Do you know Chia? The small seeds from Mexico and Central and South America currently conquer the health food market. For the ancient Maya and Aztec, Chia seeds have been a staple in their diet for centuries. In fact, the Mayan word Chia means 'strength'. Historians have found evidence that chia was cultivated as a food crop and was equally important as maize to these ancient cultures. The Maya valued the ability of Chia to provide sustainable energy and therefore it was consumed my messengers back in the day. According to Mexican folk medicine, a teaspoon of Chia seeds is enough to give a person sufficent energy for 24 hours.
Nutritional Value & Other Benefits
The value of this ancient superfood from Mexico has been recognised in recent years and Chia seeds are now being consumed by health concious individuals around the world, because the little black seeds are a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants. Chia seeds contain a high content of omega-3 fatty acid, B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and soluble fiber. Chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods available and they are generally grown organically.
Unlike flax seeds Chia seeds are also much more durable and therefore suitable for long term stocking. Chia seeds can easily be kept for four to five years without loosing their nutritional content, sacrificing its taste or its smell. Flax seeds, in contrast, becomes rancid usually within a few weeks and they are no longer edible.
The high protein content in Chia, helps to feel full for longer and as a result these little nutrition bombs may help with weight management.
Now that we got you all excited about Chia, here are a few recipes for Chia Seed Puddings. It is best to get creative and mix the ingredients you like. Chia seed pudding is delicious for breakfast, as a snack or dessert.
1. Chia Gel - The Base
Soak 1/3 cup Chia seeds in 2 cups of water. Stir the mass well and place it in a closed container in the refrigerator. Within ten minutes the seeds start to expand and a sticky gel appears. After soaking for several hours, the nutrients are more readily available and threfore we suggest to soak them overnight. You can eat the Chia-based gel pure or refine it with spices and combine it with other foods of your choice. In the refrigerator it keeps up to three weeks.
2. Chia Coconut Breakfast Pudding
Mix 2 to 3 table spoons of Chia gel with organic cococnut milk and 2 table spoons of low fat yoghurt. Add strawberries, cinnamon, date syrup and cocoa nibs for a bit of crunch. Stir the mixture once more and enjoy this creamy breakfast pudding.
3. Chia Berry Breakfast Pudding With Oats
Mix 2 to 3 table spoons of Chia gel with almond milk. Add 1 table spoon of whole wheat oats, 2 teaspoons of flaxseeds, chopped almonds and mixed berries. Add a bit of Agave syrup to sweeten it. Stir the mixture well and enjoy.
4. Chia Pudding with Mango
Peel one ripe mango and place it in the blender. Mix it until you have a smooth mango mouse. Fill a dessert glass half way with the mango mousse. Place the glass in the freezer for approximately one hour. Mix 3 table spoons of Chia gel with full cream organic coconut milk. Take the mango mousse out of the freezer and put the Chia pudding on top. Place a strawberry / raspberry or any other fruit you like on top for decoration. Great layered dessert!
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