Oh, chia seeds, how I love you! These little babies are packed with nutrients and are oh-so versatile. I was floored when I learned that the little seeds that you spread on SpongeBob’s head to watch them grow are actually edible and even more impressed when I learned their nutrient content. Who knew, right?! Here’s a little breakdown of their nutrients:
- Rich in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, for skin health, cholesterol regulation, and immune function.
- Rich in various powerful antioxidants that combat free radicals.
- Provides potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are major minerals needed in the diet that work together closely for bone and blood health and electrolyte balance
- Zinc, essential for growth and enzymatic actions in the body, as well as immune function
- Protein, for forming and rebuilding body tissue
- Fiber, for digestive health and cholesterol binding
Now that you know the reasons to eat chia seeds, there are many ways to add them into the diet. A personal favorite is also the simplest application. Add a couple tablespoons to a glass of filtered water (lemon or cucumber optional) give it a stir to let the chia seeds soak up some of the water and drink! Easy enough, right? I do have to mention that chia seeds have a tapioca type texture, meaning they absorb the liquid that they are in and puff up to a gelatinous little ball. This brings me to my FAVORITE use of chia seeds: PUDDING!! They are the perfect vessel to add to almond milk or coconut milk to make a creamy, filling dessert or breakfast. I will provide some links and recipes to my personal favorites and a NEW chia pudding that I have developed today that I think is delicious.
This first one is a vegan Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding from the website Hummusapien:
Next is a Gluten Free Easy Chia Pudding from the website Postmodern Hostess:
And the last one I will post is my newly developed Cacao Banana Coconut Chia Pudding made by ME 🙂
You will need
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (or almond milk, whatever your taste buds prefer)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, or raw honey
1 organic banana, pureed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tbsp. raw cacao powder
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl with a whisk. I find that the cacao powder doesn’t mix well at first so make sure it is all well blended (this many take a minute). Stick the bowl in the fridge, covered, mixing every 15-20 minutes during the first hour to ensure the mixture is “gelling” well together. Keep refrigerated for 3-5 hours, or overnight, until the pudding reaches a thick consistency. Spoon the pudding into bowls. This is where you can add in toppings. I find that these toppings go very well with the pudding, as well as adding more nutrients into the mix 🙂
- Fresh cut fruit: more banana, mango, berries
- Dried fruits
- Hemps seeds
ENJOY! HAPPY AND HEALTHY EATING!
What are some of your favorite chia pudding combinations? Let me know!