Please tell me that you heard the jingle of that commercial from the early 90's when you read the title of today's blog. Remember those plants you could order? The famous Chia pet! Those little botanical wonders are grown from the same superfood that can upgrade your diet to a whole new level of nutrition. (If you were born in a country that was not privileged enough to view this commercial or born post-2000, please google "Chia pet").
This tiny seed, once credited with giving the Mayans and the Aztecs their warrior powers, is packed full of healthy fats, potassium, antioxidants, fiber and protein. They are also a power house of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
I love to use a serving of my super-duper chia pudding to power me through a busy morning or even a fast (Tisha B'Av is around the corner!). Replacing one of your meals with some yummy chia pudding is a great way to increase your nutrient intake and reduce calories. Chia seeds can contain up to twelve times their water weight. That means that you can soak them (see recipe below) and consume a nutrient-dense food that isn't packing in the calories. Like any healthy food, don't overdo it. Make it a part of a whole, balanced diet, but not the only thing.
Yum-Yum Chia Pudding
1/2 cup of chia seeds
2 cups of almond milk
Generous sprinkle of cinnamon
Maple syrup to taste (not too much!)
Drop of vanilla extract
Mix all of the ingredients together so that no chia seeds are stuck together. Cover and let rest in the fridge for an hour or more. Voila- chia pudding! Add more cinnamon, some fruit, a little peanut butter- dress it up or eat it as it. A great, dairy-free, gluten- free meal replacement that can also satisfy a sweet craving.
I have used chia pudding to consume before a fast and what an amazing fast I had! Energy, no headache, and I even made it to a Pilates class. This superfood keeps you hydrated throughout the day. No wonder the Aztecs ate it before a battle.
You can find chia seeds at your local health food store and even in some grocery stores that have an organic section.