With the title of this post, you probably think I’m talking about those mildly horrifying plant-like things that seem to be marketed more around the holidays. But rest easy, I’m talking about a type of seed called chia seeds! They are these cute little seeds that pack a huge nutritional punch. And you can add them to almost anything! Look at these cute little energy balls I made, loaded with the superfood:
They are full of omega-3’s and fiber, as well as other minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. Omega-3’s are the same fats that salmon is known for, but the great thing about chia seeds is they are vegan friendly. And in my opinion, getting more nutrients from plant based sources instead of animal/fish sources is always a good idea. If you have a high cholesterol, this is the food for you. The omega-3’s help to lower cholesterol and also the fiber will keep you fuller and more satisfied, so you will be less likely to overindulge in high cholesterol foods later in the day.
My favorite thing about chia seeds is they are a complete protein, meaning they contain all 19 essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). The reason being vegetarian or vegan can be tricky a lot of times is because of protein. Animal products are known to contain the most complete protein, like meat, eggs, yogurt, milk, etc. It’s not that beans and legumes don’t contain protein, it’s that a lot of them are incomplete proteins, meaning they don’t contain all 19 essential amino acids. So you have to pair foods together to get a complete protein. For example, rice and beans paired together is a complete protein. And the reason why it is so important to get complete proteins is that when your body builds protein, amino acids act as limiting agents. So if you are short on one amino acid, your body will stop producing proteins until it gets that one amino acid it is deficient in. If all you eat is one kind of incomplete protein (ex: only eating peanut butter for protein), you will end up having a protein deficiency that will quickly show in your energy levels, skin, hair, etc. When I was vegan one summer and was marathon training, my hair started falling out and my skin lost its glow because I was really protein deficient. I would run a brush through my hair and it would come out in clumps….SCARY! I DIDN’T WANT TO GO BALD!! It look a few months after I changed my diet for my hair and skin to regain its “glow” so take it from me, if you’re vegan, make sure you’re getting complete proteins!!
Okay enough science talk! Now I want show you guys my first recipe incorporating chia seeds! Woo!
Peanut Butter Banana Energy Bites
Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 3 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tsp honey, 1/3 c chia seeds, 1 c instant oats
Prep time: 5 minutes | Ready in: 30 minutes
Directions: In a bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Add peanut butter and honey. Mix until a uniform consistency (there will be some chunks of banana, that’s fine). Mix in chia seeds and last, mix in the oats. Place in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Take out of fridge and roll into little balls. Place in air tight container and store in fridge. Eat when you’re feeling low on energy! Nomsssss.
Nutrition: 16 servings, 1 serving contains
56 kCal | 2.7g fat | 7.5 g carbohydrates | 1.7 g dietary fiber | 2 g protein
**Note: 1.7 g dietary fiber is 7% of your fiber for the day! 56kCal is 2.8% of your daily calories (based on a 2,000kCal diet). Such a high fiber snack!
I am dying to make a sweeter version these with cocoa powder but I can’t find it anywhere in Spain. Help a sista out if you know where to find it, Spain readers! I’m not looking for Cola Coa though! Estoy buscando para cocoa en polvo para pasteles y coccion! Gracias amoritos! Besitos!
Have you ever tried chia seeds? What is your favorite recipe with chia seeds?