It's almost impossible to not say "chia" without preceding it with a "cha-cha-cha," but terracotta sprouting figurines aside, chia seeds (and their sprouts) are great. Chia seeds pack 5 grams of fiber into a tablespoon, as well as plenty of iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. They also excel in their antioxidant properties.
Chia seeds are also particularly rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids – 60 percent of their fat content is dedicated to omega-3s, making them one of the best plant-based sources of these fatty acids. These fats can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol, among other things.
They don't have much flavor, but chia seeds have a super cool property in that they thicken in a gelatinous way, making them great for an egg substitute and really awesome for making healthy pudding. You can put them straight in your milk of choice with sweetener and refrigerate overnight; or you can even put them in yogurt or juice for the same effect. Below is a slightly more complicated recipe – "complicated" is relative.
Vanilla chia seed pudding
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- Bananas, peaches, berries or other fruit for garnish
Mix ingredients together, refrigerate overnight, voila.