What are chia seeds?
In case you aren't familiar with chia seeds, they are tiny black seeds (about the size of a sesame seed) and are a good source of healthy fats and fiber. Chia seeds are able to absorb ~12x their weight in water and become gelatinous in liquids (1). In the recipe below for chia pudding, this gelatinous property is what holds the pudding together and gives it that "pudding" like texture. You can find chia seeds in both the whole and ground form. If you are vegan or are just looking for a way to boost the healthy fats and fiber in your diet, chia seeds can actually be used as an egg replacer. Read more about that here.
What are chia seeds good for?
Excellent source of plant based omega-3s (1)
Excellent source of fiber
Compared to flax and hemp seed, chia is higher in fiber (1)
Note: I'm not trying to play favorites - just putting out some facts. Even though chia is higher in fiber, hemp seed is higher in protein and flax seed is higher in omega-3s. As with most foods, a good variety and combination of all these seeds can be beneficial for most people
May help lower cholesterol and triglycerides (1)
May help lower blood pressure
May help stabilize blood sugar (1)
Contains phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium (1)
Where to buy chia seeds
I normally buy my chia seeds at Trader Joes because they seem to have the best price but you can find chia seeds at pretty much any grocery store. You can normally find them in the breakfast aisle or with the other nut/seeds.
How do you use chia seeds?
Chia seed pudding (see below)
Make a chia seed smoothie
Add to a yogurt bowl
Make "chia fresca"
Add to overnight oats
Add to granola
Add to baked foods
Make chia jam
Use as an egg replacer
Chia seeds are pretty flavorless so you can be creative with what you add them to.
Zesty Blueberry Lemon Chia Seed Pudding
To be honest, I have been eating chia pudding for a while now but I've found it rather lack luster and tend to only have it when I'm burnt out on my other breakfast ideas. Because chia seeds have so many good health benefits, I wanted to explore how I bring some pizzazz to chia pudding. And if I may say so myself, I think I have done just that :)
If you are like me and found chia pudding kind of boring in the past, you will want to try this recipe. The frozen blueberries melt into the pudding adding SO much flavor and the kefir and lemon zest add just the right amount of tang! This is definitely no boring chia pudding!
½ cup unsweetened almond milk or canned coconut milk
See this post if you would like to make your own almond milk
½ cup Forager Project drinkable yogurt (or regular kefir)
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp lemon zest
4 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Optional: 1 scoop of collagen
Note: when using the frozen blueberries they are going to let off some juices when they defrost. This helps to add flavor to this chia pudding with adding more sugar. If you are finding that your chia pudding is too liquid and you would like it thicker, cut back on the milk or the kefir by about 1/4th cup OR add 1/2 to 1 more tablespoon.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Combine well so the chia seeds don’t settle at the bottom (you may need to stir again after 5-10 minutes to make sure chia seeds distribute evenly).
Allow to sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour.
Top with your favorite toppings. For this recipe I used blueberry compote and toasted coconut. Other good toppings would be any fresh fruit, granola, hemp seeds, and/or nut butters.
I like to pre portion mine in these Weck Jars to keep in the refrigerator for a ready to go breakfast in the morning.
Tip: This is an excellent meal prep recipe to have ready to go for the week! Keep in the refrigerator and pull out when you are ready to eat. All you have to do is add your favorite toppings. Breakfast will be ready in less than 2 minutes!
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