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New To Me: Chia Seeds

March 9, 2012

I was recruited by a friend to join a small group of women who are virtually supporting each other in weight loss, healthy eating, and fitness goals. [The Guest Post with a recipe for whole wheat chocolate chip cookies is from Leah, one of the other women in the group.] This group periodically issues challenges, and a recent one was to try a new healthful food.

I’m pretty versed in the art of fruit and vegetable consumption, so I thought about all the various blog posts I read about chia seeds, and decided I’d give them a try. It seems like most healthy eating bloggers talk about them at some point, so I won’t go into too much detail explaining all the benefits or details of chia seeds (seriously…the search results are unreal…try it).

I will say that if you can get over the fact that you’re eating a ch-ch-chia pet, you’ll get a pretty quick and easy (but not necessarily cheap – although a little goes a long way) serving of fiber and omega-3s.

I purchased mine pre-packaged, but later found some in a bulk aisle for cheaper.

 

First chia seed attempt? Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding.

Ingredients!

I made the recipe true to form the first time around, and found that it was sweeter than I needed it to be. If you make the recipe as indicated, it’s 8 Weight Watchers PointsPlus. If you just want a small treat, it’s still a nice-sized portion to make this recipe and split it into two servings. I cut the agave in half to 1 Tbsp. and the recipe drops to 6 WW PointsPlus for the full amount or 3 if you split it. Not too shabby for a chocolate treat!

Don't judge based on my picture...it was tastier than it looks!

Here’s the thing that the recipe doesn’t tell you but that you MUST know: you cannot just mix these ingredients! Chia seeds clump almost immediately if you dump them into the almond milk, and you’ll get an unfortunate bite of all-seed, no-sweetness or chocolate if you don’t mix it well (and really attractive chia seeds in between your teeth – hot stuff!). Using a whisk or fork, stir the chia seeds into the almond milk a little at a time. Then let it sit.

Second attempt: chia fresca.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m reading Born to Run and curiosity got the better of me. Again, whisking is going to be crucial to this recipe.

Possibly too reminiscent of tadpoles in a spring pond for some.

Looks…well, putting it mildly, it looks pretty gross. Despite the fact that these are hard little seeds, though, they absorb liquid quickly and easily and form a gel. So when you actually drink it (it being water, chia seeds, a little agave, and lemon or lime juice), it’s pretty smooth. The blogger from whom I got the recipe wasn’t a big fan, but I thought it was pretty refreshing. The Weight Watchers PointsPlus value is 3.

I’m 100% sure that it will not suddenly enable me to run hundreds of miles in tiny sandals over sun-baked canyons, but if you’re looking for a refreshing, fiber-filled drink, it will serve your needs.

Have you tried chia seeds? What did you think? How do you use them?

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