It took me years to really dive into the whole chia seed trend due to conflicting research I continued to come across regarding the fun gel coat that makes chia seeds so delicious! This fun superfood can be eaten in various recipes, completely raw, or soaked, providing the body with loads of nutritional energy!
So far, my favorite way to eat these little yummies are in pudding form, soaked in fresh oat milk! Perfect for those that are sensitive to dairy, and are looking for a fibrous, protein packed plant based snack. Or, even meal!
Chia seeds contain 20% protein, 34% oil, 37% dietary fiber, high concentrations (64%) of omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants all within 1 single teaspoon! This leaves great reason to understand why the Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas used these wonder seeds as their fuel source when marching or running long distances.
How does chia compare to some other foods?
• More antioxidants than blueberries.
• More omega3 than salmon
• More calcium than milk
• More iron than spinach
• More potassium than bananas
There’s a large scope of information over the internet regarding the pros and cons of chia seeds. I myself have fell victim to this, and have avoided chia seeds for a long time!
Conflicting research regarding saponins found in plant based foods are often encouraged to avoid due to their ability to negatively affect the gut. However, I’ve spent some time discovering the incredible benefits of saponins, and how they support the body on many levels.
Basically, saponins are phyto-chemicals which are found in most of the vegetables, beans and herbs. There are many plant families that contain these saponins that have several roles, and how they effect the systems within body. Some good, and some not so supportive. Saponins from chia actually aid the absorption of important minerals and cause lesser irritating effects on the digestive system. However, I will state that not all foods are correct for every individual, especially when it comes to digestion.
The soapy gel-like membrane on the outside of soaked chia seeds is made of water-soluble mucilage, a non-starch polysaccharide (NSP), which swells up several times and acquires a gel-like consistency. Mucilage assists in smooth digestion and bowel movements. This gel coating serves as a separation barrier from digestive enzymes and carbohydrates. In other words, this gel coating assists in prolonging the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, influencing the body to use their source of energy throughout a slower process, enhancing metabolism.
With its high fiber content, this seed also has great ability to support the pancreas by balancing blood sugar and preventing blood sugar crashes with its fiber content and low glycemic index! In addition to its blood sugar stabilizing properties, chia seeds support the health of the bone through its abundant mineral content of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, while also supporting the skin with their incredible antioxidant profile, repairing damage at a much faster rate!
These wonderful energy yielding seeds have the ability to hold as much as 12 times their weight in water, assisting in electrolyte balance in the body! This is great news for the colon! The colon loves when water is pulled into it to facilitate bowel movements, especially when its accompanied by fiber. Lack of hydration does not support a healthy bowel movement!
Is there a specific way to consume chia seeds?
There’s controversy on how to consume chia seeds in addition to their effects on the body. According to Dr. Wayne Coates, Ph.D, there is no difference in consuming chia in raw seed form, or by soaking them before consumption. Soaking the seeds brings out the soluble fiber so that its simply visible to the human eye. Regardless of soaking, the soluble fiber will still remain without pre-hydration before eating them.
Dr. Coates has spent the past 30 years researching chia seeds, and has written a book on the subject, Chia: Rediscovering a Forgotten Crop of the Aztecs (The University of Arizona Press, 2005).
If you’re looking for a fun food that supports the body with abundant nutrition, healing, repairing agents, enhanced mineral absorption, antioxidants, or improved digestion, chia seeds may be a wonderful fit for you and your lifestyle 🙂
15 minutes (max)
30 minutes – Overnight
Fine nut milk bag
Medium/ large bowl or pitcher
1 Cup of Whole Oats
2 cups purified water
4 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
1/4 cup of berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, or Blackberries)
1/2 Teaspoon of Vietnamese Cinnamon
1 Tsp of Raw Unheated Honey
1/4 Tsp Air Dried Sea Salt
Pour cup of whole oats into blender with sea salt, cinnamon, honey, & two cups of water
Blend on high speed for 1 full minute. After blending, pour liquefied oats into nut milk bag over a bowl.
Hold nut milk bag over a medium to large bowl as the liquid begins to strain out of the bag. With clean hands, or while wearing gloves, you may want to squeeze the bag to speed up the process of straining the milk.
Once oat milk is done draining into the bowl, you can pour it into a larger mason jar for storage or later drinking 🙂
If you have extra milk, you can make two jars of chia, use it as a creamer for tea, or just drink it right away! I usually find it best to drink oat milk the same day its made, and not store it. It seems to sour after a full 24 hours.
Next, in a small mason jar, pour your chia seeds, berries of choice, and freshly made oat milk. Using a non-metal spoon, stir all contents quickly so seeds and berries are evenly dispersed. This helps to avoid chia clumping.
Allow chias to soak for a very minimum of 30 mintes, to as much as over night. I prefer they soak over night for the most amount of chia gel:)
Why use berries instead of high sugar fruits like bananas or mangos?
Well, consuming high sugar fruits in the morning greatly interferes with proper blood sugar management. Before 3pm, the body is most sensitive to insulin. This means, that if high sugar concentration enters the bloodstream, insulin levels continue to quickly rise and drop periodically throughout the day, creating great amounts of hormone miscommunication throughout the entire body.
What I love most is how these delicious cups keep me sustained with energy for hours, and really help me power through my workout when I’ve had them earlier in the day. I’ve also noticed a great sense of clarity within the first hour or so after consuming these “miracle” seeds.
It’s great to have these chias when I’m on the move! Keep it stored in your mason jar and just throw it in your bag!
I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I do!
For more information regarding filtered water and the system I’ve been using for the past year for drinking, food prepping, and cooking, find out more here!