Who could forget the jingle from the 80s? Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yup, those little sprouted sheep and heads were grown from the same chia seeds you eye suspiciously in the bulk bins.
You may have heard somewhere that chia was good for you. You may even have purchased some, only to be stumped as to how to use them, and why you really bought them in the first place. Well, stump no more, friends! Here’s everything you need to know about those tiny little specks of goodness.
Chia – pronounced chee-ah, not to be confused with the chai tea you drink.
Chia seeds are packed full of nutrition: they are incredibly high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids, a 2-Tbsp serving has almost 5 g of protein, and they’re a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
One of the most unique features of chia seeds, however, is their fibre content. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which means great things for your digestion. Insoluble fibre helps to add bulk to *ahem* that which passes through you, and soluble fibre helps things go more, well, smoothly. Long story short: if things are moving too quickly, chia helps slow them down, and if things are moving too slowly, chia helps speed them up.
So now that you’re chia’s biggest fan, what do you do with them? Chia seeds can be sprinkled on a variety of salads, soups, cereals, yogurts, etc, but they can also be a snack in their own right. The magic of chia is that, when they come in contact with any liquid, they create their own gelly-like coating which, when combined with a few other ingredients, makes for a really awesome:
Mint Chocolate Chia Pudding
1-2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite milk (I used coconut)
1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
2-3 drops peppermint extract
Sweetener to taste (Stevia, honey, agave, coconut sugar . . . )
Cacao nibs for topping
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit for 15 mins – half an hour. If it’s too liquid-y, add more chia, if it’s too thick, add more liquid. Top with cacao nibs and serve! Pro Tip: if you warm up the milk first (warm, not boiling – too hot and it will lose its Omega-y goodness), the gelling happens much faster.
Feel free to add or subtract ingredients at will. Lately I’ve been making a breakfast pudding by adding a scoop of Vega One, chia seeds, warm water, coconut flakes, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger – warming spices for a cold month!
About The Author:
Kelly Boaz, CNP
Kelly is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in eating disorder recovery and food freedom. She is also a public speaker (TEDx King St. West, TDSB) and a writer. Learn more about Kelly, and about booking private consultations at kellyboaz.com Twitter: @kelly_boaz Facebook: /KellyBoazDotCom