Bolivians have been using the chia seed in their foods for thousands of years, providing plenty of healthy fats for a diet that is one of the world’s best in preventing heart disease. Chances are that unless you hail from the region, you’re not that adept at Bolivian cooking styles, so here are a few more familiar options that can be made healthier with chia seeds.
Chocolate PuddingA classic dessert that kids always enjoy, you can make it healthier by going for a chia-seed-based option rather than a dairy- or quick-mix-based pudding. That being said, it’s easy to make a chia pudding option that is vegan and gluten-free.
You will need:
- ¼ cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- At least 3 Tbsp of maple syrup
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup of chia seeds
- In a small mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup and combine them by whisking. Then, add your almond milk, just a little at a time, and whisk until a paste forms. Then add the rest of your milk and whisk until smooth.
- Add chia seeds and whisk until evenly distributed.
- Cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight or for at least three hours. An extra whisk in the first hour of refrigeration could be in order as well if you see too much separation.
- You’re done! Just add your desired toppings and make sure to keep it refrigerated. With proper refrigeration, it should last up to five days.
For a more in-depth version of this recipe and others visit minimalistbaker.com
Gluten-Free Granola Bars
Some people like to use “granola” as an insult. This recipe isn’t for them. With more traditional grains being replaced by chia seeds, this recipe is as granol-y as a granola bar is likely to get. It’s a healthy, homemade snack you can bring on the road.
You will need:
- ⅔ cups of dried fruit, chopped to manageable pieces
- ½ cup of raw cashews
- ½ cup of peanut or seed butter
- 2 large, ripe and smashed bananas
- ⅓ cup of raw sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp of hemp protein powder
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp organic flaxseed meal
- An 8x8 square baking pan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line the pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas and the butter of your choice with a wire or handheld whisk.
- Using a spatula, mix the rest of the ingredients in. Mix until you have an even distribution of ingredients throughout. After mixing, use the spatula to spread the mixture evenly across the pan, making it flat on all sides.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, and allow the granola to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it to cut into bars. After that, just roll the bars into wax paper and store them in an air-tight container. They should be good for at least one week.
Chia Seed Jam
Jam is a great way to get a little bit of fruit in your diet, but it often comes with some unhealthy binders, particularly pectin. Chia seeds eliminate the need for thickener, by acting as a natural one. The seeds are able to absorb the juices of the fruit and maintain the texture that most of us are used to. With this recipe, you also avoid the unhealthy, added sugars that lurk in many store-bought jams, while getting a boost of the heart-healthy omega-3s in chia seeds.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 oz of fresh or thawed berries
- 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup
- Place the blueberries and syrup in a blender and puree.
- Mix the chia seeds in with a spoon.
- Place the mixture in a jar and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, so it can thicken.
- It's ready!
Now you’re ready to serve a delicious, healthy jam that’s great for topping a host of breakfast options or to spruce up some other cooking projects.
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