Have you jumped on the chia seed bandwagon yet? At this point I am pretty much a daily passenger. With around 60 calories per tablespoon, these little powerhouse seeds contain protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, iron, calcium and magnesium. Not to mention they are low carb, naturally gluten free, and are touted as one of the most nutritious foods around. Given all this, chia seeds are a great item to add to your morning breakfast routine. Here are some of my favorite ways to use chia seeds, what are yours?
1. Chia Seed Pudding Since chia seeds gel when they soak in liquid, chia seed pudding is one of the most popular ways to use chia seeds. The basic recipes call for 2 tbsp. of chia seeds per 3/4-1 cup liquid. From there you can add whatever you like to create your favorite flavor combinations. Some of my favorites are Apple Pie and Almond Butter, Greek Yogurt and Berries, this healthy Pumpkin Pie version, and Chocolate Cherry Chia Seed Pudding.
2. Smoothies & Juices: Another great way to add chia seeds to your diet is in smoothies and juices. For smoothies, just add 1 tbsp. per serving to pack in extra nutrients. If you don’t like the texture, you can pulse them in the blender first to create a chia “powder” and then blend. Chia juice is another fun way to incorporate chia and something they have been making in Mexico for centuries. You’ll need 1.5 tbsp. of chia seeds for 2 cups of liquid. One of my favorite combinations after a workout is 2 cups coconut water, 1.5 tbsp. chia seeds, and a good squeeze of lime juice. Shake or stir and let it sit for 10 minutes before drinking.
3. Homemade Jams: Chia seeds are a great alternative thickener for homemade jams. You can make it with virtually any fruit and then use it on toast, in yogurt or oats, or even over ice cream.
4. Oatmeal and Cereal: Another common use for chia seeds is as a simple addition to your morning oatmeal or cereal. This is especially helpful with low fiber cereal to make it more filling. Just add 1-2 tablespoons to your favorite oatmeal recipes or cereals. These overnight peanut butter and honey chia oats are one of my favorites.
5. Pancakes and Waffles: Since most pancake and waffle recipes lack protein and fiber, adding some chia seeds can be a great way to boost the nutritional content. I usually stick to around 1 tablespoon per serving and fold it into the batter just like you would fruit or nuts.
What are your favorite recipes and ways to use chia seeds?