If you aren’t familiar with chia seeds, they are a super food – a super, duper food in fact – and here are some reasons why:
- They are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance, lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol so it’s great for your heart.
- They are very high in fiber – 10 grams in just 2 tablespoons.
- They are very high in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, maganese, phosphorous (helping you maintain strong bones and teeth, plus tissue growth and repair in the body), and also antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer.
- High in protein too! 4.4 grams in just 3 tablespoons.
- Can help keep your insulin levels in check by reducing insulin resistance and decreasing high levels in insulin in the blood.
- When soaked in water, chia seeds swell and soak up the water, turning in to a gel that can prolong hydration and help retain electrolytes in body fluids. This is great for athletes especially because it prevents dehydration and can promote endurance and recovery.
- Because of it’s high levels of protein and fiber, combined with the fact that it swells up when mixed with liquids, chia seeds can help keep you full longer, reducing cravings between meals.
- Helps regulate apetite, sleep and improve your mood because chia seeds also contain tryptophan.
- They are friendly to pretty much all dietary restrictions – gluten-free, vegans and vegetarians, and anyone trying to watch their weight.
- They don’t really taste like anything so they are extremely versatile in the ways you can consume them – as an egg replacer (if you’re vegan, or if you run out of eggs), to thicken soups, stews, gravies and even meatloaf rather than using breadcrumbs, but also in sweet dishes like pudding.
I like to use cherries in this recipe because they are low-glycemic, helping to not spike the blood sugar and promotes #5 (keeping insulin levels in check), also because they’re so nutrient-dense. Plus, they’re sweet enough on their own that no added sugar is really needed, though you could add a little bit of honey to make it sweeter for a dessert if you wanted.
I like to take half the cherries and puree them with the almond milk to give an overall sweetness, then take the other half of the cherries and coarsely chop them to give the texture and taste of cherries. This seems to be a happy medium and gives each bite the same sweetness and evenly distributes the cherries.
This makes a pretty big batch and I like to keep it in the fridge for the week as a snack, or as a part of breakfast, or as dessert. It’s filling and sweet so it’s perfect for any of those occasions and I notice a difference in the way I feel – satiated, satisfied and just overall good.Cherry Chia Pudding Recipe
3/4 cups chia seeds (found in most grocery stores, or amazon sells them too)
2 cups almond milk, store bought or homemade (or whichever kind of milk you prefer)
1 lb or about 2.5 cups pitted cherries (THIS is the easiest way to pit cherries)
1. Once all cherries have been pitted, take half and put in a food processor or blender with the milk and puree. Take the other half and coarsely chop.
2. Empty chia seeds in to a large bowl and add pureed milk and cherries mixture and chopped cherries.
3. Stir until well combined and refrigerate.
4. Pudding is ready after about 30 minutes when seeds have expanded and mixture resembles rice or tapioca pudding.