Monday, May 9, 2011

The Amazing Chia Seed

I've had chia seeds in my fridge for awhile, after I had read about them being an endurance 'superfood' of sorts.  Believe it or not I still haven't read Born To Run, but I guess in that book the tribe eats chia gel to fuel their runs.

I put some chia seeds in a smoothie once but the resulting texture kind of creeped me out.  And they do interesting things to oatmeal (not really in a good way...or maybe I'm just not used to them).  And some sites suggest sprinkling them on food, and if you do that they're just these weirdly crunchy little things that get stuck in your teeth (bleh). So they've just been sitting in the fridge.  Then last night I came across a blog that mentioned these seeds keep 2-4 years without going rancid, and I realized mine are still good (only 6 months or so old).

Then I found this recipe.  Basically I wanted something chocolate that wouldn't be a pain to make... and this totally fits the bill. I mean, all you do is stir seeds into some water and almond milk with cocoa and agave, and wait 10 minutes.

2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2c almond milk
1/2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4c water
1/2 Tbsp sweetener like agave
Stir together for a couple of minutes.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes, stir and eat!

It was a freaking amazing chocolate pudding--and believe me, it's been a long time since this vegan has had anything even remotely like a pudding.  It was delicious.  And check out these health stats, gathered from that same blog and one other website:

  • more fiber than bran
  • 3x more antioxidants than blueberries
  • 15x more magnesium than broccoli
  • 3x more iron than spinach
  • 2x the protein of any other seed or grain
  • 5x the calcium of milk, plus a trace mineral (boron) that helps move calcium into your bones
  • 2x the potassium of bananas
  • huge amounts of omega3 and omega 6 (essential fatty acids I should pay more attention to... other vegan sources include walnuts and flaxseed)
Also I just read about how it slows the absorption of carbohydrates in your stomach, which is why it's a good endurance food--it prolongs your available energy.

If I can sit around eating freaking CHOCOLATE PUDDING and getting all of those benefits?!?  Sign me up!  Why haven't I been eating this before?!

This is another pretty good site about chia seeds:  Read and learn, seriously.  Check out the recipes at the bottom, too!  All of them easy...all of them apparently awesome.

I've already tried 2 other recipes:  you can make a "chia fresca" drink just from mixing 1 Tbsp of seeds with 10oz water, 2Tbsp lemon or lime juice, and a drizzle of agave.  It's like an energy drink.  And I just made a chia "jello" by hydrating the seeds in black cherry juice and water.  It's damn good.  And for vegans, I mean... where else are we gonna get something this easy and this gel-like besides like.. pectin or agar flakes or something?  I'm going to be eating this stuff like it's going out of style.


  1. That sounds friggen AWESOME!!!!!!

    I need to buy some chia seeds the next time I'm in the hippie store.

  2. "If I can sit around eating freaking CHOCOLATE PUDDING and getting all of those benefits?!? Sign me up! Why haven't I been eating this before?!"

    Ahaha!! I've seen chia puddings doing the rounds, but haven't tried it. I just put it down as one of those weird blog trends that aren't actually that good! If it gets your vote though then I'll try it next time I have agave in the house.

    Hope the taper madness was placated by the chocolateyness :)

  3. I looooove chia pudding. I let mine sit at least 30-45 minutes, though. They get much much thicker and tastier the longer they soak. :) Like tapioca. YUMMO.

    I still really like overnight oats with chia layered with banana softserve as a hot weather brekkie or snack. :D