I think chia seeds are an amazing food. Put them in a liquid — they can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water — and they just create this interesting gel all on their own! Plus, they are packed with healthy nutrients and, since they don’t have much flavor, can be easily adapted in a lot of different recipes.
Curious about all the hype surrounding chia seeds? Here are a few reasons why they are so healthy:
- Chia seeds, like most seeds, are packed with protein. However, don't count on them as a significant source of protein in your diet since you usually only eat a tablespoon or two at a time.
- Chia seeds are great for your GI tract as they add bulk and soften stools. Just two tablespoons provides 10 grams of fiber.
- Chia seeds are a good source of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. This is great news for vegans who have more limited choices when it comes to getting omega 3s in their diet.
One of my favorite ways to use chia seeds is in a pudding that can be easily served for either breakfast or dessert. In this case, I divided the recipe in half and flavored one with fresh strawberries and the other with some cocoa powder for an elegant layered version.
Layered Chocolate and Strawberry Chia Pudding
Recipe developed by Deborah Murphy MS, RD
1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
¼ cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon maple syrup
6 strawberries, halved
1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, milk, chia seeds and maple syrup.
- Halve the mixture (each half should be about 1 cup.)
- Place one half of the mixture into the blender. Pour strawberries in and puree until smooth. Place in a tupperware container and chill for about 1 hour.
- Place the other half of the chia mixture into the blender and add the cocoa powder. Blend until smooth and place in a tupperware container to chill for about 1 hour.
- Once chia pudding is chilled, spoon half the chocolate and half the strawberry mixture into a serving dish. Top with additional strawberries, coconut or chocolate chips.
- Repeat for the last half of the mixture in a second dish. Serve chilled.