Not so long time ago, chia seeds got branded as a “superfood”. They became a popular ingredient in smoothies and puddings. But Mayans and Aztecs have enjoyed these tiny powerhouses for at least 3000 years.
Numerous scientific researches confirm its high nutritional value. And this might come as no surprise: In the Mayan language, “chia” means “strength”.
Chia seeds help against hunger attacks
Chia seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 acids, protein and carbohydrates. They have a fascinating ability to expand 12 times their original size when they come in contact with water.
When soaked in liquid for some time, chia seeds transform into a jelly-like substance. Its quality of taking up space helps the digestive system to slow down.
Therefore, by consuming these seeds, a person does not feel hungry for extended periods. This was definitely a bonus for the adventurous Aztecs on their long journeys.
From the ancient Chia seed drink to a popular weight loss formula
It is known that Aztecs would enjoy drinking water with chia seeds and lemon. This natural energy drink is called iskiate.
Today, this drink is used as part of diets for weight loss. Or simply to quench thirst with some added value to otherwise plain boring water.
For 500 ml / 2 cups of water, you will need 2 tbsp of chia seeds. Squeeze 1 lime or lemon into a clean bottle, then add water and the seeds.
Optionally, add 1 tbsp of agave syrup or a dollop of honey to balance citrusy notes for some extra flavour.
Shake the bottle, and leave it to cool in a fridge for a few hours.
Chia seeds are great for vegans
Chia seeds are a great find for vegans. When mixed with water, seeds create a substance that can replace eggs in baking recipes.
You need 1 tbsp of chia seeds and 3 tbsp of water.
Blitz chia seeds in a food processor. Or use a pestle and mortar to grind the seeds to powder. Then mix the chia powder with water and let it soak for 5 minutes. Your vegan egg is ready!
Let’s make a mouthwatering chia seed pudding
Chia seeds are often used as a topping in desserts and smoothies, as well as in baking. However, the most delicious way to consume chia seeds is by making puddings.
The following recipe is for one serving of this tropical flavoured pudding:
Grate ½ tsp of orange zest. In a small jar or a cup, combine the orange zest with a tiny drop of vanilla extract and 250 ml / 1 cup of coconut milk.
Gradually add 3 tbsp of chia seeds. Whisk to make sure the seeds are not sticking together. As they expand, each grain must get enough moisture to absorb.
In 15 minutes, stir the seeds again, then transfer the jar to a refrigerator. Leave the seeds to plump up for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Once ready, top the pudding with fresh fruit. Pineapple, banana or mango with some coconut flakes would complement your pudding perfectly.
Indeed, this recipe is so easy and can be customised according to your liking. You can use cashew or almond milk instead of coconut. And use green matcha powder or chocolate powder to add bright colours to this healthy pudding.