Come late afternoon my munchies kick in full gear. Anyone else with me? And when I have a craving, it is always for something creamy and sweet. Others crave crunchy and salty but not me – it’s sweet all the way, and chocolate is my favorite. The darker the better.
I have learned to look for quick homemade healthy alternatives to satisfy my cravings without expanding my waistline like this chocolate chia pudding. It’s rich, creamy, sweet, and chocolaty – PERFECT.
Chia seeds are a new nutritional rock star – one of the latest to hit the health food scene. I first heard about them from Anne Louise Gittlman in her Fat Flush for Life book, and since then, I love to sprinkle them on all kinds of things.
You probably remember chia seeds as the instant pet that grew out of an animal-shaped ceramic figure. But now, they are being touted as a perfect food – rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and healthy omega-3 fats.
From a couple of posts back, I talked about those anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. They are good for your brain, your nerves, your skin, and your heart in addition to any inflammatory conditions. And these tiny little chia seeds are packed with them.
Chia seeds are also one of the world’s richest sources of soluble fiber. There are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. The soluble type dissolves in liquid and becomes like a gel. The soluble fiber in chia seeds is a friend to those who are detoxing. Chia seeds absorb more than their weight in liquid, so imagine what they do as they move through your digestive tract. They are like little tiny vacuums, picking up and sweeping out of your body whatever is in their path – any old debris, toxins released by your system, and cholesterol.
Eating chia seeds keeps your digestion moving along at a nice pace. You feel fuller longer, as these chia seeds act like a present your body gets to slowly unwrap. The nutrients are gradually released into your system, so you feel fuller longer and eat less – a natural weight loss aid! Speaking of weight loss, this chocolate chia pudding has only 130 calories!
Need a pick me up? Ancient Aztec warriors used to eat these power seeds for energy, as the slow releasing carbohydrates sustained them. Chia seeds also have twice the potassium as a banana, 15 times more magnesium than broccoli, three times more iron than spinach, and six times more calcium than milk. And, they are a good source of complete protein that includes all of the essential amino acids.
Some other ideas for incorporating chia seeds into your diet…
- Sprinkle them over Greek yogurt
- Add them to salad dressings to thicken
- Add them to sauces to thicken
- Soak them in beaten eggs for a frittata
- Add them to other nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and make a grain-free homemade granola
- Soak that homemade granola in almond or coconut milk to make muesli
- Sprinkle them on cooked vegetables
- Sprinkle them on a fruit salad
- Eat them raw with other nuts and seeds
- 1⅓ cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 2 - 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (depending on how rich you like it)
- 2 - 3 tablespoon honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
- optional: grated dark chocoalte
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Garnish with grated dark chocolate if desired.