Monday, February 27, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia

You know that catchy tune?  This past Christmas it seemed that every second commercial was for a Chia Pet (more specifically the Barack Obama one!)  Yes.  Chia Pets.  You know those crazy looking terracotta figurines with sprouts for hair/fur.  Ah.  The 1980s......

Since my last post was on the superfood Quinoa, I thought I would share a quick recipe on another superfood.  Chia Seeds.


There's that word again.  Superfood.  I will post on that another time.

Chia Seeds are native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, and were cultivated by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans going back to 3500 BC.  A little of this food goes a long way; therefore, you don't need much to reap its benefits.  One ounce of these super seeds have 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs.  They are also high in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.  Chia seeds absorb nine times their weight in water; therefore, it is best to moisten them before eating.  Chia seeds are not only great for vegetarians who don't eat soy, but they are excellent for people with diabetes (they balance blood sugar levels) and body builders (they aid in the regeneration of muscles).  But for the dieter/clean eater, eating these lovely seeds will keep you feeling full longer, keeps your blood sugar in check, are super low on the GI scale, and the fiber (both soluble and insoluble), will keep you regular!

More info....

This meal is for both adults and children. But be forewarned, as the fiber could upset their tummies if they are not used to eating high fiber foods.  The texture is like a tapioca pudding.  My kids enjoyed the flavor but one child was not crazy about the texture.  I generally eat this as a pre-workout meal, as it provides you with enough energy to fuel a good quality run/workout.  Plus your yoga pants and stomach will like this treat, as it doesn't feel heavy like oatmeal. 

So...now with the recipe.

Chia Seed and Chocolate Berry Pudding

1 cup  Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk (plain or vanilla tastes great too)
1 cup of Berries (I use either fresh or frozen strawberries or the frozen berry mix from Costco)
3/4 cup of Chia Seeds
2 tsp of good quality dark chocolate powder
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optional flavors to add - 1 tsp Cinnamon or 1 tsp of Ginger powder
optional sweetness - 1 - 2 tsp of Stevia or sucanat or maple syrup
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The night before....In a blender, food processor or hand mixer blend the milk and the berries until smooth.  Add the chocolate powder (and if using any of the other flavors, add them here) and blend/pulse again.  Pour this creamy mixture over the chia seeds and mix well with a spoon ensuring that the seeds are well coated.  Pour into a container or two ramekins and place in the fridge.  By morning (or 6 hours later) you will have a nice thick chia pudding.

Enjoy.  Yours in Good Health!  Chelsea












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