Believe it or not, there are a great many ways to use chia seeds other than on our ch-ch-ch-Chia Pets. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help in our brain and body's daily functions. In some cases, omega fatty acids have even been found to help in ADHD! Here are a few great ways to use chia seeds in our daily diets.
1. Sprinkled over Food
One of the quickest and easiest ways to use chia seeds is to sprinkle them over food. Since chia seeds are so small, they can be added to most foods without even being noticed. One of the most popular ways to use chia is sprinkled over eggs. Don't let that limit you though, chia can be used on everything from meats and vegetables at dinner to your favorite ice cream or cheesecake for dessert!
2. Added to Cookies
Finally, a good reason to eat that entire batch of cookies in one sitting! I don't know how chia does it, but this super seed can be mixed into baking without altering the outcome. This is fantastic for all of us who love our sweets, but need to add some extra wholesome goodness into our diets. Most recipes use between two and four tablespoons chia, anything else and you will be looking at one tough cookie - pun intended.
3. A Natural Thickener
Chia seeds can absorb moisture to become ten times their size. Forget corn starch, just add some chia in next time your soup needs to be a bit thicker. These seeds can do wonders for liquid-y soups, stews, desserts, or baked goods. Be sure to add with caution; too much and it will be be a pudding instead of stew.
4. Blended into Smoothies
Dry chia seeds are about as small as the seeds on a strawberry and have, pretty much, no taste. This combo makes them perfect to mix in with a smoothie when your omega count is a little low. My favorite smoothie mix is chia, spinach, strawberry, and banana. This combination is high in vitamins, minerals, and amino and fatty acids.
5. Fruity Desserts
Soak chia in fruit juice for a great topping for cheesecakes, ice-cream, or on its own. Two tablespoons of chia will absorb over two cups of liquid. The result is a gel-like substance with balls that have the same consistency as tapioca. Even better, chia absorbs the taste of the liquid it is in. Little chia fruit bursts sound like the perfect dessert for the health conscious... yum!
One of my favorite ways to start the day is with a nice, cold, bowl of overnight oats. My favorite overnight oats recipe include chia seeds, mashed banana, vanilla extract, almond milk, and oats (of course). The consistency is the same as porridge and fruit or granola can be added in for some extra flavor. So yummy, and a great helper for my sleepy brain.
Yep, another sweet snack that chia can turn healthy! Mix chia in with cocoa and almond milk for a yummy tapioca pudding that is high in nutrients and low in unwanted fat. If you have a picky eater on your hands, try giving them a little bit of this good stuff. I know many a mom who has tried this with their picky eater and found a new favorite afternoon snack!
Chia seeds have come a long way from being sprinkled on clay porcupines. This little wonder seed is one of my new favorite dietary additions. It tastes a whole lot better than cod liver oil, and is quite a bit more environmentally friendly. What are some of your favorite recipes that include chia?