Monday, November 30, 2009
Do you remember this?
I used to think that chia was just for fun...as in soak the seeds, spread them on your chia pet and literally watch them grow! I was surprised to come across readings that outlined some of the incredible health benefits of chia seed.
Chia is a tiny black or white seed that was used as a staple food by the Indians of the southwest and Mexico. It is used as a high energy food and has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. Chia absorbs more than ten times its volume in water and forms a gel that makes a great base for puddings and helps keep your body hydrated. Chia is a rich source of fiber, calcium, B vitamins, and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is a complete protein, helps regulate digestion, control blood sugar, and is high in antioxidants.
I started experimenting with different chia pudding/breakfast cereal type recipes. Some worked well, others made me feel like I was eating slimy food that I knew was good for me. Here is one that works really well. Some of the ingredients might not be easy to find so I have added optional substitutions for you. Basically you can make a chia pudding out of any liquid that tastes good. For example if you have a favorite smoothie recipe, make the smoothie and take two cups of liquid and pour it over 1/4 cup of chia seed, let it sit for a half hour to two hours and voila!
1/4 cup chia seeds
2-3 cups coconut water (or filtered water)
meat of one young Thai coconut (you could also use a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter)
1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 tablespoon raw honey (or agave, maple syrup, or other favorite sweetener)
pinch of sea salt
Blend coconut water and meat, vanilla, honey and sea salt in a blender until smooth. Pour over chia seeds and let set in refrigerator for thirty minutes to two hours (the longer the better). Once again...you can make this recipe using any ingredients that make a smoothie like texture. Sometimes I add fresh or seasonal berries, apples, pears, almond butter, lucuma, carob powder, cacao powder.....etc.
Good luck! Let me know if you try it and what your favorite chia recipe is.