Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ways With Chia


One of my favorite breakfast foods is chia pudding. I appreciate the versatility of this little seed which the Aztec Warriors used to consume for long lasting energy.

I think there's something for everyone when it comes to chia. Since some people don't like the tapioca-like texture, blending it is a great option, yielding a smooth, thick and creamy pudding. If you fit into that category, check out some of my past concoctions: Chocolate chia pudding, pineapple vanilla chia puddingblueberry pudding, and cranberry pomegranate compote which is a delicious cake topping. I however, love the texture and usually opt for the simplicity of shaking chia seeds and almond milk (or raw cow milk when I can get my hands on it) together at least 30 minutes before chowing down. My favorite mix-ins are cacao nibs, goji berries, and jarrah bee pollen.


Five little tips and ideas:

1. Shake up the mixture in a jar with a tight lid for ease.
2. Continue shaking it periodically for the first 10-15 mins to prevent clumping (which is annoying). If this happens, use a fork to unclump, or blend on a low speed just to break it up.
3. If your mixture is too thick simply add more liquid. If the mixture is too thin either add more chia (if you have time to wait for them to expand), or blend it with a banana and/or nut butter.
4. Chia break for a group or kids? DIY chia bowls are fun. Make a batch of Basic Chia Pudding and set out bowls of garnishes for everyone to make their own.
5. Short on time? Shake it up before going to bed in order to give more than enough time for the seeds to swell.


Here are three quick, easy and tasty chia puddings using one simple mixture as a base. Garnishes are the fun part that makes each pudding unique. I'm all about different textures. I like crunchy with smooth. Try bananas, berries, granola, coconut flakes, dried fruit, cacao nubs, dehydrated buckwheat, nuts, the list is endless.





Basic Chia Pudding
1 cup almond milk
1-2 tablespoons chia seed
Vanilla bean and a pinch of salt (optional)

Shake 1 cup coconut milk with chia seed in a jar with a tight lid.
Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes for the chia to swell completely.
Add toppings of your choice!




Chai Chia Pudding
Infuse almond milk with an herbal chai tea bag for 8-12 hours. (I let the tea bag and milk sit in the same jar that I'll later add the seeds to).
Follow the Basic Chia Pudding recipe.
I like to garnish it with cinnamon, stevia, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs.


Chocolate Chia Tapioca

Make basic chia pudding and then stir in: cacao powder, liquid sweetener (my fave is maple syrup), and vanilla. I like to garnish it with cacao nibs and an extra drizzle of syrup.

Here are a few facts about the wonder seed. Chia is:

-Rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
-A complete source of dietary protein, providing all essential amino acids.
-High in calcium, enzymes, and minerals.  
-Absorbs more than 9 times its volume in water, which means that a small amount keeps a person feeling full and satisfied for a long time. 
-Super high fiber content acts as an intestinal broom (you know what that means! wink wink;)
-Easily digested and absorbed for energy.
-Contains no taste = it takes on any flavors that are added to it. 
-Doesn't go rancid and can easily be stored. 



I hope you'll give chia a try if you haven't already. Or maybe switch it up a little if chia is already a staple in your diet.

16 comments:

VeganLisa said...

What beautiful bowls for breakfast! I find chia is such a good hearty ingredient to start the day - it really keeps me feeling full for hours. Thanks for sharing your creative combinations.

xo

rawesome goddess said...

chia pudding is one of my fave breakfasts too:) great tips on quick easy preparation!

VeggieGirl said...

Yeah I still need to give chia a better chance... not my favorite ;)

Ela said...

Those are some lovely tips.Chia is so much fun--I've even used it blended for pie filling thickening (although I prefer Irish moss for that).

Are you going to share your latest dietary/health insights and adventures?
love
Ela

missmuffcake said...

i need to try chia!

Sasha said...

These look great. So far I just use chia dry and as an add on to my breakfast cereal. I have never been a pudding lover. The texture throws me off. These look great so I will try again.

Christine said...

thank you for the rece's told a young man at work about your site and philip's AND i told him about the amazing chia seeds AND that i forgot the proportions, now i can tell him and bring in some seeds, AND this young man has '2' vitamixers, his parents used them for all his baby food etc...i will eventually get a vitamixer too.
gleefully
c

Cameo said...

Oh, that sounds divine! I am so lazy with my chia seeds, I just sprinkle on top of oats or quinoa flakes. But now I want to make PUDDING!

Pure2raw Twins said...

Girl we love our chia seeds! They have become a huge staple in our diets lately. Loving all the different combos we can do with them :)

kt said...

I became burned out with my boring chia pudding, but you have given me new ideas make chia interesting again. Cute bowls!

bitt said...

I love chia too! But I must like mine thicker. I use 3-4 tablespoons per 1 cup of liquid.

Nelly said...

there you go talking about poop again!! haha...kidding...

i have a bag of chia...need to use it up...thanks for the ideas lady!!!

thanks for last night, john and i had a blast...

love you so much!!!

Becky said...

HI Heather, sorry if you already answered this someplace, but I didn't see it. What ratio seeds/liquid to you generally start out with? I know you can add more or less depending on taste, but what do you usually start with?

Thanks!!! :)

Beth said...

I'm a big chia pudding fan. I like mixing mine with a "fruit smoothie" and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
Papaya, mango, blueberry, or banana are my current favourites.

barefoot_and_frolicking said...

love that powerful chia seed! :)

Heather Pace said...

Ela, yes will be sharing more on Universal Eater soon. I'm terribly behind!

Becky - there's a recipe in this post for basic chia pudding with ratios.