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
Serves 1

Ingredients
200ml unsweetened soya milk
25g whole chia seeds
¼tsp vanilla extract
½ chopped kiwi fruit and a few blackberries (thawed if frozen), to decorate

Method
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.

Per serving:
224kcal
10.6g protein
11.5g fat
1.4g saturates
20.5g carbs
9.9g sugar
11.2g fibre
0.1g salt
414mg calcium
2.2mg iron

LOW SAT FAT
LOW SUGAR
LOW SALT
HIGH FIBRE
HIGH CALCIUM
VEG
GLUTEN FREE
DAIRY FREE

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