cha cha cha chia


Cha cha cha chia…if you’re a child of the 80’s you remember putting those little seeds on a clay animal or Homer Simpson’s head, placing it in the sun and waiting for it to sprout. Such a weird concept!

chiapetThere are tons and tons of nutritional benefits hidden in those little seeds.  In just two tablespoons there are 7 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, more calcium than a glass of milk and more omega 3’s than a piece of salmon!  The Aztecs used them for endurance on their hunting excursions.  They absorb liquid, creating a gel consistency that when consumed burns very slowly in the body making for sustained energy.  It also stabilizes blood sugar protecting against dips in glucose levels.  Chia seeds’ ability to absorb liquid also protects against dehydration and assist in electrolyte balance.

The abundance of Omega 3’s found in chia seeds have been researched for the prevention of mood disorders and depression.  The combination of fiber and liquid absorption is a great way to alleviate constipation.  The high fiber content is also a great weight loss tool by keeping you very full!  For best results, work your way up to consuming 2 tablespoons per day.  If you’re not used to consuming a lot of fiber add chia seeds slowly into your diet to prevent digestive upset.

Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, yogurt, cereal baked goods or salads.   Unlike flax seeds they do not have to be ground up for absorption of nutrients.  Or try them in a breakfast pudding!  Chia seed pudding is creates a tapioca type of consistency.  So, if you are someone who doesn’t like the texture of tapioca this may not be the recipe for you!

Breakfast Banana Chia Seed Pudding

1 banana

2 tablespoons chia seeds

½ cup almond milk

 chia seed pudding

Mash banana, add chia seeds and almond milk.  Put in refrigerator overnight.  Top with sliced berries and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.  I used vanilla flavored almond milk.  If using plain almond milk consider adding ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.  I make these the night before however, you do not need to refrigerator over night, 1-2 hours should do the trick!

 chia seed pudding 1

The combination of chia seeds, protein and, carbohydrate from banana (chia seeds have zero carbs) makes this recipe a great snack to eat before or after endurance exercise.  Heck, you don’t need to be an endurance athlete to enjoy this snack!  I need all the help I can get running around after a toddler and trying to keep up with daily activities!

curried sweet potato hummus

Sweet Potatoes are a budget friendly way to get your daily dose of goodness!  They come packed with an abundance of potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin E and C.

curried sweet potato hummus5

Potassium helps regulate blood pressure by ridding the body of excess sodium and regulating the heartbeat.  It is also an electrolyte, which maintains fluid balance in the body.

Beta-Carotene is a powerful antioxidant that protects and repairs cells.  It is great for vision health and may prevent macular degeneration.

The vitamin E and C are responsible for the sweet potato’s title of “beauty food” making for glowing skin and vibrant hair.

We’ve been really enjoying this version of sweet potato hummus!  Hummus is a great addition to a meal secondary to its high protein and fiber content.  It’s a nice alternative to plain hummus!

 curried sweet potato hummus1

Curried Sweet Potato Hummus

2 sweet potatoes

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

5 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon curry powder (more if you like a strong curry flavor)

½ teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt

juice from ½ lemon


Peel and cube sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.

Place in a 375 oven for 45-60 minutes (or until tender).

When cooled, blend sweet potatoes in a food processor adding a tablespoon of water at a time until a smooth consistency is achieved.

Add chickpeas, curry powder, lemon juice, tahini, sesame oil and sea salt.  Blend until smooth, slowly adding water as needed.

 curried sweet potato hummus4

Great for dipping with vegetable sticks or try making collard wraps!

 curried sweet potato hummus

De-stem a large collard leaf, place a couple tablespoons of hummus in the center, add sliced veggies such cucumbers, peppers and carrots.  Roll like a tortilla wrap and Enjoy!

 collard wraps, curried sweet potato hummus

It’s been a hit with Noah too!  He’s been eating it for breakfast, right off the spoon!

curried sweet potato hummus2

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce

This weekend I met a very sweet woman who said she started eating quinoa since reading my blog!  It made me so happy to hear that a) people are reading my blog and b) they are trying the recipes and eating healthy food!

So, what’s all the hype over quinoa about?  Pronounced Keen-Wah.  Quinoa is actually not a grain, it’s a seed!  Originating thousands of years ago in Central and South America it was used by the Incas to increase endurance and stamina.

Red and White Quinoa

Red and White Quinoa

Quinoa is gluten-free for all those out there with gluten sensitivities and is a great substitution for rice or pasta.  It contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein, great for vegans and vegetarians!  It has tons of fiber (unlike the white processed alternatives) which can be helpful in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and controlling glucose levels.  The phytonutrients found in quinoa make it an anti-inflammatory food, lowering risk of cardiac disease and cancer.  Quinoa is also rich in iron and magnesium, which is essential for energy production and the formation of bone.

Try it out using my new favorite recipe!

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce

Adapted from


1 cup cooked quinoa

1-2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 red or orange bell pepper, diced

½ red onion, diced

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup chopped cilantro

¼ cup diced green onions

 crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce

For the dressing

¼ cup all natural peanut butter

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

3 tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acids

1 tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons water

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce


Prepare all salad ingredients and place in a large mixing bowl.

In a food processor, combine all dressing ingredients.  Blend until well combined adding water as necessary until desired consistency is created.

Add 1 cup of cooked, cooled quinoa to the vegetables.  Pour dressing on top and mix until vegetables are well coated.

 crunchy quinoa salad with peanut dressing

The original recipe added 1 cup of edamame or chickpeas and garnished with cashews and lime.  I think all three ingredients would be a lovely addition to the salad!

I served the quinoa over a bed of greens and topped with tempeh that was sautéed in coconut oil and Bragg’s Amino Acids.  I also added a sprinkle of black sesame seeds!  For a non-vegetarian/vegan meal you could add grilled chicken or shrimp.

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut dressing

The peanut sauce was excellent, wish I had made extra!

Hope you enjoy it too!

Stop on by GLOW YOGA on May 18th for the 2 year anniversary celebration, I will be making this quinoa salad!