While chia seeds are growing in popularity many people still don’t to know how beneficial they truly are. Considered a superfood, chia seeds are loaded with protein, essential amino acids, antioxidants and aid in weight loss. Here are five fun and easy ways to help incorporate them into your life.
You have probably either heard of or seen chia seeds during your shopping runs. But how much do you really know about this tiny superfood with massive health benefits? They are gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and are a perfect ingredient for any type of diet. Chia seeds are trending in popularity and have started to show up everywhere. Tiny in size, they pack huge health benefits such as:
- They are high in protein, making them great for vegans and vegetarians who do not consume meat.
- They are high in calcium and in fiber and contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which aid in heart health, help with depression and lower cholesterol.
- When mixed with water or other liquids, chia seeds expand forming a gel that can aid in weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer.
- Since chia seeds really do not have a flavor on their own, you can mix them into virtually anything without altering the flavor of other recipes.
Below are five ways you can add chia seeds to your diet followed by a popular recipe for chia seed pudding. Don’t be turned off by the gel consistency of the pudding once you make it because it resembles a flavor very close to tapioca pudding.
Five ways to add chia seeds to your diet
- Add a tablespoon to a smoothie. This will add protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc and, since the chia seed will expand (you won’t taste it), it will keep you feeling fuller much longer.
- Sprinkle chia seeds over a salad or your favorite yogurt. They will add just a tiny bit of crunch making any salad just that much better.
- Mix them into baked goods. Mix them into pancakes, muffins, cakes or even breads for extra health benefits.
- Add chia seeds to soups, broths, sauces or salad dressings. They make a healthy “thickening” agent.
- If you’re a vegan or vegetarian use them as an “egg replacer” in baked goods. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds (you can add them to a blender and blend until they are finely ground) and 3 tablespoons of water. Mix well. This is equivalent to one whole egg.
Easy chia seed pudding recipe
- 1-1/2 cups vanilla coconut or almond milk
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- In a large jar add all of the ingredients. Shake vigorously to ensure everything is mixed well. Place in the refrigerator and allow the mixture to thicken overnight.
- Divide the pudding between two bowls and top with fresh fruit and an extra drizzle of maple syrup. Serve immediately. Can be made ahead and kept in refrigerator for up to 4 days.