Everything old is new again. Chia seeds were once a healthy staple in the diets of the ancient Aztec, Mayan, and Incan cultures. They are now enjoying a renaissance worldwide as a superfood. The tiny little seeds are packed with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and a host of micronutrients. Loaded with antioxidants, chia seeds have been accredited with health benefits that include weight management, improved blood sugar levels, better heart health, lowered cholesterol, and improved bone density.
Chia seeds have a mild flavor and can easily be added to any of your favorite foods. Sprinkle them on salads or cereals, bake them into breads or muffins (in which they help to retain moisture), add them to oatmeal, pancakes, milk, yogurt, or, like most people, make them an essential component of your favorite smoothies.
One of the best benefits of adding chia seeds to a smoothie is that they really are flavorless, so they will have no effect on the taste of your drink. Here’s your chance to get creative. Any combination of fresh or frozen fruit that pleases your palette will make a healthy, nutritious, delicious smoothie. Toss in some greens, fresh ginger, lemon, peanut butter, or any of your favorite nut butters, and don’t forget the liquids like milk, yogurt, oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, water, juice, coconut water, and, of course, your favorite protein powder. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination or your willingness to experiment.
The general recommendation for chia seeds is 1 to 2 tablespoons for each 12 ounces of smoothie. At 11 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons of chia (more than 40% of your daily fiber requirement), your new and improved smoothie will be more filling than it used to be. Your portions may change though.
Absolutely. If you are using a high-power blender, just toss the raw chia seeds in whether ground or whole, and they will easily blend into your smoothie. When ground, the tiny seeds resemble raspberry seeds in size. If you want to avoid the possibility of getting an occasional seed stuck in your teeth, you can grind or blend the seeds thoroughly beforehand, or opt for convenient chia powder.
If you are not using a high-power blender, you can soak the seeds ahead of time to make them easier to blend into your drink. Put one tablespoon of chia seeds into 3 ounces of water or another suitable liquid for 5 minutes. They will become a gel that can then easily be added to the other ingredients of your smoothie.
You may not want to create your own smoothies initially, though once you get the hang of it, don’t be surprised if you find yourself creating new recipes on a regular basis. In the meantime, here are a few recipes that are so simple to follow you won’t believe how tasty and nutritious they are.
Ingredients: 2 cups of frozen strawberries (organic is preferred) 1 banana at room temperature ¾ cup of milk (whole, almond, soy, oat - your choice) ½ cup Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons chia seeds* 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup Several ice cubes (or use frozen banana) *(if your blender is not high-power, put seeds into 6 ounces of water to liquify for 5 minutes ahead of time) Place all ingredients in blender, liquids first, then blend until creamy smooth.
Ingredients: 2 cups baby kale 1 large green apple, skin on, cut in pieces 1 banana at room temperature (frozen if you prefer creamier drink) 2 tablespoons of chia seeds* ½ cup water ¼ fresh lemon with rind 10 ice cubes 2 cups of frozen pineapple *(if your blender is not high-power, put seeds into 6 ounces of water to liquify for 5 minutes ahead of time)
Place water, baby kale, apple, and banana in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continue to blend until smooth.
Ingredients: 1 large frozen banana 2 tablespoons peanut butter (natural preferred) 1 tablespoon chia seeds* 1-½ cups unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice) Pinch of cinnamon to taste *(if your blender is not high-power, put seeds into 3 ounces of water to liquify for 5 minutes ahead of time) Place ingredients in blender, liquids first. Blend until smooth.
Ingredients: 1 banana room temperature or frozen if you prefer creamier drink 1-½ cup frozen blueberries (organic preferred) 1 tablespoon chia seeds* 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (or favorite nut butter) 1-½ cups unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice) *(if your blender is not high-power, put seeds into 3 ounces of water to liquify for 5 minutes ahead of time) Place ingredients in a blender, liquid first. Blend until smooth.
Making chia smoothies just got a bit easier, more convenient, and a little bit healthier. Care/of’s Chia-Flax powder is a proprietary blend of organic chia seeds, organic flax seeds, and organic pea powder that supports heart health, weight management, and digestive health while providing critical nutrients. Easy to use, good for you, and it’s Care/of.