More than once I've been asked, "What's the deal with chia seeds?" and "How do you use chia seeds?". These ancient seeds (they were a favorite of the Incas!) provide Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber, are tasty, and easy to prepare.
The weather the past few weeks has been oddly chilly in the evenings here in Lexington, and I've been craving something warm and soothing before bedtime, so I figured this was the perfect time to share one of my favorite recipe creations! Also, being on the tail-end of berry season, it's a great time to add a handful of your favorite berries to this easy and simple dish.
As for chia seeds, I use them in place of grains. This recipe is reminiscent of cream of wheat, which was a personal favorite of mine growing up. I made the choice to cut gluten out of my diet about 7 years ago, when digestive and inflammatory symptoms would not abate in my body. This recipe incorporates HEALTHY fats (fat is SO important to our health, especially brain function) and seasonal/local fruit. I choose to heat it, but you could just as easily prepare this and leave it in the fridge and eat it cold. Note - when I cook, I'm very much a throw-it-all-in-and-adjust-as-I-go type of cook. These measurements and ingredients are not exact and can be altered to your taste preferences. The point here is to expand horizons a bit and eat food that's yummy, satisfying and nutritious. I love to eat and there is no reason that our relationship with food needs to be torturous or un-pleasant. It's about eating in a way that's sustainable for the long-term!
Chia Seed "Cream of Wheat"
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (this stuff comes in a can, generally in the "ethnic" food section. This is much more of a whole food than coconut "milks" sold today in cartons).
1/2 cup milk of your choice - raw dairy, goat, hemp, flax, etc.
3-5 tsp. chia seeds (depends on the thickness desired)
1/2 cup berries of your choice - blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, etc.
Toppings - I generally use a tablespoon of local, organic butter, a tablespoon of raw, local honey (raw, unfiltered honey is nutrient-dense and can even help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms) and a few dashes of cinnamon. You could also top with some coconut oil/butter or a nut-butter of your choice.
Preparation: Gently warm the milk(s) over medium heat in a medium-sized pan, stirring non-stop. Add chia seeds slowly and continue to stir, to avoid clumping. Gently add berries and continue to stir. Just prior to boiling, remove pan from heat and pour into bowl. Add desired toppings and allow to cool for a minute or two to allow for thickening.
Here's to your health! - Holly Christiansen, L.Ac.
About the Author:
Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist, currently practicing in the gorgeous, horse capital of the world: Lexington, Kentucky.