Power eating: The Chia seed unwrapped

Anyone else out there noticing all of the attention the chia seed is getting at the moment? On our latest trip to Whole Foods, we couldn’t help noticing the countless products featuring it—drinks, bars, and even pudding (we'll get to this later).

What is so special about this tiny speck of a seed? Is it the new super food? After a little research, we discovered that while the chia seed is small, it packs a significant health punch. It contains more omega-3s than flax seeds and is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals—and it's a complete protein, which is rare in the plant-based world.

Chia seed info graphic: photo courtesy of The Chia Co.
Chia seed info graphic; photo courtesy of The Chia Co.

Within the past decade, omega-3s, or essential fatty acids, have taken center stage as disease fighters and are thought to play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Because our bodies can’t produce omegas on their own, finding a food source is important

Chia is also a gluten-free whole grain. Yes, it contains all components of the grain—the bran, germ, and endosperm. It's these components that make this little guy so full of nutrients.

Chia is virtually tasteless and it’s hydrophobic, meaning when it's soaked, it sucks up 16 times its weight in water and forms a gel-like substance that makes an excellent low calorie food, filling you up with its volume.

Chia pudding: photo courtesy of The Chia Co.
Chia pudding; photo courtesy of The Chia Co.

We’ve also discovered that chia seeds are an easy ingredient to incorporate into all of our recipes, and luckily The Chia Co., which is a big seller of chia seeds, has offered up an easy recipe to try. Enjoy.

Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut cream or coconut milk

¼ cup chia seeds

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Honey, agave, or coconut palm sugar to taste

Possible flavorings:

2 tablespoons cacao powder

¼ cup raspberries puree (or any fruit puree)

¼ cup lime juice (you can use any citrus you like, such as lemon or orange)

Method:

1. In a medium-size bowl mix above ingredients together well and then add your choice of flavoring.  Mix well to fully combine.

2. Refrigerate the pudding for at least two hours or overnight.

3. You can use the same bowl you mixed it in or transfer to a smaller serving bowl.

4. Just spoon a little pudding into each glass or your favorite little containers, cover, and pop in the fridge, and within no time you'll have your own pudding creation to enjoy