Pop quiz! Which “superfood” was once used to grow creepy garden heads that were oddly popular in the 90s?
Let us refresh your memory: Ch-ch-ch-chia!
And for you lower-end-of-the-spectrum millennials out there, we’re talking about Chia Pets. The chia seed was hot then, but it’s hotter now—and for good reason!
This tiny little seed is actually a HUGE deal. When it comes to omegas and healthy fats, this spec of nutrition has it all. Basically, this seed deserves a cape. Not only is it considered a superfood, but it’s SUPER versatile. You can use it to make healthy breakfast puddings, smoothies, jams, granola and egg substitutes for baking.
High in fiber, just one tablespoon of chia seeds can help curb hunger when added to a healthy snack or meal. They’re also packed with antioxidants and calcium.
Surely you’re already topping your smoothie bowls with chia seeds and adding them to your overnight oats, so we’re going to broaden your healthy horizons with the following five unique chia seed recipes.
1. Vegan Banana-Chia Pancakes
1-1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 ripe, speckled banana
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or more, to taste)
- In blender, combine oats, water, banana, date and cinnamon until smooth. Add chia seeds and continue to blend for a few seconds, just to let chia seeds mix into the batter. (Do not over-blend.)
- Over medium heat, pour batter onto pan in desired pancake size and shape. When small bubbles appear, flip your flapjack! Remove from heat when fully cooked. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Drizzle with raw coconut nectar and serve with fresh fruit!
2. Oil-Free Herbed Lentil Quinoa Bowl
4 cups water
3-1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups lentils
1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup quinoa (cooked)
1 red bell pepper
1/2 large white onion
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
4 Tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. freshly minced garlic
1/4 tsp. paprika
1. In large saucepan over medium heat, cook white onion and red bell pepper in lemon juice and sauté until caramelized (add a few splashes of water if onions become dry).
2. Add cumin, paprika and garlic; sauté about 2 minutes.
3. Stir in water, turmeric, vegetable stock, lentils and tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer; stirring occasionally, until lentils become tender.
4. Stir in chia seeds, cooked quinoa, parsley and cilantro.
5. Distribute evenly into serving bowls and garnish with green onion and a sprig of fresh parsley.
3. Mixed Berry Chia Seed Jam
1 cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. cup raw coconut nectar
2 Tbsp. cup chia seeds
1. In small pot over medium, heat berries and coconut nectar until the berries soften; around 5 minutes.
- Add chia seeds and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir until mixture thickens (do not burn chia seeds). Remove from heat.
- Allow jam to cool and spoon into Mason jar. Once completely cooled, seal with air-tight lid and store in refrigerator. Spread onto sprouted grain toast, flaxseed crackers or drizzle it over a bowl of vanilla nice cream.
4. Spiced Chia Seed Granola
4 cups gluten-free oats
1-1/2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar or pure maple syrup
1 cup nut & seed blend of choice (pumpkin seeds, hempseeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, etc.)
2 Tbsp. cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and continue mixing.
2. Transfer to baking sheet or casserole dish and pat down to cover surface. Bake for one hour. Remove from oven. Using spatula, flip granola. Return to oven for another 60 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
3. Remove from oven and let cool before storing.
5. Chia-Mushroom Meatless Meatballs
12 cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 small handful thyme
2 small handfuls parsley
1/2 tsp. tamari
1. In small bowl, soak chia seeds in six tablespoons water. Set aside until gelatinous consistency forms.
2. Cook lentils according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Heat pan and sauté mushrooms with tamari until fully cooked. Set aside until cool.
4. In food processor, blend mushrooms and lentils with remaining ingredients until crumbly, dough-y texture forms.
5. Using hands, mold mixture into balls and arrange on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until brown and fragrant.
6. Serve over a plate of raw zucchini noodles with homemade pesto or marinara sauce.