An easy, delicous make ahead breakfast, snack or dessert.
I am a busy mom with 3 kids. Cooking and eating healthy is something that's important for me as a mom, but to be honest I can at times find it tiring to always make whole,
nourishing foods from scratch while keeping up with the appetites of my hungry children. My two oldest are boys aged 10 and 8 and their appetite, quite frankly frightens me at times! We haven't even reached the teenaged years and already my grocery bill is climbing quickly. I've heard rumours about how much a growing teenaged boy can eat, and I guess I will find out first hand in a just few short years (x2... eek!). So when I find recipes like this that are easy, quick, and can be made ahead for a pre-made breakfast or snack like this chia seed pudding, I rejoice!
Chia seeds are an amzing food. They are extremely nutritious, and versatile. They add an interesting crunch and texture to food, making them a lot of fun to add to dishes.
What are the health benefits of chia seeds you may ask? Check out this amazing list:
They are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3's are an essential fatty acid. Meaning our body needs them to function, but cannot manufacture them. We need to get them in through our diet or through supplementation. They are important for brain health, brain development , mental health, focus and learning as well as heart health. They also help to protect from and reduce inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of most degenerative diseases, as well as joint and muscle pain. Ensuring adequate amounts of omega 3's will help to reduce that inflammation.
Anti-oxiants are exremely important to get in our diet becuse they help protect our body from all of the damage caused by toxins we are exposed to every day. Chia seeds are very high in anti-oxidants and can help protect our cells from damage, disease and cancer. Chia seeds have a higher amount of anti-oxidants than any other whole food. Impressive !
Fibre and Protein
Chia seeds are a high fibre food. When chia seeds are exposed to water, the high fibre content causes them to expand. This can help us feel fuller longer, and slow the absorption of food. This is very beneficial for anyone looking to lose weight. The fibre also acts like a "food" for the good bacteria in our gut. These are know as prebiotics. Making sure the bacteria in our gut is healthy is important to so many facets of health. Including immune system, mental health, digestion, assimilation of nutrients and much more! And to make sure that the gut bacteria are healthy, we need to make sure we feed them properly. Chia seeds are also a great source of plant based protein. Protein will help to keep you full, and help repair your muscles after a workout. Good quality protein can help reduce cravings and night time snacking ( also beneficial during weight loss programs).
There are many things that you can do with chia seeds, but one of my favourites is chocolate chia seed pudding. It is delicious and decadant and really feels like a treat with a fun texture too. It's a make ahead recipe, and if you have kids I recommend
tripling the recipe so there is enough for whole family.
Here is the recipe:
makes enough for 1 serving
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons cocoa powder sweetener of choice to taste ( honey or maple syrup, or stevia if doing keto or low carb.) 3 tablespoons chia seeds
For Smooth Version: Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth. For Whole Chia Seed Version: Blend all ingredients except chia seeds in a blender until smooth (including any added flavors, fruits or chocolate). Whisk in chia seeds. Pour mixture into a jar or glass container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to let gel.
its also very fun to add some toppings. Strawberries, nuts, shredded coocnut are really delicious and add some more texture to the pudding.
This recipe is featured in my 4 week Holistic Weight Loss program. Click here if you would like more info.
Let me know what you think of this recipe, also what your favourite thing is to do with chia seeds.
Happy and Healthy eating!