i'm sure you ALL remember chia pets, and their horribly catchy theme song.
i never would've guessed that years and years later i'd be eating the same sticky seeds that created the fur/sprouts on my chia cat. have you had chia seeds before? i was reading about them and their amazing health benefits, and had to try them for myself. these tiny seeds are packed with omega-3's, antioxidants, iron, fiber and soooo much more. they're amazing! click HERE to read more about chia seeds and their benefits. if you're thinking "ewww, how am i gonna eat those?"... well lucky for you, you can sneak them into anything! they have little to no flavor at all. you can eat them straight out of the bag, sprinkle them on a salad, or put them in your smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, seriously anything!!! my bag of chia seeds has 2 recipes on the back, 1 is for a lemon cake that sounds super good. another way to eat them is to make chia gel or chia pudding. the seeds absorb 10 times their weight in water, making a tapioca-kind of-consistency-gel-stuff (clearly, i'm not a professional food blogger, ha!). you can make the gel with water or nut milk. i've seen recipes where people use the chia gel as an egg substitute while baking cookies, brownies, etc.!!! i'll have to try that.
this 1lb. bag of chia seeds is around $7-$8 at henry's market. it might sound like a lot, but you use such a small amount of seeds each time, so this bag will last quite awhile.
here are some of the ways i used chia seeds this past week:
chocolate cinnamon chia seed pudding
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 tbsp. agave
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of sea salt
i mix the milk and cocoa powder together first, then add the rest of the ingredients. let it sit at room temperature (uncovered) for 20 minutes. after 20 minutes it will be super thick and gel-y. the longer you let it sit, the more gel-y it will get. refrigerate unused portions. after it's thickened you can also pop it in the freezer and it will harden up to a nice frozen treat - kind of like ice cream, but different, and wayyyyy healthier!
|the pudding right after i've mixed it up.|
|after a few minutes, the seeds are starting to 'pop'|
|almost 20 minutes later and the seeds have all popped |
and have formed their tapioca-like gel
i also added the seeds into some pancake batter this weekend! you'd never know they were in there :)
hubs: "what are you making?"
me: "banana pancakes with chia seeds"
hubs: "CHEESE SEEDS???????? WHATTTTT????"
haha, poor guy. by the way, the pancakes were delicious!
why stop at pancakes?! i put about 1 tsp of seeds into the egg mixture for some french toast!
|you can see where some of the seeds gathered on the french toast.|
ps. i used whole grain bread for my french toast, that's why it doesn't look ANYTHING like restaurant style french toast. it's sooo much better with whole grain bread. nutty, great texture, delish and better for you anyway :)
so, see, even if you don't eat healthy meals all of the time, you can still add chia seeds to your 'cheat' meals, and maybe feel a little less guilty about it ;)
there are a TON of recipes online that incorporate chia seeds... but experiment on your own. add them to things you're already planning on making. and let me know whatcha think!!!!