This Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe from scratch is made with almond milk, bananas, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and chia seeds.
This pudding is a no bake no cook recipe. Adding chia seeds into the banana mixture when soak will plump up, causing the consistency to be thick, creating a delicious and easy pudding. Chia seeds have a neutral flavor so you can make pudding from many different blended fruits. You can always add cocoa powder, berries or substitute with oat milk. Since this requires 8 minutes of soaking, it is great to make this recipe at night, let it soak overnight, and then eat for breakfast.
- What is Banana Pudding?
- Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Healthy Banana Pudding
- What to serve with Healthy Banana Pudding
- Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe Variations
- How to store Banana Pudding
- Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe Top tips
- Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe
- Food safety
What is Banana Pudding?
Banana pudding is a classic American dessert made with layers of sliced bananas, vanilla custard or pudding, and a type of cookie or cake, such as vanilla wafers or ladyfingers. It is typically served chilled and is known for its creamy, sweet, and comforting flavor profile.
I wanted to make a healthier version of banana pudding. Healthy banana pudding is a variation of the classic dessert that is made with healthier ingredients, often with reduced or no added sugars, lower-fat dairy or plant-based milk, and whole food ingredients. It is a lighter and more nutritious version of traditional banana pudding, making it a better option for those who are mindful of their health, dietary restrictions, or simply looking for a lighter dessert option.
Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Almond milk Bananas
- Maple syrup
- Chia seeds
- Fresh fruits
See recipe card for this Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe quantities.
How to make Healthy Banana Pudding
Put the almond milk, bananas, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla in a blender and process until smooth.
Pour banana mixture in Tupperware and put the chia seeds in and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir again. Cover and refrigerate for 8-10 hours.
Before serving, check consistency and pour almond milk if it’s too thick, until your desired consistency.
Garnish with fresh fruit. This can be stored up to 3-4 days.
What to serve with Healthy Banana Pudding
- Fresh fruit: Fresh fruit can be a perfect accompaniment to healthy banana pudding. You can serve it with a variety of fresh fruits such as berries, sliced kiwi, mango, pineapple, or any other fruit you enjoy. The natural sweetness of the fruits can complement the flavors of the banana pudding and add a burst of freshness.
- Nuts or seeds: Adding some nuts or seeds can provide crunch and additional nutrition to your healthy banana pudding. Chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds can be sprinkled on top of the pudding for added texture and flavor.
- Greek yogurt: A dollop of Greek yogurt on top of the banana pudding can provide creaminess and tanginess, which can complement the sweetness of the pudding. You can choose plain or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt for added protein and creaminess.
- Mint leaves: Fresh mint leaves can add a refreshing and aromatic note to your healthy banana pudding. Simply garnish the top of the pudding with a few fresh mint leaves for a burst of flavor and visual appeal.
- Dark chocolate shavings: Shaved or grated dark chocolate can add a hint of richness and bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the banana pudding. Use a vegetable peeler or a grater to create chocolate shavings and sprinkle them over the top of the pudding.
- Milk: If you want this recipe to be vegan, make it with almond or oat milk. If not, you can use regular milk.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds are essential for this recipe. It is what gives the pudding the consistency it needs.
- Bananas: You can use any fruit, but bananas worked like a charm. You can never have too many chia pudding recipes!
- Maple syrup: If you would like for this to be vegan, use maple syrup. If not, feel free to use honey.
- Cinnamon: If you don’t have cinnamon, nutmeg also gives it a nice rounding taste.
- Vanilla: I used vanilla extract for this recipe – if you want to get crazy you can use almond extract, bourbon, or instant coffee!
Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe Variations
- Vegan Banana Pudding: Replace regular milk with plant-based milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk to make a vegan version of banana pudding. You can also use a vegan-friendly sweetener like maple syrup or agave syrup instead of traditional sweeteners like sugar.
- Chocolate Banana Pudding: Add cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate to the pudding mixture for a rich and chocolaty twist. You can also layer the banana pudding with chocolate ganache or chocolate chips for extra indulgence.
