Ch-ch-ch-chia! We all remember the commercials from the ’90s… magical seeds which when wet would grow sprouts that would act as the fur on your terracotta Chia Pet.
Since then, chia seeds have happily regained their title as a true superfood. Chia is an ancient seed that originally grew in Mexico and the southwest. Records of the chia seed go as far back as 910 B.C., where it was used as a medicinal and cherished seed to the Mayan and Aztec people. What these ancient civilizations innately knew then, we are learning and embracing now.
Chia’s main claim to fame is its richness in omega-3s. Ounce per ounce, Chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon! On top of the omega-3s, chia seeds provide protein, have more antioxidants than blueberries, provide fiber and minerals.
One of the most common questions we receive from our customers and Facebook Fans is
“what am I supposed to do with Chia seeds?”
Chia Seeds – Getting Started
Well, for starters, you can try adding a tablespoon to your cereal, granola, or smoothie. You can also sprout the seeds for a live raw food or throw some into your salad.
Using Chia seeds to create Chia Gel – An alternative to eggs for use in Vegan recipes
A chia seed can hold up to 9 times its weight in liquid. Placing chia seeds in a liquid such as water or almond milk creates a gel that is commonly used by vegans as a binding agent for baking in place of eggs. All you have to do to substitute is to use the same volume of chia gel as you would have with eggs.
Making Chia Seed Pudding
A truly special way to enjoy the texture and overall nutrition of chia seeds is to make a chia seed pudding. There are many variations and options for this delicious pudding, and you may need to play with the water to chia ratio to get the texture that is perfect for your preference. This is a perfect substitute for over-processed and sugary foods for breakfast. Chia pudding is great for the whole family too! Kids will enjoy the fun texture and sweet taste of vanilla chia pudding.
The best process for making pudding is to prepare it the night before to give the seeds ample time to bring in the moisture and plump up. Preparing the pudding the night before takes no more than 10 minutes, and you get to wake up to a quick, yummy breakfast! What could be better than that?
Vanilla Chia Pudding
(Makes 1 generous serving)
3 ½ tbsp. chia seed
1 cup of nut milk (tastes great with homemade vanilla almond milk)
1 ripe banana
½ tsp. real vanilla extract
1 tbsp. coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
– Mash banana at the bottom of the bowl
– Add milk, chia, vanilla & coconut sugar
– Stir it up, cover and refrigerate
– That’s it!
*Note: When left like this, chia has a tapioca-like texture. For a texture more similar to porridge, blend all ingredients and then cover and refrigerate.
Optional: add toppings of your choice such as chopped nuts, strawberries, goji berries… the possibilities are endless!
How do you use chia seeds? Do you prefer the blended version or tapioca-like texture? Please let us know how YOU use Chia seeds in the comment section below.