Chia Seed Dessert
Miraculous chia seeds
Chia seeds are small and oval shaped, emanating from the desert plant Salvia hispanica that’s been grown in Mexico since Mayan and Aztec times. The roasted ground up seeds are traditionally consumed to this day in the form of a porridge like gruel called Pinole.
The word "Chia" means strength, and folklore has it that the tiny black and white seeds were used by earlier generations in Central America as a form of energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
Chia seeds are either black or white in colour and resemble sesame seeds in appearance, with a mild, nutty flavor. You can sprinkle them on sauces, vegetables or rice dishes, but in this recipe here, we make them into a thick ‘rice-pudding’ like gel by soaking them in milk and then adding cream. Other recipes use yogurt or flavoured water to create these thickened dishes.
Although many regard Chia seeds as a super-food, there are an increasing number of voices that argue against eating them too frequently. They are concentrated sources of phytate (which you also find in wheat) and as an anti-nutrient, phytate makes many minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium less available for absorption in your body.
Having said that, because they absorb up to 10 times their weight of liquid, they are well suited to use as a delicious low-carb treat with fruit or even added to a yogurt desert.
8 grams of vanilla sugar?
This is one of the few recipes where we add a little sugar… more as a condiment than as a true ingredient. Stevia is the low-carb alternative. The recipe makes four portions and as such, the 2 grams of sugar per portion are roughly the same as what you will find in a 25 gram portion of cooked beetroot.
Take your time
If you leave these seeds to soak in your milky, creamy mixture for 8 hours, they will have reached about 90% of the seed's absorption capacity; leave them a further day in the fridge and you'll find them just that little bit thicker and more gelatinous. It's your choice... me? I go for the thickest two-day scenario!
- 20 grams of Chia Seeds
- 8 grams of vanilla sugar (or 8 grams of sugar and a little vanilla essence) - use Stevia powder if preferred to reduce carbohydrate impact.
- 150 ml of milk
- 60 ml of thick cream
Method... makes four 60 gram desert portions