Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia miracle pudding boosts memory

Chia pudding cup

 

Don’t eat your potted pet…

Remember those little Chia sculptures that blew onto the scene about 30 years ago?  We’d water them and give them a little love, and they rewarded us by growing hair and fur in all the right places. They were cute but decidedly not edible.

chia-pet

 

Eat chia seeds instead

These don’t ring a bell? You may be too young (or too old…) to remember. If the latter, take heart. Those miracle chia seeds are now a health food that works to improve your memory!

It’s not all magic, although much is anecdotal. The theory rides on the unusual amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in these seeds, the same thing that gives walnuts and flax seeds their good name. Our brains depend  on omega-3 to work well. That part is true. So it stands to reason that the more chia seeds we eat, the better our memories will be. This assumption is now under study.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds come in black and white. The taste (very bland) and the nutrition (great) is the same in both. Don’t buy red seeds, as these are not mature.

Add a handful to your cereal bowl. Sprinkle chia on your salad. Throw them into your smoothies and yogurt desserts. Just one ounce, or 3 tablespoons, fills you up, fights belly fat, and improves heart health.

Chia seeds achieve all this because they are believed to boost energy, stabilize blood sugar, aid digestion, and lower cholesterol. That’s because they provide excellent amounts of calcium and manganesefiber, and protein, along with the omega-3s.

Try this easy recipe. The proof is in the pudding!

Chia pudding cup

 Chocolate Chia Pudding
Makes 1-1/2 cups or 3 servings

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sugar or stevia equivalent (if using stevia, add it to the wet ingredients even if it’s a powder)
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup skim milk (or unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Mix the dry ingredients well, so there are no lumps.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a microwave-safe dish. Heat in the micro for a minute, or until the milk steams. Heating the liquid makes it easier to dissolve the cocoa. Do not let it boil.
  3. Add a small amount of liquid to the dry ingredients. Stir until it makes a smooth paste. Stir the rest of the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well. Cover and set aside.
  4. Stir every 20 minutes, three times. This keeps the seeds from clumping together, so you end up with a smoothly delicious pudding.
  5. Then put the covered pudding into the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Serve to the kiddies just as it is. You can spice it all up with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, almond extract or fruit extract. Or you can add  whole pieces of fruit.

For one serving, I used 1/4 cup crushed raspberries in 1/2 cup of the basic pudding, and layered that with Greek yogurt sweetened with stevia. Yummy! At 200 calories, I got more than 10 grams protein and half my daily fiber requirement.

 

Plain chia pudding

See how the pudding holds its shape rather than clinging to the side of the bowl? Like jelly!

Some tips

The chia seeds swell when they get wet to make a kind of jelly. This trick is down to chia’s soluble fiber. The softened gel makes your dessert creamy and thick. If you want it thinner, add more milk. Thicker, add more seeds.

The seeds have no taste. Their purpose is to change the texture and give your  health a boost.

This pudding makes a great base for building a satisfying and nutritious breakfast. For a person like me who eats hardly any bread, pasta, or cereal, chia seeds are a welcome  fiber boost.

The pudding can also be served as a dessert at lunch or dinner, especially to kids who might prefer its mild chocolate taste. On the down side, some kids might find the uneven texture off-putting. I liked the texture much better than yucky Jello, though. It feels more like a pudding.

Chia pudding cup

Chia pudding dressed with crushed raspberries and layered with Greek yogurt sweetened with stevia. A smattering of ground pistachios finishes the dish nicely.

Make your own chia pet

Let’s finish off this post with a fun craft idea. Use your food-grade chia seeds to sprout your own potato head.  Click the link for instructions. If you use edible seeds, you can harvest the hair for your salad!

But don’t eat your store-bought potted pet, no matter how luxuriant that head of green hair looks. The seeds in pets are not approved for human consumption.

Related

Vinny’s posted several articles on omega-3. Read them all and help your family get better marks at school.

 

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca
    Apr 22, 2016 @ 08:28:35

    I love chia pudding!

    Reply

  2. judilyn
    Nov 18, 2015 @ 12:12:55

    We sprinkle about a tablespoon of chia seeds over top of our cooked five-grain cereal each morning, but you’ve encouraged me to branch out to use it in more ways.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    Reply

  3. Diana Lovejoy
    Sep 08, 2014 @ 10:05:30

    Love the chia pudding recipe and will try it with Greek yogurt!

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Sep 08, 2014 @ 10:55:27

      Just adjust the sweetener to your own taste. I don’t use very much sweetener and use stevia mostly but if you use your sweetener of choice the result is fab. I think the way I have it is fab, too, but some folks prefer maple syrup or organic cane sugar etc.

      Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 22:41:23

    Must try this! Xx

    Reply

  5. c2london
    Apr 12, 2014 @ 00:34:58

    That looks really yummy.

    Reply

  6. Ada ~ More Food, Please
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 00:24:24

    Yum! I love healthy food that’s also delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

    Reply

  7. itsteen0440
    Apr 02, 2014 @ 22:27:10

    I am laughing at myself right now. I never connected the Chia pets to the chia seeds!!! I actually bought one (Duck Dynasty’s Willie) as a gag gift for a friends about 3 weeks ago. I love Chia on my salads and I sprinkle it on my yogurt or grind it with flax. Can’t wait to try this pudding!!

    Reply

  8. feelingfullnow
    Apr 02, 2014 @ 17:58:58

    I can’t wait to try this! I have done chia blueberry/banana pudding but never chocolate! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  9. Tony
    Apr 02, 2014 @ 04:33:03

    Very nice, Vinny. I have written up chia seeds about five times. Here is my first: http://guysandgoodhealth.com/2011/07/12/are-chia-seeds-good-for-you/

    Reply

  10. hellotofit
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 18:24:30

    I love chia seeds, and enjoy mixing them with regular milk and coconut milk. Thanks for sharing! Haven’t tried the cocoa powder, yet 🙂

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 01, 2014 @ 20:13:05

      Hello! I like stronger flavors than just plain milk so needed something more. Even with the chocolate, the taste was a little too bland for my liking. But I loved it with extra fruit and yogurt etc 🙂

      Reply

  11. {Main St. Cuisine}
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 15:40:28

    Oh yes, I do remember those and I can hear that commercial and it’s catchy/annoying tune in my head! I’ve been playing with chia seeds recently and have yet to try a pudding. They seem to be nutritional powerhouses!

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 01, 2014 @ 15:43:40

      This recipe is super easy and tastes very nice. I do recommend adding other flavorings and fruits, though, to boost the flavor profile, unless it’s for little kids. Enjoy!

      Reply

  12. Char
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 13:40:15

    Reblogged this on Real Food Nuts.

    Reply

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