how to use chia seeds
Chia! Chia! Chia!
Everywhere you turn these days, you’re probably hearing about the phenomenal benefits of chia seeds – so how do you use them?
Chia seeds are packed with nutritional powerhouses like omega-3s and fiber that helps you stay fuller, longer with energy that lasts and lasts. Experts recommend working about an ounce of chia seeds into your diet each day.
The most important characteristic about chia seeds is they have a very mild flavor – so they can be cross-purposed for many different recipes at any meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, smoothies, and snacks – you can and will find places to put them that will surprise you.
Eating Right Doesn’t Have to Make You Miserable!
I chose our three favorite ways to use chia seeds that were easy to prepare and used other ingredients we stand behind.
Our motto is to try different combinations and then tweak them to our personal preferences.
Let Your Imagination Run Wild!
Remember, it’s all about your nutrition and finding superfoods you can fall in love with that you are going to actually eat as part of your regular nutrition. If that means you substitute spinach for kale or almond milk for coconut milk – go nuts! A recipe is just a guideline.
Eating healthier has to start with the motivation to limit the unhealthy foods in your life and make the best choices for your body – to live longer and live stronger.
Obviously, you already have that motivation because you’re here with us!
3 Easy Ways to Use Chia Seeds
Our first recipe is a pudding that can be used as a snack, a dessert, or a breakfast food. Mix and match the flavors, add other ingredients, and you are going to love it. In less than fifteen minutes from start to chill – you can enjoy this great addition to your regular diet.
Simply add the following ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth – chill for ten minutes and you are ready to go!
2 cups coconut milk, almond milk, or other preference
½ cup chia seeds
Optional Ingredients – Add More or Less as Preferred
2 tablespoons cocoa – 70% cacao or higher
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon honey – or other healthy sweetener
One option is adding banana and omitting the cocoa for a fantastic banana pudding that does more for your body than any of those pre-packaged mixes in the store. A dash of allspice makes a great accompaniment to rum or spice cake during the holidays. Truly, there is no end to the different ways you can make this pudding your own.
Chia Green Smoothie
We can talk for hours about the benefits of green smoothies. No, seriously, we discuss them all the time. That is how most of us at DSL start each and every day. Why?
They taste fantastic. Don’t let the ingredients fool you because they taste better than those over-priced and under-nutritious “gourmet” smoothies you buy at the mall for the money you could be using toward that great bag or pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.
You’re getting your vegetable servings first thing in the morning that slowly release energy throughout the day as your body needs it. Their high fiber content will help you stay “regular” and feel full.
Last but not least, the antioxidant-rich ingredients mean you’ll get your veggies even if you get caught in back-to-back meetings and end up eating cold pizza for dinner over your kitchen sink (though we hope you don’t). Adding chia seeds is one excellent way to work them into your diet that will give you valuable energy resources to hustle your day along (so you can make some real food for dinner).
You can’t get much simpler than “put it all in the blender and turn it on” – but that is the beauty of green smoothies. This makes two large shakes – about 20 ounces each – that are packed with nutrition and fiber but low in fat and sugar. Enjoy!
¾ cup almond milk, coconut milk, or your preference
½ cup brewed green tea – make ahead and refrigerate for daily use
¼ cup oats
¾ scoop protein powder – a brand you like
2 small bunches fresh spinach or kale or other “leafy green”
2 stalks broccoli florets
1 avocado – peeled and pitted
1 sectioned orange – peeled
1 large banana – peeled
½ cup frozen fruit – pick what you like
1 teaspoon chia seeds
½ cup crushed ice
Chia Cold Salad
Where to begin? How you use chia seeds in salads is limited only by your imagination. You can use them as a topping, grind them and mix with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a thicker vinaigrette dressing, or include them in a quick, cold salad (similar to tabouli or quinoa) to dress up crusty bread and toasted pita chips!
The recipe is so simple and delicious – and sneakily nutritious – that it will be your go-to for a last-minute way to impress unexpected guests!
Use dry bulgur wheat or prepare the quinoa as directed on the package and toss all ingredients until well-blended, then chill for fifteen minutes.
1 cup dry bulgur or quinoa (prepared as directed)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ medium onion (diced small)
2 cloves minced garlic
3 cups parsley (chopped fine)
1 tomato (diced small)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice, balsamic, or wine
1 mango (peeled and diced small)
1 red bell pepper (diced small)
½ cup chick peas
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Figuring out how you plan to use chia seeds in your meal planning is part of the fun when you discover great new superfoods. Pick up chia seeds today and start adding a little bit to this and a little bit to that. Your body is going to love them!