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Wednesday
Apr202011

mid-day give-a-way

One of my newer food loves, would definitely be chia seeds.  In the last year and a half, I’ve incorporated these little seeds into my diet fairly consistently.  My fascination started after reading the book, Born To Run, one of my favorite books of all time.  Many of you may know the benefits of chia seeds, but for those of you who don’t, here is a summary.

  1. This ancient seed contains one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids [omega 3 + 6], which supports heart health.
  2. They stabilize blood sugar levels, by slowing down the rate at which carbohydrates are digested.  They are also packed with soluble fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar as well.
  3. They are said to have anti-inflammatory properties, from high amounts of omega-3 fats.  Helps to keep our joints lubed up!
  4. Sustained energy, from this complete, plant-based protein.
  5. The essential fatty acids, also help with brain power + function.
  6. They are very easily digested, unlike some other forms of protein + fiber.  No need to grind these seeds, unlike flax, to get the full benefit!
  7. Chia seeds absorb 10x their weight in water, making them great in helping enhance body hydration.
  8. They can be used as an egg replacer in baked goods.  [1T ground chia seeds, mixed with 3T warm water – whisk and let sit for 5-10min – replaces 1 egg]
  9. They are loaded with nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and more.

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When ChiaSeedsDirect.com contacted me about a review + giveaway, I jumped at the chance.  I know a lot of you have mentioned wanting to try out this fun + new [but actually very old] ingredient out for yourselves!

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What can you do with these wonder seeds?

  • add them to your oatmeal
  • add them to overnight oats, for tons of volume
  • add 1T into a buckwheat breakfast bake – I never leave them out!
  • blend in 1-2T to your smoothie, which makes it extra thick!
  • grind the seeds to thicken a sauce, chili, or stew
  • use them in baked goods [instead of an egg], like sweet breads + muffins
  • use them as sprinkles!
  • mix them into your yogurt
  • make chia gel for extreme hydration
  • make chia pudding

The list goes on + on.  Today, I wanted to try making chia pudding for the first time.  I’ve seen it numerous times on Gena + The Twins’ blog, and they always make it look so good!

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It was feeling a bit like fall today, so I thought I would pop open a can of pumpkin.  There is really never a wrong time to open a can of pumpkin.

I based this off of both of their recipes for pumpkin chia pudding.  Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!

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It definitely doesn’t look pretty, or even appetizing while making it, but I assure you the end result was delicious.

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What’s in that bowl?

Raw Pumpkin Chia Pudding [adapted from Gena + Pure2Raw]

  • 3T chia seeds
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree
  • 1c water
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 2t local raw honey
  • 1/4t ground ginger
  • pinch of all spice
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • *1/2 banana – optional – added in to blender
  1. Combine all ingredients and stir every minute or so for about 10-20min.  I just kept the bowl by me, while doing computer work, and stirred every so often.
  2. *If you want a smooth texture, add the mixture to your blender with 1/2 banana.

*You can use nut-milk, instead of water.  You can also use less or more liquid, depending on the consistency you want.

The result was this goopy mess, that I didn’t really like at all!  I’m not a big fan of the chia-gel texture.  It’s very different.  Do you chew?  Do you just swallow?  Beats the heck out of me!  I wasn’t enjoying this, so I decided to blend it up, as Michelle + Lori did.

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I added 1/2 banana and stuck it in the blender on low, working up to high, until it turned into creamy pudding magic.

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Now this is what I’m talkin’ about!

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It was the closest thing to healthy pumpkin pie filling, I’ve ever tasted.  It was extremely thick and nut gummy at all.  Very pudding-like!  The banana gave it only a slight hint of flavor, and you could definitely leave it out.  I used it for added creaminess. 

I’m already dreaming of all the flavor combinations you could make!  This little meal was extremely feeling.  Gotta’ love how those chia seeds expand in the stomach!

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Now about that giveaway…

The winner will receive a TWO pound bag of chia seeds.  Here’s how to enter!

