Chia seeds have become such a fad in the last 5 to 10 years or so. People assume if they consume chia seeds in abundance then they are magically going to get all of its benefits. However, chia seeds should not be consumed raw in large quantities or sprinkled on top of dishes. In fact, I would go as far as to say - NEVER eat chia seeds raw. This is because, chai seeds have the ability to increase 12 to 15 times its size when soaked in liquid. When eaten raw, there is the potential of chia seeds swelling up in the esophagus and causing a blockage. These seeds should not be eaten dry, allow them to swell up completely in some form of liquid before consuming. Our bodies are better able to absorb all of the nutrients from chia seeds once it has been soaked and increased in size. When mixed in water chia seeds take on a gelatinous consistency. This is why they can be substituted for eggs and used as a thickening agent when baking and making desserts, like my recipe below.
Chia seeds are certainly high in nutrients as per what the experts tell us, providing a good source of fiber, protein, healthy fats and micronutrient. Consuming them regularly provides numerous health benefits. I often use chia seeds in my kitchen, but I NEVER use them raw. I always make sure to soak them before consuming or adding them in my baking etc. The only other safe way to consume chia seeds without soaking is to blend them in a high powered blender such as a Vitamix until they are completely broken down. When consumed this way, it helps in increasing the absorption of their nutrients.
Finally you should know, if you soak your chia seeds in any liquid and they don't start swelling up in 15 minutes or so, they are spoilt. You don't have to throw them away. Blend them up and use in your recipe or bake with them. If you are making chia pudding without a blender then you will have to start with good quality chia seeds.
In the recipe below, I blend the chia seeds with cashew milk, because I wanted a quick dessert for my guests who were arriving in less than two hours. However, I still allowed them to thicken up while we ate supper (a total of 4 hours). If you want to follow my recipe below but dont't want to blend all the ingredients together, as I do. Then you can mix all the ingredients really well in a bowl, give it a good stir with an egg beater and allow the chia seeds to soak overnight in the fridge. You can store either in individual containers or in one large bowl. You can top with whatever you like either before refrigerating or when eating the next day.
Sometimes I will eat this for breakfast with granola and fruit. If I am going to eat it with granola, I don't add maple syrup or any sweetener as my home-made granola has honey in it and I find it sweet enough.
Vitamix Dessert Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding
This chia seed pudding requires no setting because I blended it together with 2 other ingredients. I'm using-milk and sweetener. You can use any kind of milk and any sweetener. I'm using home-made cashew milk and maple syrup.
This is a great dessert recipe that takes about 5 minutes to make, when you're having guests and don't have time to make a dessert. I cooked a big Indian meal today for my guests, but did not have time to make a traditional Indian dessert called Kheer (rice pudding), that I had planned. So I quickly whipped up this recipe while waiting for my guests to arrive. I topped it with fresh berries, slivered almonds and stuck it in the fridge for after supper. You can top with whatever fruit and nuts you have available in your kitchen.
This was an absolute hit! I had only 4 guests, but all six bowls were gone. However, this stays well in the fridge for about 3 days maximum. If you make a large batch and don't eat it straight away, then freeze it and it still tastes just as good.
- 2 cups cashew nut milk (can use any milk of your choice)
- 2 tbsp chia seed
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (can use honey or coconut sugar or jaggery or any sweetner you like)
Place all the above ingredients in a high powered blender, like the vitamix and blend for 15 to 30 seconds on high speed
Pour into serving bowls, top with any fruit you like and nuts and chill in the fridge till ready to serve
Will last for 3 days, but best eaten the day off. This requires no setting like other chia seed puddings, so does not need to be made ahead of time.