Did you know that Chia is one of the most searched works on the interweb under the foodie category? Along with ‘Vegan‘ and Paleo…that’s right. We are right on trend here. Last year it was Kale and Quinoa. Well yes, even food can become a trendy fad… But you knew that. If you are into food and all that is super (as in super food, yes?), you would have noticed the different phases and crazes individual ingredients go through.
There is the story about Agave Nectar. A few years ago, it was the latest sweetener and touted as the healthier option for sweetening your treats. Well, Agave has fallen off its pedestal and swiftly replaced by coconut sugar, which in turn got company in the form or Coconut syrup. Unless you are a food nerd like me, this becomes totally mind boggling and you might as well go back to your stock standard white sugar. But no, you should definitely not do that just yet.
But lets go back to the latest food craze and see if its a stayer. Why is chia so popular, and what the hell can you do with it?
Chia is indeed a powerhouse of nutrients and deserves the prefix ‘super’. Its go more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas, more fibre than bran flakes and more calcium than milk. Then there is the magnesium, folate, Omega 3, protein and antioxidants. I am sure there is more and if you are really into stats and numbers, there is a plethora of research online.
Personally I have had many trial and errors with this bizarre looking seed. A few years ago, when I was trying out raw veganism for a while, it was in every hardcore raw vegan cookbook. I dutifully tried it and nearly spat the whole thing out. Nobody in our family liked it and I could not find much enthusiasm for it after that. I can’t even remember what was wrong with it, but I never tried it again.
Then, the ominous Chia reappeared on my radar. It is everywhere on Pintrest. And you really don’t want to be left out of the loop if it appears on every food blog and Pintrest board. Now, you should know that I am a bit of a food nerd. I just absolutely love discovering ridiculously expensive and exotic ingredients. Like dried Inca berries, Lucuma, Teff flour and Banana flour. It doesn’t mean that my pantry is permanently stocked with all of these curiosities. I just like the research and the play. Just because it comes from South America however doesn’t mean we have to eat it by the bucket full and justify our culinary choices.
If an ingredient however sports awesome nutritional benefits and passes the taste test it may stay. And since Chia is grown in Australia, it is definitely something I am willing to try again. So, following dutifully every Pintrest trial and discovering that there is really only so many ways you can use Chia. And I have just about tried them all.
The keeper for me is the chocolate chia pudding. Mini me likes it for her breakfast, I love it as a mid afternoon or post-out snack. Or after dinner. Really, anytime I feel like a treat. But you can also drink it, bake with it and generally sprinkle it on anything and everything. It doesn’t taste like much, but add some coconut milk, raw cacao and berries and you have yourself something very yummy and you can eat it at midnight straight out of the fridge and pretend its medicinal. It probably is. So here is how we use Chia most.
Chia Chocolate Pudding
- 1/4 cup of chia seeds
- 3/4 cup of coconut milk
- 1 tbs maple syrup/hone/rice malt or coconut syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbs raw cacao
Add all of the ingredients to a screw top jar, mix it and close the lid and give it a good shake. Make sure all of the chia is mixed in and not clumps remain. Pop it in the fridge for 30 min or overnight.
The next morning, top it with coconut yoghurt (or regular greek yoghurt), berries and a sprinkle of toasted choc buckwheat.
Follow my trail:
10 Ways to use Chia Seeds
So my friends, go forth and multiply these tiny seeds and see which one becomes your favourite. I have stocked up and chia and will have a enough for the next 6 months….until the next superfood entices me.