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What are Chia Seeds and How Do you Use Them?

chia seeds

What are Chia Seeds and How do you Use Them?

What are chia seeds and how do you use them? Chia seeds have big health benefits.  They are grown in South America and come from a plant called salvia hispanica. Traditionally they were used by cultures in South America for fuel and strength. They have caught on big time in the US because they are such an easy to use and affordable source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and many other nutrients.

Chia seeds are tasteless and odorless. Because they are so absorbent, they can be used to thicken soups, smoothies, beverages and even make fruit jam, and because they expand in liquid, they can help keep you full.

We love to use chia seeds to make:

Chia pudding
Chia lemonade
Smoothies
Yogurt
Thicken overnight oats/oatmeal
As a vegan egg substitute
As a thickener for soups

Try this chia pudding as a quick breakfast or snack:

Maple Vanilla Chia Pudding

2 servings, 3/4 cup each (or divide into 4 smaller servings to serve as a low-calorie dessert)

1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or use plain)
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid, stir or shake to combine thoroughly. Let it sit out for at least 2 hours to thicken, or refrigerate it overnight.

Nutritional Information per Serving (% based upon Daily Values): 
Calories 254, Total Fat 15.5g, 23.5%, Saturated Fat 1.5g, 7.5%, Cholesterol 0mg, 0%, Sodium 96.5mg, 4%, Carbohydrate 19.5g, 6.5%, Dietary Fiber 9.5g, 38.6%, Sugar 7.5g, Protein 11g
 
Tart Chia Lemonade or Chia Limeade

1 tsp. chia seeds
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. sugar or honey

Combine all ingredient in a glass and let it sit for at least 30 minutes for the chia seeds to expand and congeal.

Looking for more cooking inspiration, check out The Scramble’s family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!

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