Wh-Wh-What to do with Cha-Cha-Chia Seeds
After reading up on the amazing benefits of chia seeds, I bet you were itching to put these little bits of health wonder to use! These babies are high in Omega-3’s, fiber, calcium and manganese so it would do your body good to find some ways to sneak them in every day. But if you’re like me, sometimes it can be hard to come up with creative ways to incorporate these super foods into your diet. Fret not! Here are 5 super simple ways you can reap the benefits of chia seeds.
1. Chia seed pudding: For a sweet treat, mix 1.5 C. almond milk with ¼ C. maple syrup, 3 Tbsp. chia seeds and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a large jar. Shake vigorously and allow to sit in the fridge until it’s thick, which takes about 4 hours. Stir or shake it occasionally to prevent all the seeds from settling on the bottom of the jar. When the pudding is ready to serve, spoon it into a bowl and top it with fresh berries, peaches or mango slices. This pudding is the perfect way to satiate a sweet tooth while getting in some vital nutrients!
2. Oil and butter substitute in baked goods: Chia seed gel - made by combining chia seeds with water and left to sit for a few minutes - makes a great substitute for half of the butter in most baked goodies. (The header for the post shows chia seed gel on the left next to regular chia seeds). If making cookies, cakes, or sweet breads (like banana or zucchini bread), divide the required butter or oil in half and replace half of that with chia seed gel. To make chia seed gel, mix 1 Tbsp. chia seeds with ¼ C. water. Whisk the seeds in the water and allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes then simply mix this in your recipe, along with the other half of the butter or oil. In our house, we use this for banana bread and the result is fabulous. The bread still tastes nice and rich, while being lower in fat and calories.
3. Chia seed fruit jelly in minutes: I think this has to be the absolute easiest way to make jelly. According to the recipe for strawberry lemon chia seed gel over at Going Home to Roost, all the jelly calls for is 1 C. strawberries, 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, 1 Tbsp. warm water, 1 Tbsp. agave or maple syrup and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until it is at the consistency you desire. Pour the mixture into a jar, refrigerate and 60 minutes later, you have some seriously delicious jelly to slather all over biscuits and bread!
4. Energy hydrating gel: For an electrolyte laden hydrating gel that is a less processed alternative to those on the market, mix a few tablespoons of chia seeds with a cup of coconut water. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. This is great for endurance sports or as a pick me up.
5. Egg substitute: For baked goods, you can also use chia seeds to replace eggs! Just mix 1 Tbsp. of finely ground chia seeds with 3 Tbsp. of water. Lower in calories and fat, but still results in scrumptious baked goodness.
With one of these 5 options, you are sure to find an easy way to start enjoying your ch-ch-ch-chia seeds!