So, I am often a little late on the bandwagon for new crazes or things that become popular. I guess it just takes me a while to come around to things- maybe a little longer than others –but I do come around eventually. I have actually been wanting to try chia seeds for a while. I bought them, and they’ve been sitting in my kitchen for about a month. I figured it was about time I should give them a whirl!
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock like I have, chia seeds are supposedly very good for you! According to Kathleen M. Zelman on WebMD, “chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.” Also, chia seeds are supposed to expand in your stomach making you feel fuller, which could help with weight loss. Personally (and I’ve only eaten them a few times since writing this), I found that after the first time I ate chia seeds (Giada’s chia seed pudding; recipe listed below), I was REALLY full! I definitely noticed a difference in how I usually feel after eating such a small amount, and that difference was the fact that I felt so full that I physically couldn’t eat anything else. I then went to teach my morning Yoga class, and then when I came back home about an hour later, I was hungry again. After some more internet research, I found that there were a few studies disproving the concept that chia seeds assist in losing weight. So, judging from my brief personal experience and the internet research, I’ve discounted that idea as a possibility completely. Being that I don’t eat enough fish because I don’t really like it, and I’m always looking to eat more fiber, antioxidants, and calcium, I believe that adding some chia seeds to my diet wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
The recipe that I tried for my first chia seed encounter was Giada De Laurentiis’ Chia Seed Pudding. My overall review of this recipe is that it is amazing, and everyone needs to try it! I honestly felt like I was having a dessert even though I ate it for breakfast, which is why I polished off the last two servings on my own throughout the course of the weekend.
The pudding on its own was good, but I think what made it REALLY good was the walnuts & strawberries that I added to the top. I Giada’s recipe, she calls for sliced almonds & strawberries tossed with maple syrup. First of all, I found that the strawberries tossed with maple syrup was too sweet for me, especially since I had already added two tablespoons of maple syrup to the pudding itself (2 tbs. for the entire recipe, which was 4 servings in total), so I ended up adding plain strawberries. I also did not have sliced almonds, so I used chopped walnuts instead, and it was still really good. I am really big on texture, so adding that bit of crunch really made it delicious. I adapted the recipe to what I had in the house even though it wasn’t that much of a diversion from the original, but here’s what I did:
Giada’s Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
A Pinch of Kosher Salt
¼ Cup Chia Seeds
Fresh Strawberries Chopped
Chopped Walnuts for crunch
Whisk the almond milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and salt until mixed completely. Mix in the chia seeds, and let stand uncovered for 30 minutes. Then give another few stirs to mix the seeds that fell to the bottom, cover, and refrigerate overnight (I made mine at about 8PM, and ate it at about 8:30AM the next morning). The next morning, just add to a bowl and top with walnuts & strawberries!
Final Thoughts: I will definitely make this again because I really enjoyed it, but I’d love to find some other ways that I can incorporate chia seeds into my diet. I got Giada’s cookbook, Feel Good Food, for my Dad for Father’s day, and I seem to be enjoying it more than he is. Anyway, there are some really great & healthy recipes in there, so I highly recommend checking that out if you get a chance to. I’d really love to hear your experiences with chia seeds in the comments below. You can also show me some love on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, & Bloglovin! Thanks for visiting, and I hope to see you here again soon! :)
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