Can chili, waffles and muffins be as healthy for you as a smoothie? You bet they can, but only if they’re made with seeds — tiny nutritional powerhouses that pack a serious protein punch. Whether you add them whole to muffin batter for a nice crunch or stir them ground up into chili as a natural thickener, seeds will give any dish a wonderfully nutty flavor.
Tag: chia seeds
Holiday meals just wouldn’t be the same without cranberry sauce. But this year, we think you should give up your favorite canned variety, and get festive with this nutritious batch of cranberry-chia jam. Enjoy it with your Thanksgiving meal, to liven up breakfast, or as part of your leftover spread.
Sure, it immediately calls to mind those sprouting terracotta planters first popularized in catchy 80s commercials, but chia certainly shouldn’t be relegated to kitschy “pet” status. A staple of Aztec and Mayan diets, the ancient chia seed — it comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in North, Central and South America — is a nutritional dynamo, packed with Omega-3s, calcium, iron, fiber and antioxidants.
Luckily, cooking with it is also a breeze, as Janie Hoffman, founder and CEO of the organic food and beverage company, Mamma Chia, reveals in her new book, The Chia Cookbook: Inventive, Delicious Recipes Featuring Nature’s Superfood (Random House). “The power in this little, bitty chia seed is amazing,” says the San Diego-based entrepreneur and author, who likes weaving it into creations as diverse as Serrano-pineapple-papaya smoothies and grilled chicken meatballs paired with linguine al limone. “It can be easily used in absolutely anything.” Read more
The wisp of crispness in the air is always a reliable prompt to get back into the kitchen. There is no better way to celebrate the beginning of fall than by baking something sweet and fragrant. These muffins fill the air with the aromas of cardamom, coconut, vanilla and pears. Not only are they gluten-free, but they are also vegan, naturally sweetened and whole-grain. They will most likely please everyone.
Chia seeds and ground flax, along with a little mashed banana, bind the batter and provide a moist and cakey backdrop for the cooked pears. The chia seeds also impart a lovely crunchy texture. Served with a cup of tea, the muffins make the perfect mid-morning or afternoon treat. Read more
Here is a simple nutritious smoothie for getting back into a post-vacation routine. Although it tastes like summer and is delicious when made with fresh blueberries, the smoothie can be prepared well into the fall with frozen berries of any kind.
Famous for their endurance-supporting qualities, chia seeds also give the smoothie an Omega-3 boost and provide fiber and protein that can help keep sippers satisfied. Since the seeds thicken when soaked, they also add body and a creamy texture to the smoothie once blended. The coconut butter supplies a touch of richness and also a hint of sweet flavor that tastes great with blueberries and vanilla.
Right after she wakes up, Giada De Laurentiis drinks two glasses of warm water with lemon. She does an hour of yoga, then eats a protein-rich breakfast, like this Chia Seed Pudding. “You don’t need to eat a lot,” she says. “It’s very substantial.”
Chia seeds are packed with fiber, protein and antioxidants. Look for them at health-food stores.
We can all use another healthy dessert option, and this recipe for chocolate chia-seed pudding is so healthy you don’t even have to think of it as a treat. (Another huge plus: The recipe is extremely simple.) By combining chia seeds, almond milk (coconut milk will work well also), maple syrup and cocoa powder, you create a sweet snack that is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. You can eat the pudding alone or top it with chopped nuts, dark chocolate shavings or fresh berries. It’s filling, nutritious and delicious!
Chocolate Chia Pudding
• 2 cups almond milk
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 2/3 cup chia seeds
In a medium bowl combine the milk, maple and cocoa. Whisk to combine. Whisk in the chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. Stir before serving (add extra milk to thin to desired consistency).
Chia seeds, the small crunchy seeds originally made famous by the Chia Pet are full of protein, fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. Use them to make a creamy, tapioca-like pudding or add crunch to a spring salad. Add a spoonful of seeds to a smoothie or mix them in with granola.
You can buy your own Health Warrior Chia Seeds or enter in the comments for a chance to win some. Just let us know, in the comments, how you incorporate chia seeds in to your diet. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, April 12 at 5 p.m. EST.
We’re giving away one bag of Health Warrior Chia Seeds to two randomly-selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on April 10 and 5 p.m. EST on April 12, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $12.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us, how do you incorporate chia seeds in to your diet?
What is Chia Pudding?
One of the most magical characteristics of tiny chia seeds is how they can act as an thickening agent. When introduced to liquid such as milk, soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk, the seeds expand and soften, creating a pudding-like concoction. Create a mixture of your favorite flavors and after a few hours in the fridge, indulge in the velvety goodness.
Back in 2009 we started reporting on this hot new food. Since then, these tiny, crunchy seeds have experienced a popularity explosion. It’s time to catch you up on how far chia has come.
One tablespoon of chia seeds has 55 calories, 2 grams protein and 6 grams of fiber, plus calcium, iron and potassium. They’re also gluten and cholesterol free.
According to the nutrition facts panels, the fat content of different brands of chia seeds varies from 3 to 9 grams per tablespoon. The type of fat found in these tiny seeds is mostly polyunsaturated, specifically the ALA omega-3 type – brands vary from 2,000 to 6,000 milligrams per serving.
Research indicates the ALA form of omega-3 needs to be converted to DHA and EPA forms in order to benefit heart health (something omega-3s are famous for). Some recent reports have indicated that milled chia seeds allow for better ALA conversion, though it’s still unclear if this makes chia better for heart health.