A Spoon of Chai Seeds And Blueberries and Milk

Three tasty ways to use chia seeds

The health food of the moment, chia seeds are one trend that does live up to its billing. Here’s why your next dessert should be a chia seed pudding.

Chia seeds have a lot to offer – as breakfast bowl or smoothie aficionados can tell you. They have an unusual texture when wet, as they swell and soften. Because of their ability to absorb both water and fat, they can be used as a handy ‘free from’ ingredient – replacing flour to thicken sauces or even egg in certain dishes. Pure chia seeds contain no gluten (always check the label for added ingredients or cross-contamination), so can also be used in place of breadcrumbs to cover chicken or fish.

However, what makes chia seeds most attractive is their nutrient per gram content. They are exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids, helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. One portion (approx 28g or 2 tbsp) provides around a third of your recommended daily fibre intake, as well as selenium (to help your immune system and thyroid), magnesium (helps reduce tiredness and aids the nervous system) and phosphorus (for healthy teeth and bones). One helping of chia also contains around 15% of the iron and zinc you need each day.

Vanilla and strawberry chia seed pudding

Good for: a quick, nutritious dessert
Serves 1

Nutrients per serving:

Energy Total fat Saturates Protein Fibre Carbs Sugar Salt
340 kcal 18 g 3.1 g 16 g 17 g 20 g 16 g 0.43 g

Ingredients

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Method

Step 1
Put all the ingredients into a bowl (except for the honey and strawberries) and stir together well.

Step 2
Leave in the fridge for 20 minutes or overnight.

Step 3
Before serving, drizzle with honey and top with berries.

Chia porridge breakfast bowl

Good for: a gluten-free, dairy-free filling start to the day
Serves 1

Nutrients per serving:

Energy Total fat Saturates Protein Fibre Carbs Sugar Salt
357 kcal 11 g 2.4 g 50 g 15 g 8.2 g 10 g 0.5 g

Ingredients

* Available at Holland & Barrett

Method

Step 1
Put the oats and milks into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Step 2
Add the chia seeds and 2/3 of the almonds and simmer for another couple of minutes until the porridge has thickened and the oats are soft.

Step 3
Transfer to a serving bowl and spoon on the extra coconut milk. Drizzle on the syrup, top with the blueberries, remaining almonds and a sprinkling of extra chia.

Savoury trail mix

Good for: an energy-boosting snack
Serves 2

Nutrients per serving:

Energy Total fat Saturates Protein Fibre Carbs Sugar Salt
153 kcal 11 g 1.7 g 5.9 g 0 g 6.9 g 3.3 g 2.5 g

Ingredients

* Available at Holland & Barrett

Method

Step 1
Heat the oven to 220°C. Mix the seeds and soy sauce together and scatter onto a baking tray. Toast for a few minutes, checking frequently to ensure they don’t burn (shake the tray whenever you open the oven door to help them toast evenly).

Step 2
Allow to cool before eating or store in an airtight container.

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This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
Nutrition