It’s the tiny seed that packs a big nutritional punch, which is why this week 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 check back on Wednesday for another delicious chia idea.
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