- Peanut Butter Banana Pudding: Incorporate peanut butter into the pudding mixture for a delicious peanut butter and banana flavor combination. You can swirl in peanut butter or use peanut butter chips for added texture and flavor.
- Nutella Banana Pudding: If you love Nutella, you can add a dollop of Nutella or spread it between the layers of banana pudding for a luscious and decadent treat.
- Coconut Banana Pudding: Use coconut milk or coconut cream instead of regular milk to infuse the pudding with a tropical coconut flavor. You can also top the banana pudding with toasted coconut flakes for added texture and aroma.
Pair this with my Nespresso Pumpkin Spice Latte.
- Mixing Bowls: You will need mixing bowls to combine the ingredients for the banana pudding mixture and any additional sauces or toppings.
- Whisk or Spoon: A whisk or spoon will be needed to mix the ingredients together and ensure they are well combined.
- Blender or Food Processor (optional): If you want to make a smooth banana pudding mixture, you can use a blender or food processor to blend the bananas, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and chia seeds until smooth. This step is optional, and you can also mash the bananas by hand if you prefer a chunkier texture.
- Serving Dishes or Glasses: You will need serving dishes or glasses to layer or portion the banana pudding for serving. Individual dessert glasses or a larger serving dish can work well for this.
- Plastic Wrap (optional): If you want to cover and refrigerate the banana pudding for a few hours or overnight to allow it to set, you can use plastic wrap to cover the serving dishes or glasses.
- Refrigerator: You will need a refrigerator to chill the banana pudding and allow it to set, as well as to store any leftovers.
How to store Banana Pudding
- Refrigeration: Banana pudding should be stored in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and safe to eat. The dairy-based pudding and fresh fruits in the pudding can spoil if left at room temperature for too long. Place the banana pudding in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before storing it in the refrigerator.
- Separate Layers: If your banana pudding has multiple layers, such as cookies or fruit layers, it's best to store them separately. This helps to prevent the cookies or fruits from becoming soggy and maintains their texture.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Make sure not to overcrowd the refrigerator with other items around the banana pudding container to allow proper air circulation and prevent any unwanted odors from affecting the flavor of the pudding.
- Serve Fresh Fruits Separately: If you have added fresh fruits as toppings to your banana pudding, it's best to store them separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Add them to the banana pudding just before serving to maintain their freshness and prevent them from becoming soggy.
- Consume Within 2-3 Days: Banana pudding is best consumed within 2-3 days of preparation. The bananas and other fresh fruits in the pudding can become overripe and lose their freshness over time, so it's recommended to consume the pudding within this timeframe for optimal taste and quality.
- Avoid Freezing: Banana pudding does not freeze well due to the dairy-based pudding and fresh fruits. Freezing can cause the pudding to become watery and lose its texture and flavor. It's best to avoid freezing banana pudding.
Healthy Banana Pudding Recipe Top tips
- Use ripe bananas: Use ripe bananas that are naturally sweet for maximum flavor without needing to add extra sweeteners. Bananas with brown spots on the skin are usually sweeter and more flavorful.
- Choose healthy sweeteners: Opt for natural sweeteners such as pure maple syrup, honey, or mashed dates instead of refined sugars to reduce added sugars in the pudding.
- Use a healthier milk option: Choose a healthier milk option such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk that is unsweetened and low in fat to reduce calories and saturated fats in the pudding.
- Add nutrient-rich ingredients: Incorporate nutrient-rich ingredients such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, or Greek yogurt for added fiber, protein, and healthy fats to boost the nutritional value of the pudding.
- Limit or omit high-fat ingredients: Reduce or omit high-fat ingredients such as heavy cream, full-fat milk, or butter to make the pudding lighter and lower in fat.
- Add fresh fruits: Incorporate fresh fruits, such as sliced bananas, berries, or other seasonal fruits, for natural sweetness, vitamins, and minerals.
- Chill time: Allow the banana pudding to chill in the refrigerator for the recommended time to ensure that it sets properly and achieves the desired creamy texture.
- Experiment with flavors: Get creative with flavors by adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, or experimenting with different extracts such as vanilla or almond to enhance the taste of the pudding without adding unnecessary sugars or fats.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove