I love to try new recipes and recently I’ve been experimenting with some that include Chia seeds. This morning’s pick was Chocolate Chia Pudding. It has a very rich chocolate flavor, so I topped it with a little whipped cream and a fresh strawberry. Add a couple of candles to create a special surprise for your loved ones or just to brighten your own day. When you make healthy choices fun, they are so much easier to incorporate into your life!
Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods available to us. They provide us with fiber, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and a variety of micronutrients. They are 40% fiber by weight, and just one ounce contains 10-11 grams of dietary fiber. They can absorb about 10-12 times their weight in water, which helps to make the body feel full faster and for a longer period of time, thereby helping to reduce calorie intake. As they absorb water, they swell and form a gelatinous coating on the outside; it is important to soak them or add them to a liquid before ingesting.
The seeds have a bland flavor, so they take on the flavor of whatever you add them to. They can be added to meatballs, yogurt, smoothies, puddings, scrambled eggs, etc. Two tablespoons of Chia seeds contain more Omega 3’s than one serving of salmon, and it is a great choice for those following a vegetarian diet. (Salmon does contain an additional form of Omega 3’s that Chia Seeds do not, so adding both to your diet is optimal.)
High fiber diets are associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes and eating high fiber meals to keep blood sugar stable. Based on a review of findings from several large studies, The National Institute of Medicine found that diets with 14 grams fiber for every 1,000 calories were associated with significant reductions in the risk of both coronary heart diseaseand type 2 diabetes.
Omega-3s may also decrease LDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce atherosclerotic plaque, improve endothelial function, and slightly lower blood pressure. The richest sources of plant-based omega-3s are chia seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hempseeds, hempseed oil and walnuts.
I found a great video on youtube by Dr. Axe that explains the benefits in an understandable way. Only about 4 minutes long. Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chocolate Chia Pudding:
1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
2 1/2 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Almond or Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Hershey Baking Cocoa (unsweetened)
Mix on low in blender or whisk by hand in a deep bowl. Let set for at least 30 minutes, then pour into individual containers. Garnish with sifted Baking Cocoa, whipped cream, and strawberry (if desired).
I changed this recipe a bit so that I could use ingredients that I already had in my house. The original recipe used 2 Tbsp. Agave instead of the Maple Syrup and only 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract instead of the 1 tsp. that I used. (I love the richer flavor, so I used more.)
Try this link for some more great recipes! Simple Ways to Add Chia to Your Diet