Cha-Cha-Cha Chia! 5 Ways to Eat Heart-Healthy Chia Seeds

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source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/santos/

source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/santos/

Chia seeds are the new hot health food, but have been around for a while. As they’re loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, bone-building calcium, and satiating fiber, we can’t really blame health conscious consumers for wanting to sprinkle the magical seeds on all of their meals, but these babies also take some getting used to. On their own, chia seeds are exactly what their name denotes — unprocessed seeds that can be absorbed by the body unlike flaxseeds. One ounce of them, about 2 tablespoons, contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals, according to WebMD.

Chia seeds have been recognized for helping people lose weight because some studies suggest that they expand in consumers’ stomachs, thus helping them feel satiated, resulting in them eating less. Chia seeds as a weight loss tool still has yet to be proven, but the theory behind the healthfulness and nutrition content of the little seeds is well supported, and now, more and more consumers are looking for ways to incorporate them into their diets.

Chia seeds are extremely versatile because they don’t have much of a flavor on their own, meaning they can be added to sweet as well as savory foods. Many people sprinkle them on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, yogurt, baked goods, and more, and they even swell up to 12 times their weight in liquid, motivating consumers to blend them in puddings, smoothies, oat dishes, and drinks. Thus, the chia seeds can be used in a number of recipes, and even star in some of them, and the hardest part about jumping on the chia train is simply getting started. These seeds certainly yield a funky texture, but it’s one that consumers can get used to, and today, we’re highlighting five popular ways that people are now gobbling the seeds up.

1. Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Perhaps the most popular way to eat chia seeds is by blending them up into a chia seed pudding, a dish that resembles tapioca but has an incomparable texture. It’s gelatinous and gooey, and the seeds may get stuck in your teeth at first, but after a while, it’s easy to take quite a liking to the interesting pudding, and now the dish has become all the rage. What’s more, chia seed pudding is extremely easy to perfect, as all it takes is a few ingredients and time to sit in the refrigerator, and then you have your heart healthy pudding at the ready. Here’s a recipe for Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding from A Beautiful Mess, because if anything can make a daunting dish taste good, it’s chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

In a small bowl or jar combine the first four ingredients. Give it a good stir and refrigerate for at least one hour. After the first 30 minutes give the mixture a stir, so it doesn’t clump together. Once you’re ready to eat stir in the maple syrup. Top with your favorite fruit or chopped nuts.

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