Chia seeds pack nutritional punch

Chia seeds are small round seeds, and can be black, brown and white in color.

They are harvested from a flowering plant in the mint family known as Salvia hispanica.

It's native to parts of Mexico and Guatemala. Edible chia seeds are closely related to the chia plants made popular by Chia Pets, but they are not the same seed.

A gel forms around the chia seed when mixed with liquid, which gives chia beverages their distinctive texture.

Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid, which makes them useful in keeping baked goods moist.

Using chia seeds Grocery stores stock a variety of chia seeds. Products that contain chia seeds include chia pudding, chia kombucha and granola with chia seeds.

Chia seeds have a mild flavor and can easily be added to many foods you already enjoy.

Try adding whole or ground chia seeds to smoothies, juices, milk, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes or a granola bar recipe.

Try them sprinkled on salads or cereal, baked into muffins or breads, or made into chia pudding using the recipe next.

These recipes provide about one-third of your recommended daily amount of fiber: Overnight chocolate chia seed pudding

Serves 4 1½ cups almond milk ⅓ cup chia seeds ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 4 tablespoons maple syrup ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Add all ingredients except chia seeds to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Mix in chia seeds until well-combined. Let rest covered in the refrigerator overnight. 

The pudding can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 2–3 days. Serve chilled with desired toppings, such as fruit or a dollop of whipped topping.

Nutrition information per serving: 165 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 75 milligrams sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber, 4 grams protein

Chia seed benefits Chia seeds have many nutritional benefits. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. 

Chia provides a similar amount of omega-3 fatty acids as ground flaxseed in the form of alpha linolenic acid, or ALA. They can help with weight loss.

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