16 January 2016

One Two Chia Chia Chia

(My apologies for that hopeless pun in the title.)

We saw a lot of food trends in 2015. One of which included a tiny, black seed taking supermarket shelves, cafe menus, and our lives by storm. Salvia hispanica or chia seeds have been included in the Mayan and Aztec diet since the beginning of time. But only recently this 'superfood' has gained impetus in our lives. 
I first encountered the trend at an all-organic cafe in Bandra, where I found 'chia seed pudding' on the menu. That very same day thanks to my local grocer, and recipes off the internet, I decided to experiment with chia seeds. This was roughly six months ago, and since then I cannot stop advocating the benefits of chia seeds to all!
Warm Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding



Ohh, So Healthy!
Chia seeds are known for their innumerable health benefits - high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, low in saturated fats. They are also a very high source of protein, aid metabolism and help in weight loss. (I can go on, but I suggest you simply read more in the article here.) I have resorted to eating a bowl of chia pudding with honey, post my work out to satiate my hunger pangs, and I've found that I don't crave junk food post workouts anymore. 

Yet, So Tasty!
There are a number of ways you can include chia in your diet. The most common being making a hot or cold chia pudding - I shall list down a formula below. Other ways include adding chia seeds to your juices or as toppings on oats or yogurt. I include chia seeds to my infused water, and am enjoying their benefits throughout the day.

How Do I Eat Them?
Chia seeds are not the same as basil seeds, or sabja that we add to falooda. But just like basil seeds, chia also absorb moisture either from water or milk to form a thick, glutinous mass. Just remember this basic formula, and I promise you, you'll never have to buy chia pudding again.
Chia Seed Pudding Formula: Chia Seeds + Double quantity of any form of milk + flavouring + toppings. (Refrigerate for minimum 4 hours. Preferably overnight.)
 where: milk - regular milk, almond milk, soy milk or any nut milk.
             Flavouring - honey, maple syrup, vanilla essence, rose essence etc.
             Toppings - fruit, nuts, granola, yogurt, chocolate....the sky is the limit!

Chilled Old Monk Caramel Sauce + Banana Chia Pudding


You can experiment a lot with chia seed pudding combinations. My favourite is the classic cinnamon + honey + apple pudding eaten warm. Other fun variants include this Life Ki Recipe Old Monk Caramel Sauce + banana chilled chia seed pudding that I made recently. Or the calorie laden PB & J variant. (For other fun ideas and inspirations check out this Buzzfeed article.)

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