It’s the tiny seed that packs a big nutritional punch, which is why we’re saying ‘three cheers for chia’.
Highly prized since the time of the Aztecs, chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant form of omega-3, which the body converts into the longer-chain omega-3 fats naturally found in oil-rich fish. Plus they’re high in fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium – and they contain all eight essential amino acids needed for the body to make complete proteins, making them a particularly good choice for people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.
So much for the healthy credentials, but how can we include them in our diet? Thanks to their mild flavour, the seeds are a versatile ingredient. For a quick fix you can simply scatter a tablespoonful over yogurt, salads and cereals. But at HFG, we like to be a little more inventive than that…
In this, the first of three instalments, we share one of our favourite chia seed recipes – a creamy, indulgent but super healthy pudding (editor Melanie and senior sub editor Rebecca are big fans). Give it a try and let us know your verdict, then try our great-tasting, gluten-free bread made using chia and quinoa.
Vanilla chia pudding
Prep 10 min, plus overnight chilling
200ml unsweetened soya milk
25g whole chia seeds
¼tsp vanilla extract
½ chopped kiwi fruit and a few blackberries (thawed if frozen), to decorate
1. Put the soya milk, chia seeds and vanilla extract in a jug and stir well with a balloon whisk or fork.
2. Pour the mixture into a sterilised jar or airtight container, then leave in the fridge overnight. The chia seeds will expand and the pudding will thicken to a tapioca-like consistency.
3. To serve, remove the lid, then scatter the pudding with the fruit.
LOW SAT FAT