Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let’s talk chia seeds!

Chia seeds are an ancient Aztec “superfood” with a ton of soluble fiber and more protein than any other grain, more omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food (including flax) and contain three times the calcium of milk, twice the potassium of bananas, three times the iron of spinach and three times the antioxidants of blueberries. They’re great for hydration and absorb 10 times their weight in water, they slow how the body converts carbs into simple sugars (fantastic for diabetics like yours truly), they lower your blood pressure and they contain a complete amino acid chain on par with meat or eggs. Holy crap, right?

As a bonus, chia seeds are adorable and look like poppy seeds (see inset, below). They poof up in liquid and turn into a gel that’s similar to mucilage.
My favorite way (so far) to eat these little treasures is in an easy homemade pudding that reminds me of tapioca. Here, for your possible interest, are several different chia seed recipes, but all of them use the same basic directions, which appear at the end.

Pudding for One
Moosh together 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, your favorite sweetener and 
1 cup of liquid. You can use any kind of plain or flavored milk (soy, almond, cow), lemonade or fruit juice.

Nice Fake Tapioca
Use 2½ cups of plain soy or almond milk, ½ cup of chia seeds, your favorite sweetener, 
½ teaspoon of cinnamon 
and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
. Try very hard not to eat this all at the same time. Trust me.

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam
Thaw and drain 12 oz. of frozen raspberries and mix with 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. As a diabetic I don’t eat fresh fruit (too many carbs) or honey, but this recipe sounded so damn good I thought I’d include it, anyway, in case you’re interested. 
As promised, here are the basic directions:

Whisk everything together in a bowl or jar and then repeat the process after about 15 minutes so the seeds don’t clump at the bottom. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

And now ... a word of caution. From everything I’ve read about chia seeds the recommended daily portion is about two tablespoons. As you might expect with an undisciplined food addict like yours truly, on day one I made a huge quantity of chia seed pudding (3 cups of Soy Slender chocolate soy milk with ¾ cup of chia seeds) and ate the whole damn bowl watching “People’s Court.” Two hours later this resulted in a weird hypoglycemic episode — VERY low blood sugar — and severe joint pain, although I eventually determined that my joint pain was due to weather conditions that included tornado warnings and thunderstorms.

Chia seeds are relatively cheap and you can buy them online at Thank you for reading this.

1 comment:

Scott K. Johnson said...

I'm a fan of chia seeds - throw them onto/into just about anything I can!