By Lanier Norville
A simple google search for “chia recipe” yields myriad results, from sweets to pasta to salads. Runners add a scoop of seeds to their water bottles for extra hydration – they absorb up to eight times their weight in water. Chefs take advantage of the seeds’ thickening properties to add texture to puddings and soups. They can be eaten plain, sprinkled on cereal, or added to fruit or vegetable juice. But by far the most common in the results are recipes for smoothies. An all-natural alternative to adding fiber powder, chia seeds can actually improve the texture of a smoothie – and they’re virtually tasteless. Below is a basic recipe I created based on some of my favorite smoothies, but the possibilities are endless.
Dr. Bob Arnot, a member of the health science advisory board of the popular chia seed brand Mila, recommends using a base – usually yogurt – and mixer – fruit or vegetable juice, water, or soy or almond milk – of your choice, then adding a cup of your favorite fruits and veggies. Add a tablespoon or two (the recommended daily serving) to your favorite smoothie recipe for a boost of fiber, omega-3, and protein – a two tablespoon-size serving of Mila brand chia seeds has 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and only 70 calories.
½ c vanilla Greek yogurt
½ c not-from-concentrate orange juice
1 c frozen mixed berries
2 tbsp. chia seeds*
Add yogurt, orange juice, banana and berries to blender, then sprinkle chia seeds on top, and turn the blender on until the drink is smooth. Adding the chia seeds last will help prevent them from sticking to the blades of the blender. If you prefer a thinner smoothie, drink right away. For a thicker smoothie, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. I like to make mine the night before for a grab-and-go breakfast.
Yield: one 15-ounce smoothie
Dietary Fiber: 11.8 g
Protein: 16.4 g
Total Fat: 5 g
Vitamin C: 162 %
Calcium: 24 %
*For testing purposes, I used Mila brand chia seeds.