Friday, June 25, 2010

Blueberry Chia Parfait








Today for breakfast I really wanted to try my chia seeds that I bought a few weeks ago. I had been reading on line from several different people how much they love their chia. Well I just had to see what all of the fuss was about. I liked chia very much. It is a texture thing, so if you don't like textures similar to tapioca pudding you probably wont care too much for chia. But who am I to say; give it a try and decide for yourself.

"Chia is a powerful plant that was used centuries ago as a staple crop by the Aztec Indians and other tribes in what is now Mexico. They believed it was very powerful, not only for the body, but for the mind. Chia is a whole grain that contains protein, fiber, calcium, omega-3s, and antioxidants. The benefits of chia have been rediscovered, and science is proving just how right the Aztecs were to rely on this little seed." (source : www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-chia.html)



Omega 3’s


"Chia seeds are packed with omega-3s, and they are a great alternative to eating fish for the fatty acid. It will give you the same results without the risk of mercury poisoning or seafood allergies. Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for cardiovascular health. They decrease abnormal heart rhythms and lower triglyceride levels. They can also help to prevent coronary heart disease.


Antioxidants


Chia seeds also have a large number of antioxidants. They protect your body from free radicals. These antioxidants can help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other attacks on the body. Chia seeds have as many or more antioxidants than blueberries, which are considered to be a "superfood."


Fiber


The high fiber content of chia seeds allows them to be slowly digested and absorbed by the body. This means that they don't cause a sharp change in blood sugar levels, which can have dangerous outcomes for diabetics. The slow conversion of carbohydrates into sugar makes it perfect for those with diabetes, because it keeps blood sugar levels stabilized. The slow digestion of chia seeds also means that you will feel full longer, and they block food absorption, which is great news for any dieter. Fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly, so chia seeds help to ease digestion.


Hydration


Chia seeds absorb more than 12 times their weight in water. This allows them to help balance electrolytes in the body and keep you hydrated. Aztec warriors could subside on chia seeds because of both their nutrition content and their hydrating qualities.


Protein


Chia seeds are an excellent vegetable source of protein compared to other grain sources of protein. They will help give you energy and keep you focused. They can also help reduce cravings. The protein will help build lean muscle and boost metabolism.


Other Nutrients and Minerals


Chia also contains calcium, phosphorous, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. All of these are essential for the human body to run efficiently.


Eating Chia Seeds


Some books recommend that you add them to water and allow them to produce a gel before using them in recipes. While you can do this, you don’t have to. They have a nutty flavor, so you can add them directly to salads, cereal or yogurt. You can also add them to your favorite bread or muffin recipes. Unlike flax seeds which have similar health benefits, chia seeds do not have to be ground up, and they do not spoil as quickly."


 I wanted to use some more of those free blueberries that I got the other day with that awesome coupon. This recipe was the perfect one. I made a banana kreme to layer between the blueberry chia pudding to create a parfait. Something about eating out of a pretty glass makes your meal extra special. It was so filling and so hydrating. Chia are like a sponges; they soak up massive amounts of liquid. This would be a great summer recipe for those hot days or as a pre or post workout snack. And as you can see from the article above, the nutritional content is amazing! Here is the recipe:

Blueberry Chia Parfait

2 C fresh organic blueberries (reserve about 5 to garnish top)
1/2 C chia seeds
1 T raw honey (optional)
1 and 1/2 ripe organic bananas
1 drop of almond extract
pinch of cinnamon
cinnamon and nutmeg to garnish
1 T Nutiva Hemp Seeds
Pudding:
In a vita mix or coffee grinder, blend chia seeds till powdered. If you want a chunky texture, skip the grinding step. Add the chia, blueberries and honey, to the blender. Blend but don't liquefy. Pour into a container and let firm up. Adjust the texture by adding some filtered water if needed. 
Meanwhile prepare the banana kreme:
With a fork, mash the banana. Add in 1 tablespoon of Hemp seeds, a drop of almond extract and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir to mix well. Now you are ready to layer the parfait. In a tall glass, add some of the blueberry pudding. Next top  that with a layer of the banana hemp kreme. Repeat the layers ending with the banana hemp kreme. Top the parfait with 5 whole blueberries and a sprinkle of both cinnamon and nutmeg. Enjoy!

Note: Truly ripe bananas have multiple brown spots on the skin. I only consume truly ripe bananas. They are the most flavorful and digest better than unripe.

~JMJ~ Today I am grateful that both of our youngest children slept through the night!! No one woke up, I can't believe it. I actually am not tired today. I finally had a peaceful nights rest. WOW!
Peace and Do Like the Aztecs, Eat More Chia!

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