Chia Pods are a breakfast (or snack) product from The Chia Co., an Australian company. They grow their own chia seeds to use in their products.
I was really excited to try Chia Pods because I had read that some of the flavors contain nothing but chia seeds, real fruit and coconut milk. Some of the flavors have no added sweeteners, while others are lightly sweetened with coconut palm sugar. In other words, they’re real food. And I love coconut anything, so they sounded really good.
I saw online that our local Fresh Market carries them, so I headed over last weekend to buy some. Chia Pods come in eight flavors, but our local store had only four. I bought the ones that sounded best to me: blueberry, mango and banana. (I didn’t buy the vanilla bean flavor.) The bummer: my local Fresh Market didn’t stock any of the flavors I most wanted to try — coffee bean, dark cacao, strawberry or lemon and date. (Yum, right?)
If I get my hands on the other flavors at some point, I’ll write another review.
The “pods” themselves are pretty cool, and they’d be perfect for taking to work or school. The lids snap on pretty tightly, and each lid has a handy orange spoon that snaps onto it for convenient snacking on the go. The containers are recyclable and contain 30 percent recycled material, according to The Chia Co.’s website.
Other pros: Chia Pods are vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO. At about 130 to 160 calories each, they’re a nutritious, filling, lo-cal breakfast or snack. In fact, I ate one to tide me over when I was really hungry so I could fit in a bike ride before making dinner last night. It totally did the trick.
Honestly, the main con, to me, was the flavor. Chia Pods taste okay. I tried the blueberry one first — it’s one of the flavors with no added sweetener — and my reaction was “meh.” It wasn’t bad. It had a nice, substantial texture and whole blueberries in it. But the taste was sort of lackluster. I wondered if adding a little sweetener would help. So, I drizzled some local honey on top. That made it quite good. So, maybe if you don’t ever eat added sugar and your tastes lean toward the less sweet, you’d love it.
I like the mango flavor, which also has no added sugar, quite a bit better than the blueberry. It was smooth, and the mango tasted bright and fresh.
And I liked the banana, also with no added sugar, the best of the three, which surprised me. Banana is not my favorite fruit, but the banana flavor had a creamy texture and a nice natural sweetness.
Also, at $3.59 a pop for a 6 oz. container, Chia Pods are a little pricy. Unless I fall in love with one or more of the flavors I haven’t tried, I can’t see myself spending that on a regular basis for something I don’t absolutely love. I might buy them for a road trip or some other scenario where I need something healthy, filling and convenient.
Otherwise, I’ll probably stick with making chia seed coconut pudding at home, where it’s cheaper and I can experiment with different flavors, and maybe add a little sweetener.
Though, of course, homemade chia pudding doesn’t come in a nifty pod.