I bought a bag of chia seeds recently, and have been incorporating them into my diet when I can because I have heard rumors of their health benefits. For those unfamiliar with chia, they are small seeds that form a gel around them when put into liquid. And they’re super good for us! Chia, like flaxseed, contains high levels of Omega-3s; in fact chia, seeds’ lipid profile is made up of 60% omega-3 (refer to post titled “The F-Word of Nutrition” for more info). These seeds also contain fiber, antioxidants, and a host of minerals such as manganese, calcium and phosphorus, making chia a true super food of the seed world.
Because of their gelatinous texture when submerged in liquid, chia seed pudding is a great way to eat them!
There are really only two essential ingredients here: chia seeds and a non-dairy milk of your choice. I got my chia seeds from my school’s little convenience store, but they should be available at most natural foods stores. There are countless toppings and spices that can easily be added to your pudding once it’s finished, so you’ll just have to see what is available to you, but I will share what I added. First, combine your milk and chia seeds (I used plain soy milk). The ratio that worked best for me was about 3 tbsp. of seeds for every 1 cup of milk. The nice thing is that you can always add more seeds if the consistency isn’t thick enough (so you can’t really mess up!). I added 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon to this mixture, and stirred it well to avoid clumping. It will only take around 5-10 minutes for the seeds to form their gel, and then your pudding is basically done. If you have the time, it can be nice to prepare the pudding the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight. Then just add your toppings! I cut up a banana and some strawberries, and topped it off with shaved coconut and chopped almonds. All of these I was able to “steal” from my school’s dining hall buffet, but really any combination of fruit and nuts will be delicious! Some ideas: cinnamon, turmeric, blueberries, cashews, maple syrup, pears, apples, walnuts, or cocoa nibs. The great thing about this breakfast, aside from it being very tasty, is that it’s rich in fiber so it fills you up! I actually only ate half for breakfast, putting the other half in the fridge for another meal. Enjoy.