As part of the Ambassador Program I received product samples and compensation from NOW Foods to thank me for my participation, but the product selection and all opinions are genuinely my own. #NOWWellness
The concept of nurturing your outer beauty from within is not new. After all, that’s why so many of us take multivitamin complexes specifically marketed for hair, nail, or skin. Those supplements often include various antioxidants, fatty acids, and microelements essential for boosting your nutrition, which in turn results in shiny hair, stronger nails [and bones!], and of course more even complexion. You might have heard of this little group called superfoods, right? Each member of this elite squadron earned their superlative title by being densely packed with healthy goodness. One of these nutritious superstars is chia seeds.
I’ve been on a chia kick for about a month now, and these tiny seeds have become a major part of my meal plan. I add them to smoothies and yogurt, and sometimes even make delicious chia morning pudding. After trying various recipes I developed my own that I wanted to share with you today [scroll down for the recipe].
But first of all, let’s talk about the benefits of chia seeds and why you should probably try incorporating them in your diet starting right now.
Gram for gram, chia seeds are more nutritious than many healthy foods. Various sources claim that chia seeds contain 5x more calcium than milk, 3x more antioxidants than blueberries, 3x more iron than spinach [Popeye is eating the wrong thing clearly!], 2x more protein than any other grain, seed, or bean, and finally they pack twice more potassium than a banana. Woah!
Chia seeds are loaded with high quality protein essential for balanced diet, especially for people who normally don’t eat animal products. These tiny seeds are 14% protein by weight, which is unusually high for plants. Protein-rich foods are necessary to support the building blocks of your body. If you’re trying to lose weight, consuming low-fat proteins may help achieve your goal faster, because the body will feel fuller longer, thus reducing the spontaneous cravings. That’s actually the main reason why I started adding chia seeds to my smoothies, as I’m trying to shed a few extra pounds. It’s been a slow process so far but at least I’m seeing progress!
Prepare to be amazed. Gram for gram chia seeds contain more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Boom, mind blown! This essential fatty acid is necessary for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, including A and E known for their anti-aging beauty benefits.
Chia seeds are an excellent antioxidant! I’m sure you all know that antioxidants are crucial for neutralizing free radicals that may be contributing to skin aging, and that’s why we religiously slather them on our pretty faces every morning. A recent study confirms that chia seeds help neutralize up to 70% of free radical activity. Impressive, isn’t it?
The final reason why chia seeds should be your new best friend is the fiber content. There are 12 grams of carbs in one ounce of chia seeds, but 11 of them are actually fiber necessary to feed the good bacteria in your gut. And when your gut bacteria is happy, the skin has that wonderful healthy glow to it, similar to what you get from introducing probiotics into your diet.
Today I wanted to share my original Coconut-Mango Breakfast Chia Pudding recipe that I developed after some trial and error. My breakfast pudding is not too sweet [which is perfect for breakfast], very filling, and gives me a boost of energy every morning. I actually got the idea after visiting NYC last fall. I went to this super cute French bakery Le Pain Quotidien by the Met where I tried the best chia pudding in my life and swore I’d recreate it at home. I actually succeeded, but that experiment inspired me to come up with my own recipes, because I pretty much wanted to eat chia pudding for breakfast every morning.
For this recipe I used Organic Black Chia Seeds, Organic Unsweetened Schredded Coconut, and Organic Coconut Sugar from NOW Foods. The company adheres to the strictest standards of purity with help of its own state-of-the-art food testing laboratory to ensure the highest levels of quality control and assurance. Whenever I see the NOW Foods label on the packaging, I know this is a top notch product that’s perfectly safe for my family.
- 14 fl oz can Coconut Milk
- 3 tbsp NOW Foods Organic Black Chia Seeds
- 8 oz Coconut Yogurt
- ½ cup NOW Foods Organic Shredded Coconut (Unsweetened)
- 1 tbsp NOW Foods Organic Coconut Sugar
- 3 Ataulfo Mangoes
- 1 cup Toasted Coconut Granola (Note: I buy mine in bulk at Whole Foods)
- a handful of fresh berries (Optional)
- The night before mix the coconut milk and chia seeds in a glass or plastic food container, stir, and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning add the yogurt, shredded coconut, and coconut sugar to the container with soaked chia and stir together until everything is mixed well.
- Fill your serving bowls halfway with the chia pudding. (Note: I used small mason jars, but ramekins will work, too)
- Divide granola among the bowls, reserving a couple tablespoons for garnish.
- Cut mangoes into thin slices and divide them evenly among the bowls, reserving about ½ cup for garnish.
- Divide the rest of the chia pudding among the bowls, top with reserved mango slices, berries, and sprinkle with reserved granola.
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