Chia pudding is one of our family favourite foods, whether it is breakfast or snack or dessert. I introduced my son Jake to it when he was about three years old, he liked it from the first time and always happy to eat it any time of the day! We usually have chia pudding for breakfast twice a week and also add chia seeds to baking and smoothies.
The best things about chia pudding is that you make it the night before, stick it in the fridge and voila! -you have a ready breakfast in the morning. If you don’t have time to eat breakfast at home or just fancy a healthy yummy snack in afternoon you can just put it in a jar with a lid and take it with you wherever you go.
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds which grows natively in South America. In the past few years, they became very popular and are now consumed by people all over the world.
The seeds can be white or black, both have the same benefits and this is what they look like:
The benefits of chia seeds are endless. Chia seeds is one of the healthiest foods on the planet and is loaded with nutrients! They are gluten and grain free, and one tablespoon of Chia Seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk, more Omega-3s than Salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries.
Here are 9 main benefits of consuming chia seeds:
1. Chia Seeds contains a massive amount of nutrients, but Only a Few Calories which is great for maintaining your healthy weight! So, you can eat it as often as you can without worrying about your waistline!
2. Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants
Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, protecting your body from early ageing and diseases like cancer. The high amount of antioxidants also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years.
3. Chia seeds are 40% fibre
Because of all the fibre, chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach. It increases fullness, slows absorption of your food and helps your digestion. Fibre is reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds have 10 grams of fibre in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fibre per day which makes chia one of the best sources of fibre in the world.
4. Chia seeds are 14% Protein
Chia protein content, which is very high compared to most plants and are an excellent protein source, especially for people who eat little or no animal products.
5. Chia Seeds Are High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon. It can be hard to get the recommended amount of Omega-3s without eating salmon, nuts and avocado pretty much daily. Chia seeds can help you!
Chia is one of the richest plant-based sources of fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.
6. Studies have shown that chia seeds can lower triglycerides, raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and reduce inflammation, insulin resistance and belly fat. Chia seeds cause major improvements in Type 2 Diabetics. A study in type 2 diabetics showed that chia seeds can significantly lower blood pressure and a marker for inflammation. Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.
7. Chia is high in many important nutrients.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 %of the RDA for calcium, 35 % for phosphorus, 24 % for magnesium and about 50 % for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent high blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism. The calcium content is higher than most dairy products. Chia seeds may be considered an excellent source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein are all important for bone health.
8. Gluten-Free and Grain-Free
Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.
9. You can use chia as Egg Replacer in egg-free diets.
Chia seed swell when mixed with liquids and form a gel. This can used in place of eggs. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Chia pudding is a very versatile dish – you can combine plain pudding with any fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butters, you can use any nut/coconut or oat milk, the choice is yours.
In the morning just before you eat the pudding, you can also put some fresh fruits in food processor/blender and make a small amount of smoothie or simply puree them, and then add it to your pudding. I like layering smoothie and chia pudding it in the jar, it looks and tastes very nice! You can see it on the pictures – glass with a red layer in the bottom of the glass is a fresh raspberry/banana puree.
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp honey/maple sirup/coconut sirup
- Few drops of vanilla
- 250ml almond/coconut/hazelnut/oat milk
- You can also add 1-2 tbsp yogurt or kefir, 1 tbsp nut butter or 1 tbsp tahini
- Any nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, any fresh or dry fruits (cut into pieces) and mixed with chia pudding in the morning just before eating.
- Mix the chia seeds, honey and nut milk in a bowl or a jar, stir everything together.
- Optionally add yoghurt, kefir, nut butter or tahini paste.
- Cover with a lid or cling film and place it in the fridge overnight.
- By the morning this mixture will look like jelly which you can eat with the spoon.
- In the morning before you eat, you can also put some fresh fruits in food processor/blender and make a small amount of smoothie, adding it to your pudding. I like layering smoothie and chia pudding it in the jar. You can see it on the pictures - glass with a red smoothie in the bottom of the glass.