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Day 11: Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia May 20, 2014

chia-petIt’s not just for pets anymore.

When we first started testing green smoothies recipes a few months ago, we came across chia seeds as an ingredient over and over again. As tiny as they are, these little guys pack a serious nutritional punch. Here’s what you can get out of only 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in your green smoothie:

  • 7g of fiber (1 cup of oatmeal contains 4g of fiber)
  • 4g of protein (which will keep you feeling full)
  • 205mg of calcium (8oz of 2% milk contains 297mg of calcium)
  • 5g of omega-3 (8oz of salmon contains 3.6g of omega 3)

What’s so great about omega-3 you ask? Our bodies covet this essential fatty acid, and for good reason. Among many other things, it helps balance hormones and increase brain function, which is why it has been shown to regulate negative PMS symptoms, decrease depression and provide relief from other mood disorders. It also helps to reduce glucose levels and curb sugar cravings making it essential for those suffering from diabetes as well as those who are struggling with weight loss.

Now let’s get down to business.

Where do you buy them? Publix (or whichever grocery store you frequent): $6-ish for 7oz in the nuts area by the fresh produce.

What do they look like?
Chia SeedsHow do I use them in a smoothie? Easy. Just add 1-2 tablespoons to your smoothie along with your other ingredients. They expand in liquid and will give your smoothie a nice thick consistency in lieu of (or in addition to) banana or avocado. Here are a few smoothie recipes that contain chia seeds that we recommend. There’s also a great Kiwi Berry Punch smoothie recipe using chia seeds that can be found on Simple Green Smoothies, one of our favorite sources for green smoothie recipes, tips and tricks.

chia eggsWhat else can I do with chia seeds? Plenty, really. Just this morning, I sprinkled them on my scrambled eggs.

I’ve also been known to sprinkle them on oatmeal, greek yogurt and salads. But, my absolute favorite chia seed treat is this dairy-free, no-cook pudding. If you like tapioca, you just might fall in love with this recipe, of which there are MANY variations. This is the one that I like to make, which is inspired from a recipe I got from the “rawkstars” at (once again) Simple Green Smoothies.

Coco-Chia Pudding
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1⁄2 cup coconut or almond milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
Dash of cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup
Stir ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and set aside for a few hours. Top with fresh fruit and/or nuts and enjoy!

I had a beautiful brainstorm while typing out the above recipe, which caused me to (literally) run into the kitchen and assemble this idea:

Chocolate Chia Pudding
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1/2 cup of rice or almond or coconut milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
Stir ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and set aside for a few hours.

choco chia puddingIs this level of wholesome, flavorful goodness even legal? If you know of other creative uses for chia seeds, post them in the comments section of our blog, or let us know about it on our Facebook page.

brittany demers

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