Ah, memories. So glad I could bring that back for you. You're welcome :)
But, I'm not here to talk about "The gift that grows!" I'm here to talk about the amazing health benefits that chia seeds provide, benefits that are largely ignored by this country, as you can see by what we do commonly use them for. Yes, they're good for sprouting, but the way I like to enjoy them is in pudding. Chia seed pudding is sort of like rice pudding, only much easier to make. Easier meaning NO COOKING REQUIRED. That's right! Sooo easy. Instructions for basic chia seed pudding below...
Basic Chia Seed Pudding
1/2 cup chia seeds, white or black
2 cups almond, soy, or coconut milk (you can use cow's milk, although I highly recommend against it in order to keep it vegan as it is done so traditionally. Use organic milk if you really have a thing against the alternatives to cow's)
Pour chia seeds into a bowl large enough to hold them and the milk. Pour milk on top and mix with a fork until well-coated. Allow to sit for at least 2 hours before consumption. I enjoy them best after they've sat overnight and are extra gooey. While the chia seeds are soaking, they will start to expand and the mixture will take on a gel-like texture. The mixture will turn a purplish color and the seeds will look like they have a clear coating around them. It will not look very pretty, but you can make it look nicer by adding fresh fruit!
|the end result|
The taste is almost non-existent, but it's the texture that I really enjoy. It's like a rice pudding with a creamy, light, delicate nutty flavor. I would recommend using vanilla-flavored milk if you want it to be sweeter. You can also mix in a 1/2-1 tsp sweetener, such as agave syrup or stevia extract.
|the brand I used|
The main purpose of chia seed pudding is for health purposes. Chia seeds provide an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and calcium. They provide lots of natural energy and help balance blood sugar. They are also quite inexpensive, although not always easy to find. I have a local health food store that carries them and you can find them at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. You can also order them on vitacost.com. Read here for more info on the amazing chia seed.
Here are some delicious add-ins for your chia seed pudding:
- fresh fruit, such as banana, strawberries, and blueberries
- raw nuts, like cashews, almonds, and macadamias
- dried fruit, such as raisins, blueberries, and cherries
- vanilla extract
- raw oats
Here is another recipe for a yummy-sounding Chia Porridge from the back of the package I bought:
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup water
5 tbsp oats
1/2 banana, sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 oz coconut milk
Pinch of sea salt
Bring water to boil. Add all ingredients except for the coconut milk to the water and stir for about 5 minutes or until the texture thickens and is to your liking. Serve with the coconut milk poured on top.
This pudding is the perfect alternative to sweet treats. Your family (including yourself) may think it sounds and looks weird, but just give it a try and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. When I first tried this, it was brought to a church function by a close friend and served with banana. Many looked at it with a "WTF?' look on their faces, but everyone enjoyed it! Lily likes it with fruit mixed in and Paul likes it sweetened up. What style will you try?
Now it's time to link-up something yummy and meat-free. Since I shared a snack/treat today, you can link something like that up too. Of course, you can link whatever you like, just please only link up vegetarian recipes! And please follow your hostess and visit some of the other blogs and leave some love! With the soon-to-be-disappearing Google Friend Connect, I suggest you start following me and others with Linky Followers.
Have a good week!