As the weather has been getting warmer, I have left the cozy warm comfort of oatmeal to something cooler. What could be cooler than chia pudding for breakfast? Nothing really! It’s like dessert for breakfast and can be dressed in many ways. It can be tropical if you feel like escaping to the cool waters of a beach, it can be rich and chocolatey, it can be bursting with the juicy flavors of berries. Most importantly, it is filled with whole plant foods that provide nutrition and fuel to start your day……or a yummy dessert later, no judgement here. 🙂
As the title states, this pudding contains the goodness of chia. About 25 years ago chia was known as a plant that can be grown in interesting shapes with the catchy jingle “ch ch ch chia”. Who knew that decades later it would be considered such a powerful food packed with nutrition, making it a nearly 2 billion dollar industry? Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fat (omega-3 fatty acids), phosphorus, fiber, protein, calcium, zinc.
Two tablespoons contain:
4 grams protein
11 grams fiber
7 grams unsaturated fat
18% RDA for calcium
Trace minerals zinc and copper
They are the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a complete protein, meaning that they contain all nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body, hence must come from the food we eat. They are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Of course, no one food is the magic bullet for health. When eaten as part of a balanced plant-rich diet, chia may help prevent the development of various chronic diseases. One such disease is cardiovascular disease. These fiber rich seeds may help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and slow digestion which can help prevent blood sugar spikes.
Chia seeds contain high amounts of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). The Nurses’ Health Study showed a 40% reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death in women who ate the highest amounts of ALA. The Cardiovascular Health Study cohort included more than 5000 men and women, ages 65 years and older, showed a 50% lower risk of fatal ischemic heart disease with higher intakes of ALA.
Now back to the yummy stuff…Chia Pudding! Here is the recipe…
¼ Cup Chia seeds1 Cup plant milk
1 Cup thawed frozen berries (can use fresh berries)
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Method: Place all the ingredients except the berries into a bowl and mix. Let mixture chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Take bowl out and mix again. You will notice by now that the mixture is starting to get thick. This step is important because chia seeds tend to clump up and not get incorporated into the entire mixture, so this will prevent that from happening, giving you a smooth creamy thick pudding at the end. At this point place bowl back in the fridge for another 10 minutes or so. You can then serve it into mason jars or cups and place berries on top, the middle or in layers. Feel free to experiment with the toppings as well as the chia pudding itself. I have made a banana milk shake as the liquid by blending 1 banana with plant milk and then soaking the chia seeds. You can use raw cacao powder and plant milk to make a chocolate version. My favorite, which I am having this morning is thawed frozen pineapple chunks and coconut flakes for a Pina Colada version.
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