Is chia the new flax?

Is chia the new flax?

We think so!

Chia seeds are a highly nutritious food that are a great addition to your daily menu.

Why?

  1. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds.
  2. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants.
  3. The whole seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for longer periods without becoming rancid.
  4. The seeds do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.  That means, less time in the kitchen!
  5. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
  6. They soothe the gastro-intestinal tract – when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. This gel is less abrastive to the gi tract than ground flax seeds.
  7. They help balance blood sugar levels.  Researchers suggest that the reaction described in #6, also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down the carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.

A simple way to add chia to your diet is to add a tablespoon or 2 per day to smoothies, soups or salads.  If you are looking for something a little different and healthfully decadent, try the following pudding recipe.  This pudding is nutritious enough to have for breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (purchase them whole, not ground)
  • 1/4 cup dried coconut, shredded & unsweetened (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, almond, hemp or any nut milk
  • 3-4 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place whole chia and shredded coconut, if using, into a bowl.
  2. Put the almond milk, dates, spices and vanilla in the blender and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour the blended milk over seeds, stir and let sit for 10-15 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. You may need to add more liquid to get the consistency you like.

The pudding will have a slight crunch after 10 minutes, but will be soft and smooth the next day.  You can store it for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.  Serve it cold or at room temperature, topped with fresh fruit, if desired.

Note: If you make your chia pudding with the shredded coconut it will come out thick like a bread pudding. If you omit the coconut, it will be thinner and more like a soft, cream pudding.

Linda Ljucovic, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Oakville

1 Comment
  • amanda

    April 10, 2013 at 9:45 am Reply

    This pudding tasted surprisingly better than anticipated. I ate a little on its own but then added to my oatmeal/quinoi cereal with a little bit of sweetness and it tasted great.

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