Chia seeds have been a welcome addition to some of our morning breakfasts for a long time now. One of our favorite ways to prepare them is using coconut milk, or fresh almond milk. We were first introduced to the almond milk version in a raw food, gluten free and vegetarian restaurant in Seattle called Thrive. Check out their website here.
Chia seeds, botanically known as “salvia hispanica,” are a member of the mint family. The word chia itself is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily. Chia seeds are native to Mexico and the Southwestern United States, but are grown commercially in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Australia and Guatemala. In fact, Australia has become one of the largest producers of this crop, primarily in the Ord Valley of Western Australia. Check out this very informative Australian website here.
A favorite drink in Mexico is chia fresca . It is made by placing chia seeds in water or fruit juice. The seeds need to soak for about 10 minutes. Then some sugar and lime juice is added. You can find the recipe here.
The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are also used to make gruels, porridges and puddings. Ground chia seeds are also used in baked goods, such as breads, cakes, and muffins. Chia sprouts are used and eaten in the same way as alfalfa sprouts. By placing the seeds on moist and porous clay figurines, they are known by many as chia pets.
Nutritionally, they are valued for their high omega-3 and protein content. A one ounce sample of chia seeds (based on a daily 2,000 calorie intake), is credited with containing 9% of the daily value of protein, 13% oil (57% of which is ALA) and 42% dietary fiber. They also contain the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium.
Our favorite breakfast version requires 8-10 ounces of coconut milk. You can use the water and coconut meat from a young coconut (well blended), or, if unavailable, substitute your favorite coconut milk – we enjoy So Delicious Coconut Milk. Add one tablespoon of chia seeds and let sit for about 10 minutes. You may also add a tablespoon of organic raisins and/or cranberries.
Let them soak also. The chia seeds become very gelatinous, almost yoghurt-like.
Add your favorite fruit: sliced bananas, finely chopped mango, fresh berries, etc. A wonderful addition might be a half cup of gluten free granola (Udi’s is a favorite). Enjoy!
What is your favorite breakfast?