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!
There 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
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ cup almond milk
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!
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!