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Good and full of benefits! Here are many recipes and the properties of chia seeds

Chia seeds

Let’s find out all the properties of chia seeds and how to use them in the kitchen: rich in calcium and fiber, they are a precious ally for our health.

Chia seeds are obtained from Salvia Hispanica , a plant native to Mexico, belonging to the Labiatae family, and very common in central and South America . These small gray-black seeds are rich in fatty acids essential for our body such as Omega 3, they contain fibers, proteins , calcium, phosphorus and other antioxidant molecules.

Known and used by the Aztecs (think that in their language chia means strength ), they have been used in South America for a very long time. More recently, however, they have also arrived on our tables, with the reputation of a food with a thousand benefits . But is it really so? Let’s discover contraindications and properties of chia seeds, as well as recipes and their uses in the kitchen!

Recipes with chia seeds: how to eat them?

Yogurt and chia seeds
Yogurt and chia seeds

After seeing the properties of chia seeds, it is interesting to find out how to use these seeds in the kitchen. It is difficult for them to be the absolute protagonists of a recipe: the simplest method is undoubtedly to add these seeds raw to enrich salads, yogurt, milk, pudding or fruit salads.

In any case, it is recommended to soak in water for 10/15 minutes in order to avoid a sense of dehydration after their consumption.

Furthermore, in vegan cuisine, the seeds can also be used as a thickener or jelly. Leave them to soak for 30 minutes in half a glass of water. The gelatine obtained in this way can be used, for example, as a thickener in the preparation of smoothies, desserts, soups or sauces.

1. Porridge with crunchy cereals and chia seeds

Porridge with cereals
Porridge with cereals

In Anglo-Saxon countries it is very famous, a little less here: porridge is a kind of pudding based on milk / water and foods rich in starch (usually oats) to be enriched as desired . In our version today, the chia seed porridge, we didn’t use oats: we will get the “pudding effect” thanks to the magical power of chia seeds. The ingredients are:

  • 1 glass of vegetable milk
  • 80 g of cereal flakes
  • 40 g of chia seeds
  • honey and fresh fruit to taste

If you can, let the seeds soak in milk for one evening . The next morning you will find some kind of milk pudding in the fridge and you can start composing this delicious version of porridge. Alternate layers of pudding and layers of cereal flakes. The best part of this recipe is that you can customize it however you like, perhaps with a little honey, fresh fruit and dried fruit.

2. Lemon cake with chia seeds

Lemon and chia seed cake
Lemon and chia seed cake

Another original idea is to enrich a classic cake with chia seeds : a simple lemon-scented cake transforms it into a healthy and tasty snack . For this recipe you will need:

  • 320 g of flour
  • 200 g of plain yogurt
  • 160 g of brown sugar
  • the zest of a lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 60 ml of milk
  • 80 ml of seed oil

In a bowl, beat the eggs vigorously with the sugar. When the mixture is nice and fluffy, you can add flour, chia seeds and baking powder. At this point, also add the lemon zest, seed oil, yogurt and milk. If it seems too liquid, don’t worry: as we have already anticipated, these seeds tend to absorb liquids and swell a lot. Mix well and cook in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 30-35 minutes.

3. Chocolate biscuits with chia seeds

Chocolate biscuits with chia seeds
Chocolate biscuits with chia seeds

Our recipe for chocolate biscuits with chia seeds is gluten-free, but you don’t have these needs , you can use the classic 00 flour. In any case, you will need:

  • 230 g of rice flour
  • 60 g of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 20 g of chia seeds
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g of granulated sugar
  • 160 g of butter at room temperature

As for the preparation of all cookies, start working the butter and sugar with a whisk. When the mixture is homogeneous , add the eggs. Mix together the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, seeds) and then add them to this compound. Let it rest in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes. Then roll out the pastry, make some molds and bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 15 minutes .

4. Apple and yogurt muffins with chia seeds

Apple muffins with chia seeds
Apple muffins with chia seeds

For a light snack that combines delicacy and nourishment , we recommend our apple muffins with chia seeds . These little morsels, soft and crunchy at the same time, will conquer everyone both for a snack and for breakfast. The necessary ingredients are:

  • 350 g of apples
  • 250 g of flour 00
  • 165 g of eggs (about 3)
  • 230 g of Greek yogurt
  • 120 g of sugar
  • 16 g of baking powder
  • lemon zest to taste
  • chia seeds to taste
  • seed oil to taste

Add eggs, sugar and lemon zest: work with whips until it is swollen and homogeneous . Then add the yogurt and, slowly, sift the flour and yeast inside. Finally, complete with the peeled apples cut into small pieces and the chia seeds. Arrange the mixture in paper or aluminum cups and bake for about 20 minutes at 180 ° C.

5. Pepper soup, spicy croutons and chia seeds

Chia seed soup
Chia seed soup

If we have seen desserts so far, this certainly does not mean that they are the only type of recipe that can be made with chia seeds! In fact, we also leave you the recipe for the pepper soup with chia seeds , to be served with crispy spicy croutons. Get yourself:

  • 1 liter of vegetable broth
  • 4 red peppers
  • 4 yellow peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 olives
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika

Cut the leek and onion into small pieces and put them in a saucepan over low heat with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. After about ten minutes , season with bay leaf and paprika. Also add the peppers cut into small pieces and after a couple of minutes, add the broth. Cover and cook over low heat for about half an hour , stirring occasionally.

