Chia seeds have been all the craze lately and I haven’t really jumped on board with them yet… Probably because I don’t know much about them.
So, I’ve taken some time to research the benefits of chia seeds and how you can incorporate them into your day.
What I discovered in my research are many benefits that I was aware of (including a few that I was surprised by).
I’ve heard of many people incorporating them into there diet mostly in a smoothie or mixing with water and chugging it (distasteful as that may be)… But I have found a few easy chia seed recipes that let you get the benefits of chia seeds, only in a yummy way 🙂
I’ve broken down my findings into five benefits (below). There are many more of course, but these really stuck out to me in my fitness journey. Oh, and there’s even a few recipes to try!
The 5 Biggest Benefits of Chia Seeds
Great source of Fiber
There is quite a bit of fiber in each serving of chia… Fiber is know to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and to regulate bowel function. All in all keep you nice and regular (which is always a good thing!).
Fiber also feeds on bacteria in the intestine which will aid in stomach and digestive issues.
Great source of Antioxidants
Adequate source of Protein (which helps keep you full)
Chia seeds have a surprisingly decent amount of protein, which helps with weight loss.
Nothing has been proven that chia seeds lead to fat loss directly, but they give you the feeling of being full and satisfied that will reduce appetite and food intake… Combined with a healthy diet, they’ll help you reach those goals successfully.
Great source of Carbohydrates (through the fiber)
Chia carbohydrates are mostly made up of fiber, and when mixed with water the mixture becomes a gel-like consistency (10-12 times their weight). When consumed, they expand in your stomach, giving you the feeling of being full.
Innovative replacement food in cooking
Now THIS was awesome to me – being a food blogger – to find out that you can actually use chia as an egg replacer!
The great thing about using chia as an egg replacer: you can incorporate this into baking and cooking to get the extra healthy benefits or chia or to lower cholesterol.
Chia also doesn’t have much flavor so when adding to any kind of dish it won’t alter the flavor.
Here Are 4 Chia Recipes You Must Try
Recipe #1: Easy Chia Hummus
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (rinse and drained)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp gelled chia seeds
- If you have a food processor, mini chopper, or even a blender, this can literally be made in minutes.
- First, purée the chickpeas until smooth.
- Then, add all the other ingredients and purée again until smooth.
- Serve hummus however you like it… (with veggies, pita chips, on a sandwich)
Credit: Men’s Health
Recipe #2: Chia Meatballs with Marinara Sauce
For the Chia Meatballs:
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef (recommended no leaner than 85%)
2 tbsp. organic tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. herbs de Provence (or your fave dried Italian herbs)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. avocado oil, for sautéing
- Combine all ingredients except the avocado oil in a large bowl and stir well with a fork. Let rest for 5-10 minutes so the chia can do it’s thing.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the avocado oil. Scoop 8 balls and pat into a round shape (I used a #20 disher).
- Cook meatballs until brown, turning on at least 3 sides. Move meatballs to a plate to rest (they will not be fully cooked but will finish cooking later in the sauce) and drain all but 1-2 T. of oil from the pan.
For the Marinara Sauce:
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
spring of fresh rosemary, chopped
2 T. white wine (or sub juice of 1 lemon)
1/2 c. beef or chicken stock (homemade, if possible)
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 can organic tomato sauce
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. ground pepper
- Add diced onion to the large saute pan with the residual oil from cooking the meatballs.
- Sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and rosemary and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Add white wine and stock and scrape down any brown bits left at the bottom of the pan.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and stir well.
- Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to reduce and thicken, about 15-20 minutes (it should be at a strong simmer).
- Reduce the heat to medium low and gently add meatballs to the outer edge of the pan.
- Cook 5-10 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through to desired done-ness (10 minutes will ensure no pink inside).
Credit: Bare Root Girl
Recipe #3: Chia Seed Coconut Cream Pie Pudding
4 tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 tbsp. Vanilla
2 cups Coconut Milk
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp. honey
- Put all ingredients in a container with lid, stir well, making sure chia is well incorporated into the liquid.
- Refrigerate overnight, or for 5-6 hours
- Serve with sweetened coconut flakes garnish, fresh fruit, granola, etc.
Credit: Eazy Peazy Mealz
Recipe #4: 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup Silk Light Vanilla Soymilk
1-2 teaspoons liquid agave or honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, almond butter, or 2 tablespoons PB2
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 large ripe banana
- Mix all ingredients except banana in a food storage container. Refrigerate overnight or at least three hours. Stir it half-way through and add more soymilk or oats to reach desired consistency.
- Serve with sliced banana on top. (I serve it cold).
- Note: you may also slice the banana and add it in the first step – this is how I prefer it because it adds great flavor; however, the banana slices may turn a bit brown. (But it’s okay!)
Credit: Smile Sandwich