Did you ever wonder how people first had the idea of eating chia seeds? Did they decide that instead of adding water and setting their chia seed pet next to the window they would add the seeds to smoothie? Okay, it probably didn’t happen that way. But it is interesting that we were all so familiar with chia seeds but not as an edible ingredient. To think the rich source of nutrients was simply a way to grow hair on funny clay vases for most of the 1980s!
Perhaps after flaxseeds paved the way, we were all more open minded to eating seeds on a regular basis. Chia seeds have become a phenomenal addition to our diets. They are a source of protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. They have a high concentration of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA), making their ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 very good. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds will provide 10 grams of fiber, 18% of your daily recommended calcium, 35% of phosphorus, 24% magnesium and 50% manganese. Not bad for a tiny seed, right?
If you’ve never had chia seeds before, adding a tablespoon to your smoothie is a great way to introduce you to this seed. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own, but the seeds add texture. These mini- seeds absorb liquid pretty fast and become hydrogel capsules. You can compare them somewhat to the texture of tapioca pudding. Since they don’t have much flavor of their own, any liquid you add chia seeds to will soak up the liquid’s flavor. . Chia seed puddings are deliciously versatile ways to add nutrients to your breakfast or snack time. Of course we mixed the seeds with peanut butter and its best match chocolate. Set them overnight in the refrigerator so that they have enough time to expand to their maximum capacity, and the results are deliciously refreshing!
A few other ways to enjoy chia seeds are as toppings to your salads, added to smoothies, soups or added to bread dough when baking. You can even use it to make your own jelly. Since they have this gel forming capacity you can skip the pectin usually added to make jams, and just add chia seeds instead. Combine fruit puree, stevia or sugar and chia seeds, blend well and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
This Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chia Seed pudding recipe was created as dessert for a “girl’s night” dinner with my friends. They couldn’t believe how beautiful the puddings looked layered on the glass dishes. Some were a bit reluctant to try it when I mentioned the ingredients, but after one spoonful, and they were sold! It’s sweet enough, but not overpowering, so you can add some chocolate chips on top for a flourish . My children were ecstatic to see there were leftovers, since they are big fans of this pudding. Try your own version of chia seed pudding with your favorite Once Again Nut Butter, and let your family and friends rave about the tasty results.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
½ cup of chia seeds
2 cups of milk (of your preference)
2 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter (Creamy or Crunchy)
1 tablespoon of cacao powder, unsweetened
Divide milk into two separate jars. Add half of the chia seeds to each jar. Then add peanut butter to one jar, and cacao powder to the other. Close jars and shake them for about three minutes. Place in refrigerator overnight. Next morning, layer them up or just enjoy them right out of the jar! Topping suggestions: walnuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes or granola!