Chia seeds have a variety of healthy benefits when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
These little seeds (yes the same seeds your kids used for their Chia pets) are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and soluble fibers.
They are also high in calcium and magnesium and rich in anti-oxidants. When soaked in water, they swell and soften and slow the absorption of carbohydrates which helps to balance blood sugar levels and is helpful for people with diabetes and who are trying to lose weight.
It is recommended that one or two tablespoons of chia seeds a day will give you all of the health benefits these little seeds have to offer.
You can also incorporate them in a number of different foods and here we would like to show you how to use Chia seeds in some tasty smoothies.
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Preparing the Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have a neutral slightly nutty flavor that can taste great in smoothies. However, in order to have your smoothie nice and smooth, you need to soften your seeds.
You can do this by soaking your seeds for 10 or 15 minutes in some of the liquids you plan on using in your smoothie. Softening the chia seeds prior to blending makes them easier to mix and will really make your smoothie stand out.
While chia seeds can easily be added to any smoothie, we thought we would offer you some recipes to try.
This orange pineapple smoothie is flavorful and refreshing and makes a perfect breakfast or snack smoothie.
- 1 ½ cup of orange juice.
- ½ cup of fresh pineapple or canned pineapple chunks drained (if you place the canned pineapple chunks in a strainer, place a bowl under it, and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. The pineapple will drain while remaining firmer.)
- Half of a medium size banana (cut into chunks.)
- 2 Tablespoons of yogurt.
- 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds.
Place the orange juice into a bowl, add the chia seeds and allow to sit for 10 or 15 minutes to soften the seeds.)
Place all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until all the ingredients are softened. Then blend until smooth, pour into glasses and serve.
Fruity Spinach Smoothie
If you are looking for a good way to get more leafy green goodness into your family´s diet, this fruity spinach smoothie may just do the trick. Adding Chia seeds to this smoothie is a simple and easy process.
- 1 Banana cut into small chunks.
- 1 cup of grapes.
- ½ apple cored and chopped.
- 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt.
- ¼ cup lemonade.
- 1- Tablespoon of Chia seeds.
Place the chia seeds into the lemonade and soak for 10 or 15 minutes. Then, blend all the ingredients together, except for the yogurt, until smooth. Add the yogurt and blend until it is well mixed and smooth.
Cool Watermelon Smoothie
This watermelon smoothie makes a great summertime drink and is perfect for those cookouts.
- 2 cups of chopped seedless watermelon
- ¼ cup of fat free milk.
- 2 Ice cubes.
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds.
Place chia seeds into the fat free milk and allow to soak for 10 or 15 minutes. Place ice in the bottom of the blender, add the other ingredients, pulse until ice is broken up and then blend until smooth.
In cases where there is no liquid ingredients for your smoothie, you can soak the chia seeds in yogurt or a small amount of water and then add a bit extra of the more solid ingredients. Chia seeds are extremely easy to use and can give added healthy benefits to any type of smoothie.