If you’ve used chia seeds in the past, what is the most creative way you’ve used them?  If you have been dying to try them out, what will you add them to first?

Entries close tomorrow at midnight EST!  This giveway is open to US + Canadian readers.  Good luck!!

Ashley

Reader Comments (526)

oh i love chias!! ive never used them creatively... only in overnight oats!!.. i KNOWWW boring! thats why i need some to experiment with ;)

I like to sprinkle them on my pancakes while they cook!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea

Love chia seeds! I use them in baking. They are awesome in banana bread.

Awesome give-a-way. I typically use mine in smoothies for thickness. I don't like xantham gum because it causes my stomach to bloat and cramp (I had to do some elimination techniques to figure that one out) but I still like thick smoothies! Chia seeds to the rescue!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

I'd like to try them in Greek yogurt.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBridget

I've been dying to try chia seeds and would probably first mix them in a batch of oats!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I love them mixed with banana, protein powder, and cocoa powder to make a breakfast pudding in the morning.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan Thomas

I've never had Chia seeds! (I know, what's wrong with me, right!?). I eat oatmeal or smoothies for breakfast each morning, so I guess I'd start trying them in those!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

I've never had the opportunity to try them, but most likely breakfast staples like oatmeal and shakes for post workout.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I like to add mine to my homemade almond butter!

I love chia seeds! I typically just use them in oatmeal or smoothies...not creative!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

I have used it in cookies as an egg replacer. I often sprinkle a few on top of a salad. I always put them in my overnight oats. They just are not the same without chia seeds. I definitely want to try the (blended) pumpkin chia pudding.

I usually use chia seeds to make a slurry (fake egg) for baking. But I also love them in smoothies - that extra bit of omega 3, fiber, etc. Sometimes I add them at the end so they don't break up but can absorb liquid and plump up. It's strange at first to drink, but then it's kinda fun to feel such a completely different texture.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebZ

i love chia seeds! :) i always use them to plump up my oatmeal. sometimes ill sprinkle them on salads or veggies just to give the meal an even more nutritional punch. i'd love to try to make chia pudding though!

Love this post! I only really got into chia seeds about a fortnight ago - and I don't think I've gone a day without them since... I make chia pudding the night before, by just putting them with mashed banana, milk and peanut flour, or with mango and coconut milk, and then blend in the morning, sometimes with cooked porridge oats in there too; they fill me up like nothing else!
I'm currently making a buckwheat bake for tomorrow's breakfast - with chia seeds in it :-)

I will definitely be adding it to my oatmeal!!!

serafinac@gmail.com

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterserafina

Not really creative--but I put them in my green monster smoothies when I can find them. I live in rural Maine without any natural food stores, whole foods, etc. so only when I venture to the big city 2 and 1/2 hours away do I get my chias!!!! I need to look into online sources!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I have been dying to try these!!!! Cant find them anywhere : ( I would use them in my bowl of oats and granola bars!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDakota Campbell

I've been interested in trying them. Think I'd try sticking 'em in a smoothie first. Although your pudding recipe does sound pretty amazing.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

Yummy! That pudding looks great. I loooove chia seed pudding. I make pudding and then layer it with fresh fruit in kind of a parfait. So tasty :)

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi @ Food Doodles

Being the boring type, I've just used them in oatmeal and smoothies. However, I can't say how much I love them - they've changed my life dramatically!!!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

i'd really like to try them in a smoothie... actually, i'd just really like to try a smoothie :D

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I've love to try them! I think I'd start with oatmeal.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnu

The only way I have used them is in my oatmeal. I want to try the chia pudding.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

Your pudding looks good! I'd use chia seeds for overnight oats, especially now that it's getting hot out and I crave cold oats most mornings.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

I'd try it in overnight oats first!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArun

I'm pretty boring and have only really used them in oatmeal and to make chia seed pudding. LOVE EM though

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbbe

I haven't been super creative with my chias - i love them in my oatmeal and overnight oats! But I'm dying to make a chia pudding.

