You’ve heard the hype, you’ve seen the Instagram pics and you might have tried to master these little balls of weirdness. But - what actually are they? Chia seeds are actually a species of flowering plant from the mint family and are grown in Australia. They have amazing macronutrient value, for example they’re around 20% protein and have loads of fibre to not a lot of calories and they’re packed full of essential nutrients. As well as being stocked to the brim full of antioxidants they can also help with memory problems, eye problems and heart problems! Chia seeds also absorb liquid like mini sponges so if you soak them in water or milk overnight they can make you feel fuller for longer. Plus they’re gluten free. Boom! There’s literally nothing these little seeds can’t do. I’ve got three awesome recipes to tempt you to try them from my personal favourites.
Overnight oatsThis is a recipe of mine that I’ve adapted from a load of other ones and it can be eaten hot or cold. Chia seeds aren’t the main ingredient of this dish, they’re just a great addition to add some more fibre, protein and a nice squishy/smooth texture. 1. Mix together 30g of rolled oats with around 15g of chia seeds - sometimes I add a little linseed too as an added extra. 2. Add in 75-100ml of whatever milk you fancy. Soya or almond milk works really well with the rest of the ingredients. 3. Pop in some flavouring such as vanilla essence or some cinnamon and mix it all up with a really ripe mashed up banana and you’ll have something that resembles baby food! 4. Refrigerate overnight and in the morning you’ve got a yummy breakfast. I like to warm mine in a pan with some frozen raspberries (hence why it’s pink!) and a little extra milk. This recipe makes two portions.
Chia seed puddingThis speedy little recipe only has 3 ingredients - how good is that? You can even pop these in cute mason jars to be super Insta-worthy. All you need for this is 1 can of coconut milk, around 40g of chia seeds and 1 tablespoon of honey. You can also pop in a bit of vanilla essence to really ramp up the taste! If you’re not into coconut milk, you can use almond milk and then a little plain yoghurt to thicken your mixture. The only method for this is to mix it all up and refrigerate overnight and top with fruit and nuts to serve. Easy and seriously yummy.
5 minute chia seed jamIf you’re partial to some sugary jam on toast in the morning, this could be a great low-sugar and low-calorie alternative and the good thing is, it takes minutes to whip up a batch. You need; 2 cups of raspberries, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of warm water and 2-4 tablespoons of honey. Add everything to a food processor and blitz until the desired texture and let to set in the fridge for an hour or so.
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