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!!