Named as one of the newest superfoods, chia seeds have so many amazing benefits that you just might not even know! I’m sharing them all, plus ways to eat them everyday and in the most delicious pumpkin chia seed pudding recipe you’ll ever see!
This post is in partnership with NOW® Foods. All opinions are my own.
If you’re not eating chia seeds every day, you’re doing life wrong. And let me tell you just how I know… because I’ve only been eating them for a few months now and I now want to know “Where have you been all my life, my beloved chia seeds?!”
A little dramatic, but true, these little seeds have quickly become one of my favorite food accessories. I love to add them to just about any breakfast food and am constantly finding new ways to sneak them into everything. But the great news is, I don’t necessarily have to sneak them as much as I thought! The girls now ask for chia seeds in their yogurt and atop their bagels too! But before we get too much into how I’m eating chia seeds, let me tell you WHY.
If you’re already a fan of this itty bitty tiny superfood, you might already know these, but if it’s a new-to-you food some might surprise you like they did me!
5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Chia Seeds
It’s a “new” superfood. Don’t confuse superfood with a fad, though. While chia seeds are super popular right now and can be found in just about every aisle of the grocery store now, they’ve been consumed for a very long time. In fact, I read that it dates all the way back to the Aztecs. So while it’s not new, it does seem to be popping up even more now making many first-time chia eaters happy like me.
Fiber, Protein, Omega 3’s and Calcium – oh my! That, my friends, is why they are so great for you and why I thought I had to sneak them into my girls’ diets. For some reason I tend to think healthy doesn’t always equate tasty, but that’s definitely wrong here. While they don’t contain huge amounts of these nutrients, they are a great way to add in a bit more to your everyday diet.
Chia seeds are virtually tasteless. That makes them great for kids, in my opinion. While they don’t necessarily have a “taste”, they add the perfect crunch to some foods, as my favorite yogurt topping for sure.
Chia seeds can be used as an egg substitute when baking. This one totally shocked me, but after I thought about it, it definitely makes sense. Once the seeds get wet, they swell and get a little sticky, for lack of a better word. This makes them the perfect shelf staple food to replace eggs if you need it when baking. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to bake and realized I was out of eggs – so this is a great one to keep in the back of my mind! The same way they swell in water and food, they swell in your stomach too making you feel fuller for much longer.
Bonus: I’m going to start sprouting these little seeds soon thanks to my Sprouting Jar. Yes, these seeds are exactly what you remember in the 80s commercials [ch-ch-ch-chia!] and they can be sprouted to enjoy the health benefits as well. Stay tuned as I’ll share a post on how the sprouting goes!
How to eat chia seeds in your everyday diet
While some superfoods are hard to incorporate into your daily diet, chia seeds are definitely super easy. Here are our favorite ways to enjoy them.
As a topping – My all-time fave is on yogurt. It gives it a new texture and feel, but my girls are loving adding them to their oatmeal, smoothies, ANYTHING! The girls are also LOVING adding them to rice cakes, which is just another topping, but we’ve also experimented in adding them to our homemade frozen yogurt popsicles too!
Since they work as an egg substitute, it definitely makes sense to add chia seeds to baked goods. NOW Foods even has a milled version of the superfood seeds to make incorporating into baked goods even easier.
You can even use chia seeds in place of a breading on fish and chicken. Instead of coating your meat in starchy white flour, use 1 cup of almond meal with 1 tablespoon chia seeds, along with your favorite flavorings like tumeric or garlic powder, to get a delicious crust. These should be baked, not fried, to keep in all the nutrition without overdoing the oils and fats.
It’s also SO easy to make your own chia seed pudding, which I’ve found is a great, filling breakfast and snack. A chia seed pudding recipe can be as simple as mixing almond milk and chia seeds and leaving them in the refrigerator overnight or a little more complex with these pumpkin pie add-ins!
Actually, this Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding is anything but complex, but adds just a couple more ingredients to a base chia seed pudding recipe to bring in my favorite fall flavors. If you love all things pumpkin, I’m sure you’ll love it too!
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- chopped pecans [optional]
- Mix together almond milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Once blended, add chia seeds and stir.
- Put into jars and refrigerate overnight.
- Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped pecans and enjoy!
Chia seeds are not only abundant in nutrients, omega-3 fat, free radical scavengers and fiber but also easy to prepare, making them an easy superfood to add to your diet every day!