Chia seeds are not a fad. They are actually good for you, especially if you are trying to increase your intake of fibre (38% content) and protein (20% content). The protein is complete, i.e. contains all 9 essential amino acids, and is plant based so easily digestible and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Chia seeds are also a source of omega-3 which is beneficial for heart and brain function. Minerals include selenium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and copper. Vitamins include niacin and thiamine (B-vitamins). And it contains omega 6 LA which is an antioxidant beneficial for healthy skin, hair and nails.
It is reported to be great for supporting natural weight loss due to the high omega-3 content which helps break down stored fat. The high fibre and protein content probably keep you full for longer too. As it is high in fibre, it is recommended that only a tablespoon be eaten every day. It is suitable as a replacement for oats for those who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten.
I have it for breakfast as a pudding/porridge once a week and sprinkle 1/2 a teaspoon into breakfast smoothies a couple of times a week to increase the fibre and protein content. Chia seeds can be used in baking too, but I haven’t tried that yet. Check out recipes online if you fancy replacing eggs with chia seeds – apparently great for vegans.
Recipe for chia seed pudding
There are tonnes of recipes online for chia seed pudding, but they all follow one principle – soak 1 or 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in milk overnight, and stir a couple of times (if you remember). I use almond milk. You can mix in some yoghurt or coconut yoghurt to create a thicker consistency. There is no cooking involved. The seeds absorb liquid overnight and expand in size, which is when they are best eaten.
Then stir the pudding thoroughly and mix in whatever flavour you fancy – vanilla extract, date syrup, honey, cinnamon powder, or stevia. I use cinnamon powder.
And finish with whatever topping you fancy – coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries, dried fruits, fresh berries. I use cacao nibs and goji berries.
I bought my chia seeds from Holland & Barrett – a 400g pack costs £11.99. As they don’t go mouldy in the same way other seeds do, you can store them in the fridge for quite some time. Amazon also sell them (obvs) – Sevenhills Organics is the next one I am going to try from there.
Have you tried chia seeds?