Chia Seed Pudding
Where do I start with all the health benefits that chia seed has to offer? OK, before I get started I do have to add – yes this is the chia seed that is used and often seen on television in association with a Chia Pet. Although chia seed has a reputation as part of late-night cheesy ad campaign, it’s a favorite of mine for a healthy diet. Sprouting Chia seed is another process all together and I will reserve that for another blog article. Chia seed has a power house of protein and other nutrients. It has twice the protein of any other seed and or grain has to offer and it contains more calcium then milk, almost five times the amount. It is full of omega 3 and omega 6, which I detail below. I would recommend three tablespoons of the gel three times a day if you want to increase calcium and protein in your diet.
When you hydrate the chia seed in water they can absorb up to nine times their volume. The chia seed shells open up and form a gel which is nice to use in smoothies, oatmeal and beverages such as kombucha. You can also make crackers from this gel, drizzle over fresh fruit, or added to your morning yogurt. Just know that whatever liquid you decide to use, chia seed absorbs the flavor of what you soak it in. Some of my favorites are apple juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, coconut water, nut and or seed milks, and sometime just good old spring water. The longer you allow the chia seed to soak the more nutrients will be easily accessible. I like to make a batch of this and leave it in the refrigerator for easy access. I like to use this as a protein substitute and a great egg replacement in recipes. Just mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons purified water and let sit for fifteen minutes.
There really is no flavor, so it is nice to add it to things where texture does not matter. For some people the texture is not always appealing, yet the nutritional value makes up for the slippery texture. One great benefit to chia seed is to use this soluble fiber as it helps regulate blood sugar and is excellent for diabetes. Another tip is for all you dieters out there, it makes you fuller for a longer period of time. Just be sure to drink plenty of water or make a gel out of your chia seeds so it doesn’t deplete moisture from your body. By taking in this gel you actually hydrate the body allowing the body to have more endurance level for your workout regimen. Although there are really no studies that support this concept of helping weight loss I know for myself that it fills me up and suppresses my appetite. The high fiber and protein helps to keep you regular and ease eliminations. Yes I’m talking bowel movements.
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
1 cup water, or apple juice, or coconut water, or fresh squeezed orange juice.
¼ cup Chia Seed
Fresh Fruit – Strawberries, Blueberries, pineapple or apples
1 tablespoon dried fruit-(optional): apricots, dates, raisins or a mix of fruits.
Top with walnuts, coconut, cacao, cacao nibs, nutmeg and or cinnamon
1. In a glass jar or bowl add your water or liquid of choice, first and then add the chia seed. Stir well to avoid clumping. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes or longer.
2. If using dried fruit add ¼ cup more water and soak with the chia seeds at the same time.
3. Serve in a small bowl with almond milk, and fresh fruit. It is also very good topped with my Cacao Spice Blend and Granola.