Chia Pudding & Chia Fresca
When my husband and I moved to Penang, we decided that we would start taking our health more seriously. Because moving overseas was such a big transition, it was kind of a brand new start for us in a lot of ways. Although we had been ‘mostly’ vegan for about two years, we would easily turn a blind eye to our two greatest weaknesses: ice cream and cheese. We also ate a great deal of processed foods and rarely exercised beyond the occasion walk to a coffee shop. But now, in just about three months, we have changed our lifestyle and have really began to see positive results, both emotionally as well as physically. We often remark to one another that we just feel better. We each have lost weight (Nate has lost over 15 pounds!) and we have noticed that we get full faster during meals. We also have given up dairy completely. We rarely eat any processed food and mostly stick to fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains. We’ve also been exercising, not anything crazy or regimented, but realistic workouts that have become part of lifestyle.
I have struggled with food and diets my whole life for as long as I can remember. Eating a whole-foods and plant-based diet and striving to take care of our bodies has been something very different and very wonderful. It feels real and sustainable, it’s not a diet, but a way of life. We have many reasons for not eating animals, all of which I would love to explain in a different post. However, one very important reason for us is to have a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Ok, ok, I’ll stop my rambling and get to the food! This post really is all about health and the wonderfully nutritious chia seed. The more and more I read about chia seeds, the more and more excited I get! I know that makes me incredibly nerdy, but get this, chia seeds are incredibly high in fiber, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. According to The Daily Green, four tablespoons of chia seeds supply as much calcium as three cups of milk! These powerful seeds also have as much magnesium as 10 stalks of broccoli, as much iron as one-half cup of red kidney beans, and 30% more antioxidants than blueberries. They also have 25% more dietary fiber than flaxseeds and approximately the same amount of omega-3 as a 32-ounce fillet of salmon. Now do you understand why I get so excited??
You might be thinking to yourself, ok Chia seeds sound wonderful but how in the world do I eat them? Well, thanks to figgy & sprout, I have two wonderful recipes to share with you: Chia Pudding and Chia Fresca.
1 cup chia seeds
3 cups non-dairy milk
2-4 tablespoons agave (optional if using sweetened non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
pinch of salt
Place all of the above ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Make sure there are no clumps of chia seeds and that everything is covered in milk. Let this sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate (I prefer mine cold!). Pudding keeps well in the fridge for days.
Chia Fresca is a popular drink in Mexico and a quick and tasty way to enjoy chia seeds. Simply mix 1-2 spoonfuls of chia seeds in a cold glass with lemon. Feel free to add sweetener to satisfy your sweet tooth. This is a great pick-me-up drink and SO much healthy for you than soda or commercial sports drinks!
A big special thanks to figgy & sprout!