I use them in overnight oats, smoothies, and breakfast bakes! I can't live without chia seeds.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

They always end up in green monsters and oats! But I recently used them to make a red curry paste "pudding" for tofu veggie stir fry, coconut milk (light) red curry paste, 1T chia seeds, fresh ginger and ground cinnamon. heat in sauce pan and add your mix-ins...mmmmmm....

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate McCarthy

I have only tried them in my smoothies, but I am starting to get excited about all these other uses. I would love to try that pudding/smoothie. Yum.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Usually I use chia seeds in my green monster smoothies, overnight oats, and regular oatmeal, but I'm dying to try some chia pudding, and after your suggestions I definitely want to try them as sprinkles and in my yogurt :). A 2-lb. bag would be AWESOME!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCari

You had me at pumpkin pie filling! haha That would definitely be one of the first recipes I would try.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda M

I've never used Chia seeds, but would love to start! I'd use them in my smoothies in the morning!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

LOVE LOVE LOVE chia seeds! I have no idea how fast I go through them, but it's pretty darn fast.

not sure about creative ways, but I use them in baking replacing eggs, in my oats, in dough boy smoothies, and of course in the fabulous buckwheat bakes too ;)

A tiny company in BC (Canada) has a cereal using chia seeds, buckwheat, dried fruit, and hemp seeds, that I sprinkle on yogurt and cereal flakes, called 'Holy Crap'... that's not me being creative, but it's a pretty catchy and memorable name :)

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

I added them to my oatmeal just this morning! I love chia seeds! I think the most creative way I've read about is using it in place of eggs in baking. Whoever came up with that is brilliant!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

I love chia seeds - in oats, for baking, as a topping for crunch - endless uses!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I LOVE chia seeds!! I add them to EVERYTHING. Hmmm. the most create though, is probably my Blueberry Chia Sauce: http://www.fitfoodiefinds.com/2011/03/change.html

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLee @ Fit Foodie Finds

I would use chia seeds to make pudding.. I see that everyone is making it.. and I want in!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCait @ Beyond Bananas

I've never tried them! Overnight oats would probably be the first thing I'd try.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Hey there! LOVE this give-away. So...I'm not THAT creative when it comes to my chia seeds...but one thing that I did was to take an almost empty almond butter jar (I always see people doing this with oatmeal) and filling it with water, chia, and cinnamon. I let it sit about 20 minutes and then I packed in some berries. It had a light flavor of almond butter, cinnamon, and the berries. YUM!

I've never used them before, and your recipe looks delicious, so I think I would try out a chia seed pudding first :)
Thanks for the great giveaway!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

I have been DYING to try them for the first time! They will definitely go immidiately into my oatmeal! Then smoothies!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbriana

thank you for holding this awesome giveaway! chia pudding has become my favorite way to start off the day. i'm not sure about creative, but one of my favorite ways to use it is grounding it and adding it to almond milk or coconut milk to create a thickened base for my sauces like my stir fry veggie curry sauce. it is amazingly versatile!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelaine

hmmm my most "creative" way isn't all that creative, but I love to sprinkle them over my pancakes, which have been smothered in almond butter. The butter makes them stick so not one seed is wasted :)

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTara

Yay! I love these little guys. I thought I was being creative when I threw them into a topping for a raw crumble recipe, but I see a lot of folks have used them in baking so I guess it wasn’t so creative after all. Two pounds would certainly leave me with some room for experimentation, though. Fingers crossed!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRH

I want to try chia seeds with oatmeal!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I've never tried them, unfortunately, but I recently read about using them with kefir to make a healthier faux "cream cheese" and I've been so curious to try it out!!

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

I LOVE CHIA SEEDS and eat them almost everyday in my Oats. The most "interesting" thing I've used them for is probably in a sauce for Chili, though I really like baking with chia seeds as well.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I have seen chia seeds all over the web and would LOVE to try making chia pudding! It looks so good and thick. Getting hungry just thinking about it :)

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGen

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