June 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate and Banana Chia Seed Pudding


Do you remember those annoying commercials from the 80's for the Chia Pet? Ch Ch Ch Chia! I think most of us had one at sometime or another. I know in my family those silly little terracotta animals/characters/trees were one of our favorite white elephant gifts at Christmas time. Did you know that the seeds that you use to grow a Chia Pet are not only edible but extremely good for you?

Just to name a few facts...
Chia seeds have 5 times the Omega 3 of flax. They are higher in calcium than milk. Higher in magnesium than broccoli. Higher in iron than spinach. They are high in fiber and are a great antioxidant. They are also an excellent source of complete protein.

There are so many different ways to use these little powerhouse seeds. They have practically no taste of their own and can be added to a variety of foods to boost nutrition. I like to add them to smoothies and to my yogurt. I even add them to my spaghetti sauce! They are great in salads. They add a nice little crunch to foods, if eaten immediately... and if you add them to a liquid and let them sit for a bit, they become softer and gelatinous. They remind me a bit of tapioca in that regard. I like to add them to lemonade, fruit juice or iced tea for a refreshing drink. I add them to pancakes, waffles and cookies. The possibilities are really endless!

One of our favorite recipes for chia seeds is pudding! This is stuff is so tasty and good for you that I frequently make it for breakfast.... what a sinful (but really not!) way to start the day.

 Dark Chocolate and Banana Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:
2 cups dark chocolate almond milk (I like Silk brand)
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 bananas

Optional:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
sweetener of choice to taste, if you prefer it a touch sweeter

Method:
1: Mix the chia seeds into the almond milk, cover and refrigerate overnight. (you can eat the pudding in as little as 2 hours, but letting it set overnight seems to yield the best result.)

2: Taste and add in any of the optional ingredients as desired.

3: Serve with a sliced banana on top

Serves 2

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