Many of us had chia pets when we were kids. When I talk about chia, the first thing some people say is “Chia? As in chia pets?” Ha! Yes, indeed, chia is a beautiful mucilaginous seed. When it comes in contact with a liquid, a gel sack forms around the seed. This means the seed has enough moisture to germinate. You can sprout chia and get delicious nutrient rich micro-greens or simply eat the seeds. Chia seeds are naturally gluten free and a real “feel good” food.
It’s astonishing how nutrient dense a tiny seed can be. Easy to incorporate this amazing little seed into recipes, here’s why you want chia to be a part of your everyday diet:
Chia has an exceptional nutrient profile. It’s high in calcium and essential omega fatty acids, and a great source of fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins. It’s a powerful antioxidant, too! It is effective in balancing cholesterol levels and boosting the metabolism. I especially love this seed for its ability to keep me feeling full and energized, which is why I love eating chia first thing in the morning. I enjoy adding it to the kids’ smoothies, elixirs and my favorite pudding. It works great for making raw crackers too, thanks to its gelatinous qualities.
The ancient Aztec, Maya and Inca cultures consumed chia during their long journeys. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” The warriors recognized the effects of this energizing super food, so naturally it became a staple of their diet. I grew up in Mexico, drinking chia lemonade and eating popsicles with chia in them. I am still in love with this nutrient packed wonder seed. I simply feel good when I eat it, and my digestive system truly benefits as well. It’s no surprise this ancient food is gaining popularity these days.
You can add it to soups, baked goods, drinks, etc. It has a very subtle flavor so it won’t overpower whatever you make. Chia is commonly used in raw desserts such as pies and ice cream. My favorite way of eating chia is in a super food pudding.
Here is my recipe for chia pudding:
- 1/2 C. Chia
- 1-2 C. nut milk (add as needed for desired consistency)
- 4 T. maple syrup (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 T. mesquite
- 1/3 C. berries
- Suggested toppings: Shredded coconut, Bee pollen, Hemp seeds, Cacao nibs
Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and add more liquid as needed. (Chia expands in proportion.) Add toppings and enjoy right away!
You may also add a couple tablespoons to any smoothie, hot chocolate, elixir and blended soups. It acts as a thickening agent, helping you feel nourished and full.