Now remove the bay leaves and blend everything with an immersion blender. Finally garnish with oil, salt, pepper and (finally) the chia seeds! If desired, complete with slices of crispy bread flavored with spicy oil.

6. Chia pudding

chia pudding
chia pudding

Do you want to try a breakfast that is both energetic and healthy? Chia pudding is the one for you. The only advice is to prepare it some time before tasting it, so that it becomes perfectly firm.

  • 360 ml of coconut milk
  • 65 g of chia seeds
  • 100 g of raspberries, bananas or fruit to taste
  • 15 ml of maple syrup

Mix together the coconut milk, or other vegetable milk (but cow’s milk is also fine) with the chia seeds and maple syrup and then transfer the preparation into single-serving glasses or cups . Let the pudding rest in the fridge for a few hours (it is also fine for the whole night) and only when serving, decorate with fruit of your choice and / or dark chocolate flakes.

7. Gluten-free bagels

Gluten-free bagel with seeds
Gluten-free bagel with seeds

To go back to savory preparations with chia seeds, we couldn’t fail to offer you our gluten-free bagels . You can also decide to prepare them with the classic 00 flour but in our opinion in this way they are much more digestible and suitable for everyone.

  • 370 g of rice flour
  • 1 sachet of yeast
  • 190 ml of water
  • 1 tablespoon of potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Piedmont lemon (juice and zest)
  • chia seeds to taste
  • Salt to taste

Put the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar and salt) and the liquid ingredients in two separate bowls and mix them, each in its own container. When the liquid ones are well mixed together add them to the buckets and mix first with a fork and then knead with your hands until you get a soft and smooth dough. Divide the dough into 6 balls and shape the donuts (sprinkle them with rice flour so that they do not stick to your hands and work surface).

Put the donuts on a floured baking sheet and cover it with cling film, then let them rest for about 1-2 hours . After the time has elapsed, put a pot of water on the heat, dissolve the starch in about 120 ml of cold water and add the liquid to the pot together with the lemon juice. At this point, when the water has boiled, cook about 2-3 donuts at a time for 2 minutes per side and then drain. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, add the chia seeds and bake in the oven at 210 ° C for about 20-25 minutes .

8. Cauliflower focaccia with chia seeds

Cauliflower focaccia
Cauliflower focaccia

Following a vegan diet puts your imagination to the test first of all! If you want a tasty, rich and quick recipe you can try our cauliflower and chia seed focaccia … it will drive you crazy at the first bite.

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 50 g of chia seeds
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • parsley to taste

Clean and cut the cauliflower into small pieces, then boil it for about 5 minutes in salted water. Once drained, blend it with salt, pepper, oil and parsley. Mix the cauliflower cream with the chia seeds and half a glass of water , mix well and let it rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge. At this point take a baking tray and line it with parchment paper: spread the thick cream with a spatula, give a drizzle of oil on the surface and place in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180 ° C.

9. Chocolate pudding

Chocolate pudding with chia seeds
Chocolate pudding with chia seeds

A chocolaty pudding but different from the usual? As a last recipe we offer you the vegan chocolate pudding with chia seeds . Easy, fast, light but not at all to be taken for granted.

  • 350 ml of soy milk
  • 200 g of dark chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 sachet of vanillin
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

Carefully melt the chocolate in a bain-marie then add the chia seeds, vanilla and a pinch of salt and mix everything together. Finally add the soy milk and sugar and blend everything. Pour the mixture into single-portion glasses or bowls and leave to harden in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours . Before serving, add some chocolate flakes.

Chia seeds: properties and benefits

Chia seeds
Chia seeds

Chia seeds contain a significant amount of insoluble fiber and, according to a study by the University of Litoral in Argentina, their consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes .

Furthermore, their consumption promotes the formation of fatty acids, improving the health of the colon . Omega 3, essential fatty acids considered “good”, are present in large quantities within chia seeds and these fats are essential for our body as they help reduce the levels of triglycerides, essential for keeping the heart healthy.

They increase the sense of satiety , discouraging the consumption of too abundant meals and reducing the absorption of part of simple sugars and fats. These seeds, in fact, retain a lot of liquid and swelling increase their volume: thus helping to reduce the sense of nervous hunger . With their 486 kcal per 100 grams , they are also an important source of energy.

They also contain 5 times more calcium than milk and, as we all know, this mineral is essential for the development of bones, teeth and the performance of vital functions .

Contraindications of chia seeds

We remind you that, as with all things, you must proceed in moderation and not exceed the doses, or the recommended 25 grams per day. They could, in fact, cause intolerances and hyper-sensitivity.

We have seen that, thanks to their quantity of fibers, they facilitate digestion, protecting the stomach but there is also the downside: in too high quantities, in fact, they are laxatives .

Anyone with a known allergy to this food must clearly refrain from consuming it. Furthermore, it would be better for those who follow a therapy based on anticoagulants and thinning drugs to consult their doctor before taking chia seeds.

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