Pssssst!! Looking for chia seeds? You should be! They give you almost unbelievably concentrated nutrition.
- Chia seeds are richer in Omega 3s than salmon. They are about two-thirds Omega 3s, so important for everything from heart health to skin to the brain and nervous system.
- They are a great source of complete protein, much more than any other seed or grain;
- have three times more antioxidants than blueberries;
- are high in fiber, making them a superb addition to anyone trying to optimize digestion and excretion;
- a source of highly assimilable calcium;
- have more iron than spinach.
- are also an excellent source of potassium, magnesium and folate.
Chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they absorb a lot of liquid, and turn it into a gel. This makes it a great thickener, that can be used to make a simple healthy pudding (see recipe below). While you can use chia seeds as is, the nutrition in them becomes more available if they are soaked as little as 10 minutes and up to a few days.
My favorite ways to use chia are:
- in shakes and smoothies
- as a simple “pudding” (see recipe below)
- to thicken sauces, pie fillings, etc.
- mixed with other cereals
- as an egg replacement (2 tablespoons chia to 1/4 cup water = 2 eggs)
- a tablespoon mixed into my hot cocoa
- sprinkled on salads or veggies, as you would any seed
Chia Pudding Recipe
Mix 1/3 cup of chia seeds with 2 cups of your favorite milk (I recommend unsweetened coconut for its brain-healthy fats). Add sweetener of choice, to taste (I use either stevia or xylitol, but you could also use raw honey, molasses or agave.) Stir thoroughly and let sit in the fridge, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
Mix in raw cacao powder, vanilla, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, cinnamon (great for stabilizing blood sugar) or other spices. It’s very adaptable, so have fun experimenting! Let me know if you have a favorite.
This was published as my Lifestyle column in The Hudson Valley Insider.