Chia seed recipes, such as this chia seed pudding, are all the rage lately, and for good reason. Chia seeds, when combined with water, juice, or milk, gel up and thicken, creating the most delightful smooth, tapioca-like texture that is perfect for chia smoothies, puddings, and other desserts.
Chia pudding a quick and easy breakfast or snack (no cooking required!) is the perfect option when you are on the go. It features nutrient-rich chia seeds, rich in fiber, anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a definite upgrade from processed breakfast cereals or commercial puddings!
What’s interesting is that chia is an ancient crop that is experiencing a renaissance. The little black and white seeds used to be a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with the Native Americans of the southwest.
Many chia pudding recipes call for soaking the seeds whole, resulting in a tapioca-like texture. Another option is to simply blend all ingredients in a blender for a more uniform, creamy porridge.
The seed flavor is neutral enough that you can add your favorite spices and toppings. In my case, that means vanilla bean paste and banana, with a dash or cinnamon; or perhaps combo of strawberries, coconut, and lime.
Chia Pudding Recipe (with Vanilla)
Make a large batch of this pudding over the weekend, then divide it into individual containers to keep in the fridge, for a quick grab-and-go breakfast all week long. Top with a sliced banana and/or other fresh fruits for a delicious and filling meal!
Chia puddings may take practice to get the texture “just right” to your liking, so feel free to adjust the amount of seeds or liquid to achieve the result you desire.
The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant. That means you can easily combine it with other foods without changing the taste dramatically.
Below is an unblended version. It will have nice “bumpy” texture with slightly crunchy seeds. If you prefer smooth pudding, use a blender.
A note on chia seeds: For best results, I recommend sticking to organic varieties! Nativas Naturals is a trusted brand (this is the one I used for this recipe), and Whole Foods also carries a 365 brand that I enjoy.
Chia Seeds Benefits
They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fiber.
So, what are some of the health benefits of eating chia?
* Provides energy
* Boosts strength
* Bolsters endurance
* Levels blood sugar
* Induces weight loss
* Aids intestinal regularity
Chia seeds are said to have:
*2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
*5 times the calcium of cow’s milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones,
*2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
*3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
*3 times more iron than spinach
*abundant amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids
Chia seeds are a wonderfully rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. I’ve written extensively about the omega-3s, which are essential for healthy heart, normal blood sugar, healthy hair, skin and nails. An ounce of chia seeds also contains 18% of your daily calcium needs, which is three times more than cow’s skim milk!
They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fiber. Like flax, chia is highly hydrophilic: the seeds absorb water and create a mucilaginous gel. They can hold 9-12 times their weight in water and they absorb it very rapidly – in under 10 minutes. One advantage of chia is that because it has such a high antioxidant content, the seeds stay stable for much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. (via NaturalNews)
Chia Seed Side Effects
Also, be sure to check with your doctor before regularly adding chia seeds to your diet if you are on any blood sugar or blood pressure regulating medication–> chia seeds naturally help regulate both, and may make your medications too powerful, so your doctor may want to reduce your dosage.
Where to buy chia seeds?
Chia seeds can be quite expensive, but keep in mind that you’ll only use a teaspoon or so when making a smoothie, while still getting lots of valuable nutrients. If you cannot find chia at your local health food store, perhaps you can buy them online, for example, on Amazon:
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this green smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!
I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!