Cha-Cha-Cha Chia? Like those planter thingies?
The Humble Chia Seed
We’re all familiar with those terracotta planters that you spread with chia seeds which grow into “hair.” They’re very funny. But did you know those little chia seeds are nutrition powerhouses?
Chia seeds are high in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals:
- Dietary fiber (11g – 42% recommended daily value)
- Protein (4.4g – 9% RDV)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (4915 mg)
- Omega-6 fatty acids (1620 mg)
- Calcium (77 mg – 18% RDV)
- Copper (0.1 mg – 3% RDV)
- Phosphorus (265 mg – 27% RDV)
- Potassium (44.8 mg – 1% RDV)
- Zinc (1.0 mg – 7% RDV) (source)
Making the switch to a grain-free or Paleo-style diet can be challenging. We miss foods like oatmeal and breakfast cereal. Grains are also used as thickeners in sauces. Thankfully we have the humble chia seed!
Recipes for chia pudding (also called chia gel) abound. A quick internet search will bring up dozens of recipes. That just goes to show how very versatile this little seed is.
The most basic recipe for chia pudding is simply 5 parts liquid to 1 part chia seeds.
So you can use 2.5 cups of full-fat coconut milk (the kind in a BPA-free can) to 1/2 cup chia seeds. Or for a smaller batch you could use 1.25 cups of almond milk to 1/4 cup chia seeds. Or just use plain water. Chia seeds have no flavor on their own and of course neither does water so you’ll want to use a little more spices and probably a pinch of sea salt or it will be quite bland. You can use most any liquid: water, nut milk, coconut milk, tea, etc. You’re only limited by your imagination!
Mmmmmm……what about chai tea chia pudding with some toasted coconut? Just be sure to let the tea cool to room temperature before adding the chia seeds.
Top like you would oatmeal. You can used berries, fruit, nuts, toasted coconut, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. Add spices like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, vanilla or almond extract. How about a splash of vanilla and a little coco for a yummy chocolate pudding?
Use your imagination! Then post your creations below. I’d love to hear what you come up with!
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz
- Water to make a total of 2 1/2 cups of liquid Or use 2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
- Pinch of sea salt
- Toppings of your choice
Put coconut milk, water, and salt in a jar and shake until well blended
Add chia seeds and shake or stir
Shake or stir frequently for the first 5 minutes or so. As the seeds begin to absorb the liquid they will swell and stick together. Shaking or stirring prevents this
Allow to sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The seeds will continue to swell and form a gel.
When ready to serve top with your favorite oatmeal toppings
Strawberries, blueberries with toasted coconut
Green apple & cinnamon with pecans
Walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie spice
Blueberries and cardamom with pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cashews
Spoonful of coco, splash of vanilla and a little liquid stevia or honey
If the tapioca texture of chia gel bothers you, put the seeds and liquid in a blender and blend until smooth. You'll end up with a pudding texture instead.
**Nutrition information for 1/4 recipe of chia gel made with water and no toppings. Other liquids and toppings will alter the nutrition content