are other chia seed pudding recipes on the Internet, though most have way too much added sugar (including honey). 

Important note: If you have any GI discomfort with this recipe, make the chia pudding in a batch and let it sit overnight. Soaking chia seeds in water for a longer period of time has helped some readers who found my recipe hard to tolerate.

  • I generally take one unit of insulin for chia seed pudding as I start eating, which covers the very slow BG rise from fat, protein, and the small amount of carbs from the toppings. Each 1/4 cup of chia seeds has 20 grams of carbs, though 16 grams are from fiber (80%), translating to little BG impact.

  • What on earth are chia seeds? They look like poppy seeds and are packed with fiber, protein, and healthy Omega-3 fats. On their own, chia seeds don’t taste like anything, so it’s all about how they are flavored (hence the recipe).

  • I buy chia seeds in bulk online; a two-pound bag from Viva Labs on Amazon costs about $10 and covers about 20 breakfasts. They can also be purchased at regular grocery stores and even corner stores, usually in one-pound bags.

Enjoy! Please share feedback here, and if you found this useful, get Bright Spots & Landmines here for free/name-your-own-price.

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About the authors

Adam Brown joined diaTribe in 2010 as a Summer Associate, became Managing Editor in 2011, and served as Senior Editor through 2019. Adam brings almost two decades of personal experience... Read the full bio »