Chia seeds? So passé. They were 2016’s superfood.
Well, trends do come and go, but chia seeds took a turn in the limelight for good reason. Chia seeds may be small but are not to be underestimated, for just a couple of tablespoons pack a powerful nutritional punch.
By now, you have probably already heard of chia seed pudding, a delicious concoction made by simply mixing chia seeds into milk, adding sweetener of choice, and allowing the mixture to sit in the fridge. After a couple of hours, the mixture turns into a silky pudding. So simple and time-efficient, this nutrient packed dessert makes for a delicious breakfast or midday snack.
But hey, if you are tired of making the same chia seed pudding day after day, we goch(i)a. Here, we share several ways of elevating your chia game.
But first, here is a recap of why chia seeds get so much love:
- SMALL BUT MIGHTY. 1 ounce (28 grams) or 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain 11 grams of fibre, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat (5 of which are omega-3s), plus vitamins and minerals.
- WANNA LOSE WEIGHT? High in protein and fibre, they will keep you feeling fuller for longer and thus work great in supporting weight loss. Also, chia seeds cleanse the colon, helping with bowel regularity.
- LOOK YOUNG FOR YOUR AGE. Loaded with antioxidants, chia seeds help protect the body from free radicals, ageing, and cancer.
- KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds reduce inflammation, regulate cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Consuming chia seeds regularly will benefit those with inflammatory conditions, as well as those looking to improve heart health.
- PERFECT FOR VEGANS. Chia seeds are valued also for their thickening abilities. They absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, and the gel-like outcome can be used in place of eggs in baked goods.
- JUST A TERRIBLE COOK. Being tasteless and requiring zero cooking, these tiny black seeds are easy enough to incorporate into your diet.
Let us jump onto the chia seed pudding bandwagon now, shall we?
For the chocolate fanatics, a nutty, chocolatey dream:
Calories: 432 calories
2 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened soy milk or milk of choice
1 tbsp maple syrup, more if you have a sweet tooth
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp almond butter
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients until you are sure there are no lumps. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Having been chilled and ready to serve, top the mix with berries, coconut flakes, chocolate shavings, or more almond butter!
The tropical fruit lovers will love this coconut delight:
Calories: 405 calories
1 cup low-fat coconut milk (unsweetened)
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup, more if you have a sweet tooth
2 cup frozen pineapple, blended
Ripe dragonfruit, kiwi, bananas, pineapple or your choice of other fruit (best to choose whatever is in season), chopped
Coconut flakes, for garnish
In a bowl, whisk together chia seeds, coconut milk, and maple syrup until there are no lumps. Refrigerate overnight.
Blended frozen pineapple gives a nice thick puree. Add honey to taste. You can also choose to replace pineapple with frozen mango chunks.
The next day, layer a glass cup with fruit puree, pudding, and fruits. Garnish with additional diced fruit and coconut flakes.
Okay, enough of puddings. Let’s try something different: chia seed pancakes….
Pancakes are a breakfast staple. But they may not be the best breakfast option, being so high in carbs, especially when that “drizzle” of maple syrups turns more into a torrential downpour. A carb-heavy breakfast may cause you to feel drowsy midway through the morning. Without adequate protein, you will likely start feeling hungry before the lunch hour. These pancakes have no refined flour or added sugar, and offer a good mix of carbohydrates and protein, to help you feel fuller and invigorated for longer.
Calories: 546 calories
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch of sea salt.
Coconut oil, to fry
Maple syrup, fresh fruit, almonds, or other fixings for serving (optional)
Keeping the pancakes small, and low and slow cooking will help greatly in making your pancakes a flipping success. Lisa on My Relationship With Food suggests playing around with fillings – I recommend some mashed blueberries.
HealthLoco tip: These pancakes are not made to be thick and fluffy. Chunky fillings may fall out and cause the pancake to split apart easily. If you wish to add items such as apples or carrots, add them in thin strips instead of in cubed form.
Mash banana until smooth, then add the egg and beat well.
Stir in the chia seeds, baking powder, and salt and leave to rest for 5 minutes
Heat a pan and coat with coconut oil. Pour 2 tbsp of batter to form each pancake.
When edges begin to look cooked, use a large spatula to flip the pancake quickly.
Remove cooked pancakes to a plate and continue cooking in batches until the batter is gone.
Stack pancakes, drizzle with syrup, garnish with choice of toppings. Enjoy!