I became enamored with the idea of eating chia seeds from running books like Born to Run, Finding Ultra, and Eat and Run. As a child of the 1980s, I can still hear the strains of the “Chu, chu, chu, CHIA!” Chia Pet commercials in my head, but I wanted to explore the health benefits of this teeny-tiny seed.
Nuts.com offers this list of 7 Good Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds:
1. Help weight loss by reducing food cravings.
2. Feel full faster because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, so they become gel-like.
3. Hydrate the body–especially great for athletes.
4. Reduce blood pressure.
5. Provide the richest plant-source of omega-3 fatty acids–even more than salmon!
6. Can control blood sugar.
7. Easier to digest than flax seeds
I ordered my bag of chia seeds online and have been adding them to my morning green smoothie since they arrived. My husband even read in Bloomberg Businessweek that chia seeds have become Wall Street’s “stimulant of choice” due to their health properties.
This tasty dessert recipe reminds me of tapioca pudding and is the brainchild of the Gluten-Free RD. I am looking forward to experimenting with other add-ins besides coconut.
- ½ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup raw cashews (soaked for 2 hours)
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted (I used 9 Deglet Noor dates instead)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Put the chia seeds and shredded coconut into a mixing bowl and stir until evenly distributed. Set aside.
- Blend the water, soaked cashews, dates and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the cashew milk blend into the bowl with the chia seeds and coconut and stir until the seeds are evenly distributed and there are no clumps.
- Allow the pudding to sit for a few minutes, then stir again. The chia seeds will swell. Repeat.
- Store the pudding in a covered container in the fridge for a few hours before serving.