Chia pudding in all variations is one of my most-popular recipes with friends and clients. It’s sweet and light, is irresistibly creamy and lends itself well to a variety of flavors. Making a batch is a virtually mess-free endeavor, with only a blender and a bowl to clean, and this is also the perfect dessert to serve when you have no desire to stand over a stove. The only caveat is to allow enough time for the mixture to chill completely; overnight is best.
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.
Most folks are hip to the fact that they need more omega-3 fats in their diet, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually eating enough. Here’s a refresher on why omega-3s do the body good and some delish recipes to boost your intake.
There are 3 main types of omega-3 fats that are typically referred to by their abbreviated names DHA, EPA and ALA. The DHA and EPA types are plentiful in fish and help fight inflammation. They also contribute to heart health, brain function and immunity. If that’s not enough, they also help with healthy joints, skin, eyes and skin. The ALA type of omega-3 is found mostly in plant-based foods. Once eaten, the body converts ALA to a small amount of DHA and EPA. ALA-rich foods are good for you for a variety of reasons but to really reap the benefits of omega-3, you want to make sure to get most of them from EPA and DHA.
Experts recommend getting about 1,000 milligrams of omega-3s per day, mostly from DHA and EPA.
Salmon is one of the best fish choices for healthy fats. A 4-ounce (raw) portion will serve up more than 1600 milligrams of DHA and EPA.
In this week’s nutrition news: New health goals for Americans, McDonald’s excellent food-safety standards and how small changes can keep diabetes at bay.
One of the latest “superfoods” is actually a blast from the past! Remember Chia Pet, the fuzzy novelty plants that were popular in the ‘80s? Well, the sprouts that grow out of those pottery figurines come from germinated chia seeds. These days, the seeds are popular in the health food arena, but are they worth the hype?