What the hell is chia?
This is a question I’ve been asked a lot lately and it’s a good one. I sprinkle it in salads, eat it instead of porridge in summer, add it to smoothies and juices, fruit salads, veggie salads and when I’m baking but sometimes I forget that not everyone knows about it. When I brought in a chia pudding to work the other day for breakfast, there were a lot of questions like ‘What is chia?’, ‘how do you make it?’, ‘what does it taste like?’.
If you’re into nutrition and healthy energy giving foods, you can’t do much better than chia. It’s a small grain packed with omega 3, healthy fats, high quality protein, fibre and nutrients. Chia swells to 17 times its size so it’s light to eat but keeps your appetite at bay for hours. It also encourages you to drink more water in your diet which improves your overall health, alertness and energy levels. Kelly Slater has even joined up with the Chia Co. as he swears by a chia breakfast every morning. It’s filling, easy to use and tasty as! Did I mention that the chia breakfast pudding is like dessert for breakfast? There’s that bonus too. Check out this short clip of Kelly Slater promoting Chia to the locals on the North Shore.
So I’m giving you three tasty ways to use it, mainly for breakfast but pretty much any time of the day works. First up is a tropical chia smoothie, second is a coconut and vanilla pudding and third is a fruit and granola bowl. Enjoy!
TROPICAL CHIA SMOOTHIE
Makes 1 mega sized breakfast smoothie or 2 medium ones
1 ripe banana
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp chia seeds
Remove the nectarine and apricot stones and peel the banana. In a smoothie maker or using a handheld blender, blend everything together and serve.
* If you leave this for longer than 15 minutes, the chia will swell so before drinking, add a little extra water and shake before drinking
COCONUT AND CHIA OVERNIGHT BREAKFAST* PUDDING-Serves 1
1 cup of milk (dairy won’t work for this. Almond, oat, rice or coconut works best)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
light sprinkle ground cinnamon
1/2 cup mixed berries (fresh or defrosted)
In a bowl, add the milk, coconut, vanilla and cinnamon and stir. Add the chia seeds and stir through. Leave for 5 minutes then stir through again so the chia doesn’t stick together. Place in the fridge overnight to set. In the morning, serve with berries on top. This is also the perfect on the go brekkie since you can put the chia mix into a jar, put the berries on top and eat at work or after a session.
* Great as breakfast or use a blended can of coconut milk and serve as a dessert with grated dark chocolate on top
FRUIT AND GRANOLA BOWL-Serves 1
When you wanted chia for breakfast but forgot to soak it overnight, this means you still get your chia for the day.
1 cup granola of your choice (or have a go at my ginger and maple granola here)
1 cup or small tub of natural yogurt
1 cup of fresh fruit (berries/nectarines/apricots/bananas/apples
2 tsp chia seeds
Really easy. Serve in a bowl or put in a jar or Tupperware container. Layer up your ingredients. Base of granola, then yogurt, fruit and a generous sprinkling of chia seeds. If you want the chia to swell up, stir it through the yogurt first. Easy.