Chia Seeds are a good source of plant-based omega-3s, fiber calcium, and iron. They also have small amounts of phosphorous, manganese, potassium and copper. I love their "crunchy" texture. They almost remind me of tapioca but they're much healthier for you.
Chia seeds can be eaten raw or cooked. I recommend eating them after they've either been soaked (like in a pudding recipe) or cooked because these seeds expand once they've been hydrated. Eating them dry can lead to them expanding in your throat which may give you a slightly weird feeling. One of the big benefits is the fiber content which will help give you a feeling of fullness leading to better satiety.
Chia Protein Pudding Recipe 1: Vanilla, Almond + Coconut
8 T Chia Seeds
2 C Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
2 T Madagascar Vanilla Extract (I love this vanilla extract because of its deep flavor.)
4 T Shredded Coconut (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)
2 T Maple Syrup (or honey)
4 Scoops Protein Powder (I used grass-fed whey vanilla but you can use your favorite animal or plant-based protein powder - about 20g per scoop)
4 T Almonds
*If you like a creamier taste, use vanilla flavored almond milk or toasted coconut almond milk by Califia farms to get a richer taste.
- Mix seeds, almond milk, vanilla extract, coconut, and maple syrup until fully combined.
- Add in protein powder and mix in with a whisk to break it up. Keep mixing until you don't have any clumps of protein powder in the mixture.
- Pour evenly into 4 cups and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Take out of the refrigerator and give each chia seed protein pudding a stir to make sure the chia seeds are fully incorporated (sometimes they'll sink to the bottom).
- Return to refrigerator and let sit for a few hours or overnight until the mixture has become pudding or gel-like.
- When ready to eat, sprinkle almonds and extra coconut on top and enjoy.
Chia Protein Pudding Recipe 2: Double Chocolate Cacao
4 Scoops Chocolate Protein (animal or plant-based)
4 T Cacao Nibs (plus extra to garnish)
4 T Chocolate Covered Hemp Seeds (you could use semi-sweet chips but you won't get the benefit of the hemp)
2 T Maple Syrup or Honey
8 T Chia Seeds
2 C Almond Milk
*If you like chocolate + peanut butter, add 1 T of peanut butter (or almond butter) to the mixture for that chocolate + nut flavor.
Use the same how-to instructions as above for the Vanilla, Almond, Coconut pudding.
Once the pudding is finished, sprinkle cacao nibs on top and enjoy!
I make these recipes often for breakfast because they're an easy make-ahead meal prep option. Then you can eat quickly or grab and go before heading out the door. I also enjoy them as a snack or healthy dessert if I'm craving something a little sweet. Enjoy them however you like and feel free to get creative with the recipes as you see fit.
Margot Rutigliano is a freelance writer as well as the owner of Vita Vie Retreat. She has been a fitness trainer, wellness coach, and healthy living adviser since 1999. Vita Vie Retreat is a wellness retreat offering healthy lifestyle transformation programs for men and women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information or to contact Ms. Rutigliano, please visit http://www.bvretreat.com.
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