Even though teeny, tiny chia seeds have been a big healthy food trend now for several years, this nutritionally dense source of sustaining energy was originally cultivated by the Mayans and Aztecs thousands of years ago. In fact, the word “chia” in the ancient Mayan languages means “strength” – these superlative seeds were prized as a super food long before the modern label of “superfood” became cool!
Barely the size of a period at the end of a sentence, the miniscule chia seed will expand up to 27 times in size when soaked in liquid. Not only do chia seeds fill up your belly, but they are a rich source of fiber, protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, according to the National Institute of Health. It’s easy to sprinkle a few chia seeds on your cereal or mix into muffin batter, however it’s not safe to eat large quantities of dry chia seed alone because it can create a rare (but real) choking hazard by expanding in the esophagus. In my opinion, the best way to enjoy chia seeds is to make a “pudding” that can be enjoyed for a wholesome dessert, satiating snack or healthy breakfast. Chia pudding is an incredibly easy dish to whip up, it just requires at least four hours to “make ahead,” allowing the seeds to soak up the liquid and expand.
Because spring has sprung and berries are popping up everywhere, I’m sharing my recipe for Strawberry-Blackberry Greek Yogurt Chia Pudding. This is a recipe I make for family and friends who are trying out chia seed pudding for the first time – often the tapioca-like texture can take some getting used to. Adding pureed berries to the pudding and smashed blackberries on top creates a similar yet more familiar texture and encourages picky palates to dig in – oh, and blending in creamy Strawberry Delight Greek Yogurt Dip doesn’t hurt! One of Litehouse Food’s newer products, Opadipity Strawberry Delight Greek Yogurt Dip uses real Greek yogurt to create a healthier alternative that still tastes luscious and rich – served alone, this fruit dip only has 60 calories per serving and is gluten-free, making it the perfect partner for a number of sensible snacks.
After tinkering around with my Strawberry-Blackberry Greek Yogurt Chia Pudding, I realized it could be thinned out to make a unique beverage reminiscent of those “bubble teas” of recent popularity. To transform the pudding into a Strawberry-Blackberry Greek Yogurt Chia Sipper, simply stir in an additional cup of milk and a few optional packets of stevia during the recipe preparation. To slurp up this pretty (and pretty healthy) drink, simply pour in small juice glasses and stick in a straw. Enjoy!