The first time I heard the word “chia,” was about 30 years ago in an advertisement for a chia pet. Remember them? I thought they were cool but I never owned one. So, when chia seeds recently became a part of my health regimen, it didn’t dawn on me that what they rubbed on the terracotta bodies of the pets to sprout greenery was actually moistened chia seeds. Who thinks up this stuff?
Anyway, chia seeds as a nutritional benefit is nothing new; just somewhat new to me. I’m usually slow to embrace all that’s on the market, adding new foods to my nutritional program on a need-to-experiment basis. (I have yet to try an artichoke) Last year, (2016), I’d actually bought a 32-ounce bag of chia seeds with the ambition of adding more Omega-3’s, plant protein, and other nutrients to my near-vegan nutritional diet via chia seeds; put the bag in my cabinet, and there it sat. I’d occasionally sprinkle a spoonful or two into a homemade smoothie or a salad but … that was it. But finally making chia pudding whet my appetite for more chia.
Easy and Taste-free
I despise complicated recipes. After recently welcoming in my 56th birthday, I decided it was time intensify my priorities and weed out what I don’t want to give energy to anymore. I no longer have the desire to wade through a laundry list of ingredients in order to produce a dish I want to eat. I want to keep it simple – five ingredients or less if possible. So chia seeds work well for me. They are as easy and versatile as it gets. I can either sprinkle them as is on my food, or I can soak them in my favorite liquid for a few hours or overnight and create new foods.
The other attribute I love about chia seeds are their bland flavor. Like tofu, they don’t taste like anything, which means they are very receptive to other flavors, making experimenting fun.
To begin any chia pudding recipe, the measurements are the same: one fourth cup of chia seeds and one cup of any type of milk, juice or water. Double the ingredients to make a larger batch.
In this glass of chia pudding, I soaked my chia seeds in coconut milk over night. The next day I layered blueberries, dairy-free yogurt, banana slices and granola into a glass. Not only was it delicious; it filled my belly and kept it that way for hours.
In this glass of chia pudding, I wanted some green. I soaked my chia seeds in cashew milk overnight. The next day I processed one avocado, a generous handful of spinach leaves, and some cashew milk and then layered that mixture with the softened chia seeds, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, and cherries.
I’ve become so smitten with chia pudding, I double the ingredients and make a large jarful so that I can have some on a daily basis. And I just read somewhere that using chia seeds to make jam is super simple! I’m gonna have to check that out.
If you haven’t tried chia seeds yet, just to sprinkle onto foods or to make chia pudding, they are definitely a must-add to any plant-based diet, as well as any weight-loss diet or weight maintenance diet.