Cha Cha Cha CHIA!!!! Yes, that’s right, Chia! It is by far my most favorite way to thicken just about anything that I am cooking or creating that also has amazing health benefits. One of the best things about Chia is that it can be heated and it will not lose any nutritional value!
There are so many health benefits gained when consuming Chia seeds. They are an excellent source of protein and fiber, which is essential in any diet. Per weight, they are 14% protein, which is incredibly high for any non-animal product. Not only are they filled with good fiber in the form of carbohydrates to fuel the body, but they also have loads of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. They are a great way to supplement eating things such as salmon or other fish products as you don’t necessarily want to eat fish everyday. But enough about why you SHOULD eat chia, let me tell you how you COULD eat Chia!
My favorite way to eat Chia is honestly to sprinkle some in my morning coffee along with some coconut oil! The heat makes the chia quickly begin to produce that gelatinous coating over each seed, aka the thickening agent! Then magically my morning Jo-Jo coffee just got a bit more “Jo” added to it! But instead of coffee, there are literally thousands of ways to enjoy chia! You can sprinkle the raw seeds over salads, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, rice, etc. It also makes a great addition to any smoothie or baked good that you are making! But it is this gelatinous coating that really helps make chia a great thickener. And if you're wondering what that coating is, well it's actually…water! The outside of the chia seed has little fibers that absorb water. When fully “gelatinized,” a chia seed has actually gained 9 times its weight in water with that little coating!
When added to hot products, such as coffee, oatmeal, soups, etc. the coating materializes fairly quick. But if you are adding chia to cold substances, it will usually take about 12 hours for the seeds to fully gelatinize. So if you are making special puddings, deserts, or yogurt treats, I would plan ahead and make it a day before you want to consume the yumminess. I am including a delicious recipe below that I learned to make from a friend and it is so yummy, a great mid morning boost or pre-workout energizer and it tastes just like an orange creamsicle!
My Chia Dreamsicle
½ cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt (No Sugar Added)
2 cups Orange Juice (favorite brand or home-juiced)
½ cup water
1 ½ Tbsp Chia Seeds
Add all ingredients together, give it a really good shake, and then store in the fridge over night! This makes about two servings of this yummy drink and it can be enjoyed with, or for, breakfast or as a snack or pre-workout drink!
Give it a try, start experimenting, and simply enjoy and be Vibrant!
About Rachel Priest: After growing up in Knoxville, TN, Rachel moved many times with her family and then continued to travel the world globally through the years. After struggling with an 8 year long battle with eating disorders, Rachel Finally found her freedom and self acceptance and love through the practice of yoga and rock climbing. Rachel promotes self-love and acceptance to all students, especially those who struggle with creating a positive self-image for themselves and their life. Rachel believes that through loving your body and the world, we can all create a positive and fulfilling life with the understanding that we are all already a perfect being.
Rachel currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at various gyms and studios in the area, promoting the idea of self love and acceptance. Beyond Teaching, Rachel is a beach bum at heart and loves the waves and ocean and soaking up the sun. www.rachelpriest.com