Ok so I feel like I have been hearing about chia seeds for the last year or so but I hadn’t tried them until recently. They have always intrigued me but I never splurged on them because usually it’s at least $10-$20 for a bag of them and I tend to be frugal…Nevertheless, I knew they came jam-packed with disease fighting nutrients and I am so happy to have finally bought a bag ($10 for a 15oz bag of Whole Foods’ 365 brand-well worth it!). They’re actually considered a Superfood due to their high nutrient content! They are full of both soluble and insoluble fiber and therefore help you to sustain energy and maintain fullness (and help you to become, digestively-speaking, “regular” -but I’ll save that glorious topic for another post :)~). They also help to balance out your blood sugar and induce weight loss. “Chia” happens to be the word for “strength” in the Mayan language. According to Brendan Frazier’s book, “Thrive”, “Aztec warriors were rumored to eat chia before going into battle to give them a nutritional boost and thereby improve their endurance. They were also said to have carried it with them when they ran long distances to be used as their body’s primary food source.”(Thrive, pg. 123). One really cool thing about these seeds is the versatility in which you can use them. I’ve thrown them into our salads and home-made veggie burgers and even my no-tuna salad sandwich that I made this week (https://sproutnewroots.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/fish-are-friends-not-food/). They can be used as an egg substitute in baking as well. Seriously, guys-Google this teeny tiny power-packed seed and sneak it into your everyday meals!
Here are a few little nutritional facts about this powerful little seed:
-Chia contains 2x the amount of protein in any other seed or grain
-5x the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones
-2x the amount of potassium in bananas
-3x the antioxidant strength of blueberries
-3x more iron than spinach
-copius amounts of Omega 3 and Omega 6
I actually started eating chia seeds as my breakfast at work. I take about 1 tablespoon of them and mix it into either a glass of almond or soy milk or water. You have to mix it up really well -every 5 minutes or so-over a period of 20-30 minutes so that the seeds don’t clump up. Once they sit in liquid for that long, they form a gel-like texture (think tapioca pudding) and you eat/drink it! They have such a mild taste too so you really don’t notice anything but the texture and a slight little crunch-which i love for some reason.
Anywho, while I have been altering my diet over the last year, I have gradually phased out my needing to have something sweet after EVERY meal. Yea-talk about sugar addiction-not pretty. Now I reserve dessert as an occasional treat, and when I do partake in it, it’s usually savory and rich and I try not to overindulge. I’d rather a small bit of something rich and amazing than a ton of something that’s super sweet-which brings me to this Chocolate Chia Pudding post! This stuff is amazing, guys! And it isn’t too sweet-but rather it’s rich with cocoa flavor! So far I’ve made individual tea-cup sized servings of this for Jason and I. It’s his new favorite thing I make by the way. He’s a little obsessed. 🙂
Chocolate Chia Pudding (1 individual tea-cup sized serving)
4-8 ounces of almond milk (or soy or whatever plant-based milk you prefer-vanilla flavored ones add extra sweetness)
2 Tablespoons of chia seeds
1.5-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (you can use carob powder or cacao)
1 teaspoon raw agave nectar (or honey)
Toppings of your choice (I have used vegan chocolate chips and also strawberries)
Mix the seeds and liquid really well with a fork so that every seed gets wet. Add in the cocoa powder and agave nectar and mix. The cocoa powder tends to be a pain to mix in as it stays dry until you really get it going. Don’t give up though-it’ll take! Put in the fridge for about 20 minutes or longer (you can even leave it overnight). Over the course of the first 30 minutes, go re-stir the mixture a few times. Then, eat up when you’re ready!
How do y’all like to eat chia seeds? Do share 🙂
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