Kitchen Hacks: Chia Pudding 101
Updated: Mar 20, 2020
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you've tried or heard of chia seeds. No, I'm not talking about your childhood chia pet, I'm talking about those little black or white seeds that are added into everything from porridge to bakes.
Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and fibre - among other benefits. For today's post, we will focus on FIBER.
For 2 tablespoons (~28 grams) chia seeds contain (*):
Omega 3 fatty acids: 4.9g
Fiber: 10.6g (that's 42% of your daily needs!)
Calcium: 18% daily needs
Phosphorus: 27% daily needs
Manganese: 30% daily needs
Fiber is my favorite F-word. There are 2 types of fiber. Soluble and insoluble. Neither type is digested by our bodies, and both types are important for our health.
Soluble fiber: dissolves in water, and turns a gel. This can help to sloooooooow down digestion. Soluble fibre can help manage blood cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels.
Insoluble fiber: does not dissolve in water. It adds "bulk" to your... number 2. It helps your intestine... move along, and excrete. Insoluble fiber can help relieve constipation.
The fiber found in chia seeds is primarily soluble. Chia seeds can absorb 10-12 times their weight in liquid, and become gel-like when left to soak. This can also mirror what happens inside your stomach, where the chia seeds will expand, making you feel full.
Why do we need fiber?
Fibre makes the world go round. Ok, ok, that's an overstatement. BUT fiber is an un-sexy necessity. It's not fancy like an antioxidant, or sexy like polyphenols. It's a part of a healthy gut - helping us excrete waste, and let our food pass from mouth to... tush.
Fiber can play a role in lowering blood cholesterol levels, maintaining heart health, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Not only that, it can help to regulate blood sugars as well.
Struggling with your weight? Take a look at your fiber intake. Fiber can help us feel fuller, longer. Eating a meal or snack that is high in fiber, can help you feel satiated - aka, feel full, without overindulging.
Did I mention it can help you go #2? Insoluble fiber adds BULK to your stool, bulk that you'll flush down the toilet... if you know what I mean.
Most of us do not get enough fiber in our day-to-day diet, and get about half of the daily recommendation of ~30g. That's a problem.
Sprinkling even just 1 tbsp of chia seeds on your breakfast can increase your intake by 5g! You're 17% closer to your goal.
If you are increasing your fiber intake, be sure to stay hydrated and increase water intake at the same time.
I'm sharing my customizable chia pudding recipe - this is the base for your chia puddings, with endless variations and combinations!
Looking for more breakfast recipes? Check out my Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding
Basic Chia Pudding
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 c (120ml) milk of your choice (almond, dairy, coconut, oat, etc)
Optional: 1 tsp maple syrup
Optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1 scoop protein powder
Combine all ingredients in a jam jar, container or bowl.
Mix thoroughly. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, and mix vigorously until there are no clumps.
Cover, and let sit for 30 minutes, or overnight.
Add in extras (below) as desired.
Black Forest: 1 tbsp cocoa + 1/4 c frozen cherries + 1 tsp shredded coconut
Blueberry Muffin: zest 1 lemon + 1/4 c frozen blueberries + 1/4 tsp almond extract + top with granola
Chocolate Hazelnut Latte: 1 tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts + 1 tsp espresso powder
PB&J: 1/2 tbsp peanut butter + 1/4 c sliced strawberries + 1 tsp strawberry jam + chopped peanuts