Food & Drink Magazine

Did You Know Chia Was a Core Ingredient, Along with Corn ...

By Yonni @vegandthecity
Did you know chia was a core ingredient, along with corn and beans, in the ancient Aztec diet?  They actually believed it gave you strength.  Today it's important because 1 tablespoon of chia (tiny almost poppy-like seeds) are a great vegetarian source of omega fatty acids and calcium and it even has 3 grams of protein per serving!

As quality as its makeup might be, chia is remarkably versatile.  Since it looks like a seed, it can function as such in your food ~ it adds a little visual interest, but the flavor is so mild, it can be mixed into anything.  I even added it to a guacamole-like dip I enjoyed with some high-fiber crackers.  One of my friends told me she tosses it into her salads and smoothies. For kids, it's a sneaky way to get them to eat their vegetables (or at least get the healthy nutrients they would get if they ate them.)  Your body reaps all of the benefits of chia without compromising the taste of your food.


I was at a luncheon on Monday, catered by a vegan caterer, so of course I picked her brain once the event had ended.  She suggested I make a pudding out of it!  Her recipe called for almond milk, but as I had coconut milk in the house, I substituted one for the other, and threw in some organic agave for a bit more sweetness.
I whisked together:
1 cup coconut milk
1/8 cup chia seeds
1 TBSP agave nectar
I kept it in the refrigerator overnight, and it became a tapioca-like pudding, though not too sweet.  With some crushed nuts, raisins and shredded coconut, it makes a great morning parfait ~ and an incredibly healthy one to boot!
On a website called Plan B, a site for testimonials about living a vegan lifestyle, a brief piece about my story was published.  I hope you enjoy: http://www.readyforplanb.com/2012/04/17/yonniwattenmaker/

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