What are chia seeds?
In case you aren't familiar with chia seeds, they are tiny black seeds (about the size of a sesame seed) and are a good source of healthy fats and fiber. Chia seeds are able to absorb ~12x their weight in water and become gelatinous in liquids (1). In the recipe below for blueberry chia pudding, this gelatinous property is what holds the pudding together and gives it that "pudding" like texture. If you are vegan or are just looking for a way to boost the healthy fats and fiber in your diet, chia seeds can actually be used as an egg replacer. Read more about that here.
What are chia seeds good for?
- Excellent source of plant based omega-3s (1)
- May help lower cholesterol and triglycerides (1)
- Excellent source of fiber
- Compared to flax and hemp seed, chia is higher in fiber (1)
- Note: I'm not trying to play favorites - just putting out some facts. Even though chia is higher in fiber, hemp seed is higher in protein and flax seed is higher in omega-3s. As with most foods, a good variety and combination of all these seeds can be beneficial for most people
- May help stabilize blood sugar (1)
- Contains phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium (1)
- May help to lower blood pressure (1)
Where to buy chia seeds
You may be wondering where you can get your hands on some chia seeds. I normally buy my chia seeds at Trader Joes because they seem to have the best price but you can find chia seeds at pretty much any grocery store. You can normally find them in the breakfast aisle or with the other nut/seeds.
How do you use chia seeds?
- Chia seed pudding (see below)
- Make a chia seed smoothie
- Add to a yogurt bowl
- Make "chia fresca"
- Add to overnight oats
- Add to granola
- Add to baked foods
- Make chia jam
- Use as an egg replacer
Chia seeds are pretty flavorless so you can be creative with what you add them to.
Using chia seeds to make a high fiber breakfast
To be honest, I have been eating chia pudding for a while now but I've found it rather lack luster and tend to only have it when I'm burnt out on my other breakfast ideas. Because chia seeds have so many good health benefits, I wanted to explore how I can bring some pizzazz to chia pudding. And if I may say so myself, I think I have done just that with this blueberry chia pudding recipe!
Zesty Lemon Blueberry Chia Pudding
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk See this post if you would like to make your own almond milk
- ½ cup Forager Project drinking cashew yogurt (or regular kefir)
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- 4 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1-2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 scoop collagen (I like Vital Proteins)
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
- Combine well so that this chia seeds don't settle at the bottom of the bowl. You may need to mix again after 5-10 minutes to make sure the chia seeds distribute evenly throughout the mixture.
- Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The mixture should gelatinize to the consistency of pudding.
- Top with your favorite toppings. For this recipe, my favorite is to top with blueberry compote and toasted coconut flakes. Other good toppings would be fresh fruit, granola, hemp seeds, and nut butters. Enjoy!