With a change of season, we are revisiting fail-safe ingredients that are highly useful and make us feel good too. One of our favourites is the oldest form of nutrition, chia seeds, that come from salvia hispanica, a pretty blue flowering mint plant native to parts of Mexico and Guatemala.
Super subtle in taste, chia seeds are all about their texture and ability to absorb a huge amount of liquid—up to 10 times their dry weight—swelling into miniature tapioca-like balls. Because of their absorption superpowers, never consume chia seeds dry as they will soak up the moisture in your gut. It’s safer to enjoy them in a smoothie or food instead.
Each serving is packed with 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. Super dense in nutrients compared to other foods, chia seeds contain fibre, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids that help slow digestion and a subsequently steady stream of energy.
They also contain key minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as all nine essential amino acids, that are the muscle-building protein building blocks our bodies need but don't produce naturally.
Dry chia seeds are perfect for adding to smoothies and juices, yogurt, energy bars, grain bowls and oatmeal. Our favourite way to use Chia seeds is blended into a nuut or as the star of a pudding. Simply mix a quarter cup of the seeds in one cup of liquid. Once the seeds have swelled up and the mixture is no longer watery, the pudding is ready to eat. This can take as little as 15 minutes, although chia pudding keeps well in the fridge for several days. Boost flavour tinkering with spices, nuts, dates, and honey or hydrate in yogurt or cashew cream, for a more plump and silky texture.
Look for seeds that are speckled black or white, but not uniformly brown that are immature seeds with fewer nutritional benefits and have a bitter taste. Chia seeds have a long shelf life and will keep for several years when stored in a cool, dry place.
Want to chia up? Try these three nuuted recipes packed full of chia goodness.
nuut chia pudd
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 sachet nuut
3-5 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups almond milk
To a small mixing bowl add nuut, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Then add a little milk at a time and whisk until a paste form. Then add remaining milk and whisk until smooth.
Add chia seeds and whisk once more to combine. Then cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3-5 hours (until it's achieved a pudding-like consistency). It may also be helpful to give the mixture an extra whisk/stir once it has been in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
Leftovers keep covered in the fridge for 4-5 days, though best when fresh. Serve chilled with desired toppings, such as fruit, granola, or coconut.
chocolate chia shake
1 cup almond milk
1 sachet nuut
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp agave or to taste
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Stir chia and milk together and allow to sit for a bit, so the chia can soak up the milk, approx. half an hour.
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
choc chia and oat breakfast bowl
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 sachet nuut
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
3 cups milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
Dash vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried coconut chips
1 tbsp pistachio kernels
1 cup natural yoghurt
Fruit (we like figs and berries)
Place nuut, oats, and chia seeds in a bowl. Add the milk, maple syrup and vanilla and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to soak.
Place coconut chips in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until toasted. Transfer to a plate. Add the pistachios to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until toasted. Transfer to a plate. Set aside to cool. Chop pistachios.
Divide the oat mixture among serving bowls. Top with yoghurt, figs, strawberries, raspberries, coconut chips and pistachios.