Chia seeds explained: know your ingredients
To some, it’s a kitchen staple. To others, yet another confusing food trend. Whichever category you may fall into, you have probably at least heard of chia seeds.
And I am here to tell you that yes, this is the same chia that sprouted into your chia pet.
It turns out, the seeds from those chia pets are omega-3 and fiber packed. They are rich in antioxidants, iron, calcium, and protein. Chia seeds have even been associated with improving health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and overall longevity.
These little black kernels are a member of the mint family, and have become popular additions to yogurt, salads, and even as a vegan egg substitute thanks to the gel it forms from soaking in liquid.
The chia craze may seem like a new trend, but the seeds have actually been around for centuries. The chia plant, Salvia Hispanica, is native to central and southern Mexico and is thought to have been cultivated by the Aztecs in pre-Columbian times.
Chia seeds can be enjoyed in many forms. I like to add them to my breakfasts, either in granola, on yogurt, or as a chia pudding.
Since chia seeds absorb liquid, when you mix it with milk it thickens into a pudding-like consistency. If this sounds gross and weird to you, stay with me, it’s super easy and can really taste like whatever you add to it.
Whether you are looking to play around with them in baking, or hoping they fade into the background while you benefit from their nutritional value, there is lots of room for experimentation with chia seeds.
Chia Seeds Pudding
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup milk (I prefer cashew or coconut milk)
Sweetener (I suggest honey or maple syrup)
There are different recommendations for the best chia to milk ratio but I’ve found that 2 tablespoon chia seeds to 1/2 cup of milk works best. Mix that up with a touch of maple syrup or honey and some cut up fruit and refrigerate overnight. Then, in the morning all you have to do is grab your pre-made breakfast from the fridge.
(If you really want to bring your pudding to the next level, you might even add a dash of vanilla or cinnamon to it. You can thank me later).