Time to jump on this whole chia seed bandwagon! Despite their minuscule appearance, chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse: They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, fiber and protein. Plus, these small ingredients are simple to make into a pudding because they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water! Not only does this make chis seeds a great starting point for breakfast, a healthy snack, or textured dessert, but it also means that they will help you stay hydrated. Try making this chia seed pudding recipes via Half Baked Harvest — and don’t be afraid to put your own spin on them, too.
Chia seeds are harvested from the Salvia hispanica plant, a type of sage in the mint family. The seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have versatile uses in the kitchen. Chia seeds were a staple of the ancient Aztec diet, and they are now grown commercially in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Australia is the biggest producer of chia seeds, which is now marketed under various names. Even the oil extracted from chia seeds are found to have a high nutritional value. Both, seeds and oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antoxidants and amino acids.Chia seeds may be eaten raw or prepared in a number of dishes. Raw, they are an excellent source of dietary fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds may be ground into pinole, a meal that can be used for porridge or baked goods. They may also be soaked in fruit juice or water to make a dish known as chia fresca in Mexico.
Chia seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in water. In recent decades, chia has seen a resurgence in popularity and has been hailed as a “super food” with many dietary benefits. It helps the body retain fluids and electrolytes, it forms a gel in the stomach that slows the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, and it helps build muscle and other tissues. Chia is a source of protein and boron, which aids in the absorption of calcium. Chia seeds can be used to make a gel that one can substitute for oil or other fats in a variety of recipes. Chia gel can be added to any sauces, jellies, or baked goods, for example.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more to thin if desired
- 2 tablespoons black chia seeds
- 3 whole medjool dates, pitted
- 1/3 cup roasted + shelled pistachios, plus more for topping
- 3 frozen medium + very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt or use coconut milk yogurt for a vegan option
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl mix together the milk and chia seeds. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile add the pistachios and dates to the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until the mixture becomes finely chopped and almost butter like, scraping down the side as you go. You want to get it as smooth as possible. I let the mixture blend for about 5 minutes.
- To the blender add the chia seeds + milk mixture, the frozen banana chunks, cocoa powder, greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Blend until thick, creamy, and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. If the shake is too thick add more milk to your liking.