These Vegan chia jars are a perfect, nutritional breakfast with a simple mint spirulina smoothie layered on top of a classic vegan chia seed pudding. This recipe will keep you full for longer, give you a boost of energy, plus – it’s delicious!
By now, you may have noticed that I love my chia pudding recipes and I love to experiment with toppings even more. This chia pudding recipe is topped with a delicious green smoothie that includes mint and spirulina powder, for a fresh minty flavour.
This healthy breakfast option is a perfect to start your day on the right track, chock-full of various health benefits. Chia pudding is also a wonderful option for a boost of energy and to keep full for longer.
If you’ve spent a lot of time on my blog or Instagram page, then you’ll probably notice that I love to use spirulina powder in many of my recipes. Not only is it a wonderful natural colourant, it’s also chock full of health benefits – so a wonderful addition to the mint smoothie.
Spirulina Health Benefits
I suppose the first question to answer would be, what is spirulina. When spirulina is a type of blue green algae that has been consumed in various ways for centuries. It’s technically a type of seaweed/pond scum that naturally grows in oceans and salt lakes.
It is now sold in various edible forms including powder, capsules, tablets etc. So there is plenty of choice for people wanting to add this supplement to their diet. But, why would people want to consume more spirulina?
Research is still being carried out on spirulina, to work out exactly what the benefits are and the levels of nutrition that you get from the algae. However, there are many benefits that people are claiming to have here and now and there have been some studies done for these, too.
For instance, spirulina is absolutely packed with nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, copper and smaller amounts of magnesium and potassium (to name a few). It is also a wonderful plant-based source of Vitamin B12, which is crucial to our diet.
These various nutrients work together for a variety of health benefits which include:
Lowered Cholesterol: A study shows that spirulina works well in improving LDL cholesterol levels, meanwhile reducing the bad cholesterol in the body. This, in turn, has a wonderful effect on heart health.
Antioxidant Properties: Antioxidants are generally just a wonderful thing to consume. They help to prevent oxidative damage to our cells, which in turn is just amazing for out bodies. They are also anti-inflammatory, which cannot be underestimated. Long-term Inflammation is thought to be a leading cause of so many diseases including heart disease and even dementia.
Lowered Blood Pressure: Not only has spirulina been found to reduce blood glucose levels, it can also help lower blood pressure. There have been various studies to show this is the case, both with people suffering from type 2 diabetes as well as overweight individuals.
Mood Altering: There isn’t as much research behind this claim, yet spirulina is said to be usable for various mood-related disorders including depression, anxiety and stress as well as ADHD.
And that’s just a few of the benefits that it is said to have, with others including possibly helping anaemic people as well as for premenstrual symptoms.
What does Spirulina taste like?
I’m happy to say that I’ve never really tasted it too much, due to also diluting it within smoothies and desserts. However, spirulina powder definitely smells the way I imagine that it tastes. Which is a strong, ‘seaweed’ , ocean/ fishy type smell. Luckily, as I say, when used in small doses in part of bigger recipes, it can’t be smelt or tasted.
Adding it to a smoothie is a wonderful way to get the health benefits without tasting it- which is definitely the case for this mint smoothie too.
Is chia pudding healthy?
I get asked this a lot, especially due it’s pudding consistency and creamy flavour. You may be surprised to know that a single tablespoon of chia seeds are just 69 calories, with a portion being around 2 tablespoons. For these chia seed pudding jars, I use 1.5tbsp of seeds, which is around 105kcal. When combined with the additional ingredients, and toppings this makes for a delicious healthy snack or a slightly more filling breakfast dish.
Chia seeds are also high protein and fibre, full of heart-healthy omega-3s, and rich in various vitamins and minerals. To learn more about the health benefits of Chia seeds and nutritional information then you can check out my detox smoothie layered chia pudding post.
How to make chia seed pudding
Chia pudding is ridiculously simple to make and is really all about the ratio of seed to liquid. After lots of experimentation, I’ve found that my perfect level is 1/2 cup of liquid to 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds. This works best for all of my recipes and I love the consistency.
Technically, 2tbsp of chia seeds is a single ‘portion’. So if you want to add the full 2tbsp to 1/2 cup milk, it will be a thicker texture.
To make the chia seed pudding, simply mix the seeds, liquid and sweetener of choice thoroughly. to avoid clumps you can leave it to settle for a few minutes, mix once more and then leave in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. I suggest 2 hours for the optimal result although I tend to meal-prep a large batch and leave refrigerated to soak overnight.
Chia pudding can then be left covered, in the fridge, for 5 days – so you can pull out a portion every day or as and when needed.
Also, it’s worth noting, you can blend the chia pudding mix before setting too. This will create a more ‘pudding-like’ mousse texture.
How to make the smoothie:
This minty spirulina smoothie is ridiculously simple to make and is basically made up of 1 step; which is to blend all the ingredients together (banana, fresh mint leaves, spirulina and plant-based milk).
I always use frozen bananas for my smoothie recipes, as this will give a thick creamy texture. I always have frozen bananas to-hand – prepping these weekly by peeling, chopping in half and placing in freezer-friendly bags.
Now that I’m focusing on using less single-use plastic, I’ve found some wonderful silicone reusable bags. I just place a single layer in the bag (so they don’t stick together) and add more as they’re needed.
When assembling the chia mason jar, layer the smoothie over the pudding and then top with your toppings of choice. If you want a more dessert-like snack (or healthy breakfast, with a twist), then you can mix some cacao nibs or chocolate chips into the smoothie, or sprinkles on top. You could also top with fresh fruit, frozen fruit, coconut flakes etc.
Other Chia Pudding recipes you may like
By now, you know that chia pudding is a favourite dish of mine so I have some other flavour combinations you may like. For example these Detox smoothie & Chia pudding jars, Raspberry smoothie chia jars, or even the gorgeous oceanic chia pudding jars.
If you give this chia pudding jar recipe a go then let me know your thoughts below. I also love to see your recreations so feel free to tag me @Alphafoodie.
Chia Pudding with Minty Spirulina Smoothie
Layer 1: Chia pudding
- 1 cup almond milk or any milk of choice
- 3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup or your favourite natural sweetener
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or powder
Layer 2: Spirulina smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup almond milk or any liquid of choice
- 1/4 tsp green spirulina powder
- few mint leaves
- To begin, prepare the chia pudding. Do this by mixing all the chia ingredients together and stir well. Allow soak for at least 30 minutes minimum. Although, it's best to leave them for 2 hours or overnight.
- To prepare the mint smoothie, throw all the ingredients in the blender and blend till smooth. I always keep frozen bananas to-hand. This will make the smoothie thick and creamy. However, if you prefer, you can also use fresh bananas.
- To stick fruits/veggies on the side of the jar, the secret is to cut the fruit/veggie really thin and make sure the glass is dry.
- Layer the chia pudding and smoothie then top with your toppings of choice. For a more dessert-like jar, you could add some cacao nibs or chocolate chips to the mint smoothie mix. You can also use fresh or frozen fruit and sprinkles like coconut etc.