Do you remember the days of chia pets? And that commercial that just stuck in your head: Ch-Ch-Ch Chia! Chia seeds are now not only known as a fuzzy green pet, but more recently for their great taste, versatility, and impressive nutritional benefits!
These unprocessed seeds have been around for thousands of years. They come from a flowering plant in the mint family grown in Mexico, and were a staple in the diet of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Chia seeds were thought to have magical powers. Aztec soldiers would grind up the seeds and eat them for a boost of energy to sustain them over long periods of time.
These little seeds — which come in 3 colours: white, dark brown and black — contain a powerhouse of nutrients. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 fats. Chia seeds also contain a punch of protein and have a very high fiber content. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 10 grams of fiber (40% of your daily value!), and 20% daily value for calcium. Unlike flaxseeds, they don’t have to be ground in order for you to absorb the nutrients.
Chia seeds can absorb up to ten times their own weight in liquid. So, when you put the seeds in some sort of liquid like milk, yogurt or water, they expand and take on a gel-like quality after soaking for just a few hours. Chia seeds are so versatile. I add them to oatmeal, salads, granola and baking.
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
Makes: 1 serving
- 1/2 cup skim milk (or milk alternative)
- 1/2 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- any toppings of your choice: fruit, granola, nuts, shaved coconut
- Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, cup or jar. Cover and refrigerate. After 45 minutes, whisk again to disperse any seeds that have settled to the bottom. Cover and refrigerate for 7-8 hours, or overnight. Add toppings and enjoy!