Long ago I learned I have an obsessive personality. Not in a Single White Female way, though, I promise. More like I find something I like and I latch on to it for awhile. I’ve documented some of my recent obsessions, but I really haven’t had one in awhile.
I’ve been talking with a lot of people recently about food and health and the latest trends. One consistent recommendation in all those conversations is chia seeds. It’s the hot thing of the moment in the health food world.
I know you’re thinking about the Chia Pet/Chia Head thing and laughing at me right now. And you’re not entirely wrong. It’s the same seed, but this time we’re eating it. Don’t run away — it’s worth it.
Chia seeds are a member of the mint family, and it looks like some forms do grow into the renowned Salvia plant. But the seeds are full of fiber, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. My Trader Joe’s bag claims, “Chia is often considered the richest plant-based source of dietary fiber, protein and Omega-3s.” (Well, it had an apostrophe after the 3, but I took it out since that’s wrong.)
They may be slightly hard to find, but I’m pretty sure chia seeds will be stocked in most health food stores and specialty grocers like Trader Joe’s, EarthFare and Whole Foods. Mine were in the nuts/dried fruits section at TJ’s.
Chia seeds are also delicious. You can sprinkle them over foods, like oatmeal and yogurt, or grind them in smoothies to get the same health effects. Or you can make chia seed pudding. Those of you with food texture issues may not love this route, since the seeds sit and soak in the creamy milky substance of your choice. The result is a sweet, slightly crunchy, grayish gel that to me resembles tapioca pudding. Wow, I really made that sound appetizing, huh? But if you can get over what it looks like, it’s amazing.
I just can’t get enough.
Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut milk (or almond/soy/regular milk, etc.)
- 1/4 cup or less maple syrup (or honey/agave nectar, etc.)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
I mixed my chia with coconut milk and maple syrup, but you could use any milk or sweetener you wish.
First, measure out the seeds and mix them with the milk. Stir together so that the seeds don’t clump. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
I like to serve mine with sliced bananas, but you could top with blueberries or other fruit of your choice. Even an extra honey drizzle.
This is such a simple recipe that you can play around and make it your own. You can also add chocolate, which sounds delicious. Check out Elisa’s Dark Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding. I can’t wait to try that!
*This makes two servings. I’ve halved it with great results, and you could probably also double it for breakfast on hand all week.