Here is just a preview of some of the incredible benefits of chia seeds:
- 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain (a complete protein providing all essential amino acids)
- 5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones
- 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas
- 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (even more than flax seeds!)
- Incredible source of soluble fiber
Unlike flax, chia seeds can be kept in dry storage for years without spoilage. They are mild in taste, inexpensive, and versatile. I could go on and on....!
For the past year or so, I had a big 3lb. bulk bag of Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds from Amazon.com in my pantry. I would occasionally toss a spoonful into oatmeal, but they seemed too small and crunchy to chew. I recently discovered "chia gel," which is super easy to prepare and versatile. Store it in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to a week and spoon into smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, salads, soups, beverages, etc.
Makes about 1 cup
- Combine 1 cup water and 2-3 tbs. chia seeds in a bowl or jar.
- Stir with a fork to wet the chia seeds.
- Continue to stir every few minutes to prevent clumping until seeds absorb all water (usually 5-15 minutes)
- Add more seeds or water as necessary.
My most recent obsession is chia pudding, which makes a quick and easy raw breakfast, snack, or dessert. It's basically chia gel with nondairy milk as the base instead of water.
- Combine 1 to 1.5 cups nondairy milk and 2-4 tbs. chia seeds in a bowl.
- Stir every few minutes until chia seeds absorb liquid (see directions for gel above).
- Store in the refrigerator or serve right away with your favorite add-ins:
- Cacao/carob powder
- Nuts, seeds
- Fresh, frozen, or dried fruit
- Lucuma powder
- Vanilla/almond extract
- Sweeteners (maple syrup, agave, honey)
Some of my favorite combinations for chia pudding are:
- Maple syrup + lucuma powder + pecans + dates + cinnamon + nutmeg + cloves
- Cacao powder + cacao nibs + walnuts + banana (or frozen raspberries)
- Vanilla powder + almonds + frozen blueberries