By now, you have probably heard of chia seeds, and the fact that they can make an excellent, nutrient rich pudding! But what are the actual health benefits of chia seeds, and how can you use them, but not as a pudding?
Chia seeds, whilst very small, really pack a nutrient rich punch. They are the highest combined plant source of omega 3, fibre and protein, and are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. By simply adding a tablespoon (15g) of chia to your diet each day, you will add 3g of omega 3, 6g of fibre and 3g of protein. On top of this, the protein is complete, meaning all amino acids are accounted for; particularly great for those who don’t eat meat!
So you’ve undoubtedly heard of the popular chia pudding, but what about some other ways of incorporating them?
Make a chia egg##
Chia ‘eggs’ are made by mixing chia seeds with water, usually 1 tbspn chia to 2.5-3tbspn water, and allowing to sit to form a gel like consistency. These can be a fab alternative to eggs in cooking, for those who are intolerant to eggs, or for vegans, for whom eggs are not a part of the diet. Whilst not entirely the same nutritionally, they will still provide a great addition of protein and omega 3 to the dish, along with extra fibre and calcium as well.
Add a Chia Shot to your salad##
Think a mix of leafy veggies, tomato, avocado, chickpeas, olive oil and a sprinkle of pumpkin, sesame and chia seeds to up the crunch factor! Or, try the tasty taco salad recipe from The Chia Co website.
Add chia to your pasta##
Such as the delish recipe from Leanne Ward on The Chia Co website, a fab way to up the fibre and omega 3s in your pasta dish.
Incorporate into a healthy snack##
Roasted chickpeas are one of my favourite snacks, due to their high fibre and protein content. I love the recipe from The Chia Co for these as it is so easy, and the addition of the Chia seeds is great for both texture, and nutrition.
One of the best ways to meet your daily resistant starch needs, and with the addition of a Chia Co Shot, the perfect way to up the protein, calcium and omega 3s to get the day off to a cracking start. There’s so many ways of making these, with my go to being a mix of rolled oats, chia seeds, almond milk and cinnamon topped with frozen berries and thick natural yoghurt. For a special twist, adding some matcha to the mix adds an antioxidant punch, and is perfect for the morning due to the caffeine content.
Find all recipes and images are from The Chia Co: