Let’s talk about Chia Seeds
One of the challenges of eating healthy is learning about new foods. Whether you are adventurous or not with your food choices, buying new items can be overwhelming. Since chia seeds were mentioned on our Facebook page, I figured there couldn’t be a more perfect place to begin.
On the back of the package of organic raw chia seeds which I keep in my pantry, I read the following chia seed description: “The chia seed was eaten by Aztecs for strength and was a main staple food along with corn and beans. Chia is an excellent vegetarian source of omega fatty acids, an easily digestible form of protein and full of minerals, vitamins and soluble fiber. It contains more natural antioxidants than flaxseed and is an excellent source of dietary fiber.”
Despite their obvious nutritional value, these little seeds aren’t a pantry staple in part because people don’t know how to use them. I like to throw them in smoothies (of course), pancake batter, muffins and sweet bread. Those are all great ways to add chia seeds to your diet but this week I took it a step further and set out to develop a recipe for chia seed ice cream. After about 5 tries I found a blend worth sharing.
Banana Chia Seed Ice Cream (serves 4-6)
- ¼ cup raw, organic chia seeds
- 1 cup organic unsweetened rice milk (You could also use almond or flax milk.)
- 2 frozen bananas
- 24 oz. frozen mango
- 3-5 ice cubes
- 2 tsp. powdered Stevia (You may need to add a bit more or less depending on how sweet you want the ice cream.)
- ⅛ tsp. of real vanilla
- Place chia seeds and milk in a small bowl. I just use a 1 cup measuring bowl and add the chia seeds first and then fill the milk up to the 1 cup line.
- Let stand for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better; you can even let it set all day in the fridge). The chia seeds expand and taste a bit like tapioca.
- Add chia seed mixture to blender with frozen bananas, frozen mango, ice cubes, stevia and vanilla. Taste before serving and add more stevia or vanilla depending on the level of your sweet tooth.
- Blend on high for one minute or until ingredients are smooth. Note: You really need a high-powered blender like the Vitamix to get this to blend as a frozen treat. If you need a thicker consistency, add more ice cubes.
This was a big hit with everyone at my house including my in-laws, husband and of course the kids. Enjoy and let me know what you think! (This picture of my happy eater was taken on his 3rd bowl so it was a bit melted. The consistency should be the same as ice cream.)