I have been introducing chia seeds, the superfood, to my clients since many years ago. But oddly enough, I have not started introducing it to my little fella until recently. I guess it's the word seeds that kinda put me off. Other than flaxseed and sesame seed oil, I have not given him any seeds until he turned one year for fear of the choking risk. According to Superbabyfood by Ruth Yaron, most pediatricians agree that you can add these seeds (one of a time, of course) to your baby’s diet at eight months of age!
Chia seeds have become very popular and it is no wonder. It is such a nutrient-compact superfood. I have had couple of chia seeds got stucked to the base of my wash basin, it grows into chia seed sprouts! Nature must have put a concentrated store of nutrients in the seed, which can grow a new plant with no soil and nothing more than plain water. I was crazily sprouting chia seeds few years back. Refer to this link for more info on my sprouting experience.
|Omelette and chia sprouts sandwich|
These unprocessed seeds, which come from a desert plant grown in Mexico, have been around for thousands of years and were a staple in the diet of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Aztec soldiers used to consume crushed chia to boost energy, and the seeds were thought to have magical powers based on their ability to increase stamina over long periods of time.
Most importantly, chia seeds are the best plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids on the planet. Info from here. Omega-3s are glorious, and because they are not made in our bodies, we need to get them from our diet. These fatty acids help build new cells, reduce inflammation, regulate physiological functions, and prevent heart disease and diabetes. improve cognitive function (be smarter!), and promote healthy skin, hair and nails. They are also potent sources of complete protein, and more easily digestible compared to soy, beans or peas' protein. It has 2.7 times more iron than raw spinach, and five times as much calcium than milk! Now you know why there's a hype over it all over the world.
Chia seeds can absorb up to ten times their own weight in liquid. So when placed in water or liquid, they expand and take on a gel-like texture. After a few hours of soaking, the seeds swell up and form jelly pudding texture, making healthy nutritious snacks or desserts for the little ones. My boy doesn't like plain avocado puree, but he loves this.
Avocado milk chia seeds pudding
- 1/2 cup fresh milk or soymilk
- 1/2 avocado, medium size
- 2tbsp chia seeds
- 1tsp honey (optional)
Puree avocado with fresh milk until consistency turns creamy. Add in chia seeds and blend for another second. Pour into bowl or glass and let chill in refrigerator overnight or at least 4hours.
Black soymilk chia seeds pudding
- 1/2 cup warm water + 2tbsp black soy powder
- 2tbsp chia seeds
Dissolve soy powder in warm water by stirring or shaking in a tumbler. Add in chia seeds and shake. Pour into bowl or glass and let chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least 4hours.