Chia Seed Power!
As I was eating my usual chia seed and blueberries with coconut milk “cereal” for breakfast this morning, I came across this awesome article clearly articulating the benefits of this power seed! Whether you prefer the more jam-like consistency or something crunchier, this protein-packed seed can offer a diversity of options for meal enlightenment.
4 Healthy Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds (Plus, Peaches & Cream Chia Seed Pudding Recipe!)
By Jennifer Pantin
Remember those amazing ch-ch-ch-chia ads back in the 80’s? We all loved those commercials, and the amazing sprouting heads! Who knew they were really selling a nutritional powerhouse? When you factor in how many uses they have in every day cooking you’ll want to make sure your pantry is always stocked with chia seeds.
First, let’s talk benefits! Chia seeds are loaded with good-for-you nutrients, like…
Fiber Just one ounce of chia seeds has 11 grams of fiber! That’s almost a third of the recommended daily intake of fiber in one small serving. Tossing chia seeds onto a snack is an easy way to help make sure you’re maintaining your digestive health.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Omega 3 fatty acids are important for brain health and help to reduce your risk for heart disease. A one-ounce serving of chia boasts 5 grams of Omega 3. That’s definitely a good thing, since our bodies can’t produce these fatty acids and we have to find it in outside sources. (Note: Be sure to watch your intake as eating more than 3 grams of Omega 3 per day, every day can have negative repercussions on your health.)
Calcium One serving of chia seeds has almost 18% of your recommended daily intake of calcium. Whether you are going dairy-free and looking for alternative calcium sources, or just concerned about osteoporosis, chia can definitely help up your intake.
Protein A great source of cholesterol-free protein, one ounce of chia seeds has about 4 grams of protein. That’s almost 10 percent of the recommended daily intake!
Now that you’re on board with eating them, here are three fun ways you can bring chia seeds into your diet.
Egg Replacer Want to make baked goods without eggs?Chia seeds make it super simple. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The result? A gelatinous mixture that works just as well as an egg.
Jams When I’m in the mood for homemade jam, but don’t want to deal with the mess of the old-fashioned canning process, I purée whatever fruit I have handy in my mini food processor and add some chia seeds. After chilling for a bit I have instant jam! It’s fresh, delicious, and preservative-free!
Pudding Store bought pudding can taste chemically taste, and homemade pudding is time consuming to make. My quick (and healthy!) fix: Chia seed pudding! I simply mix together chia seeds, soy milk or light coconut milk, some fruit, and a little agave nectar for a delicious dessert or breakfast!
Although I start most mornings by drinking a green smoothie, lately I’ve been mixing it up with this Peaches and Cream Chia Seed Pudding for breakfast. The fruit satisfies my sweet tooth, the fiber and protein keep me full until lunch, and it’s low calorie, too! It’s a great way to start your day.
Peaches and Cream Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 ½ cups Soy Milk
- 2 Peaches
- 2 tablespoons Organic Chia Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Blue Agave Nectar
- Pinch of Salt (approximately 1/16 teaspoon)
Puree two peaches in a food processor, then pour into a bowl. Add soy milk, agave nectar, salt and mix to combine. Add chia seeds, stirring them in thoroughly. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and allow to chill for 5 to 6 hours, or overnight.
Makes: 2 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup
Per serving: Calories: 218; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 144mg; Potassium: 663mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 28g; Protein: 11g
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A: 19%; Vitamin C: 19%; Calcium: 32%; Iron: 13%