For the past few months I have been trying desperately to convince myself that I am a runner. Boris and I will officially be signing up for our first race this summer. We are starting with a 5k. Of course the man could run a 5k in his sleep… I, on the other hand, have been training since December. Part of my training regime is reading about running. I have been reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. The book focuses on a tribe of “superathletes,” who can run for days on end. Of course my favorite part of the book so far is not about the running. It’s about what these superathletes eat to get their running juices going. In chapter 8 of the book you learn that this tribe eats a magical (slightly gooey) energy concoction called, “Iskiate.” What is this magical running goo you may ask? It’s none other than the beloved chia seed. I have to be honest chia seed is definitely an acquired taste, especially if you aren’t keen on different textures but this little guy has so many health benefits to offer! Not to mention, I’m pretty much banking on it to turn me into an Olympic athlete.
First, I feel like I owe it to you all to dispel some of the common misconceptions surrounding chia seeds. If consumed in addition to your normal diet it won’t actually help you lose weight. It will, however, grow a really cute chia pet! Yes… chia seeds are the origin of that 1980’s chi-chi-chia pet craze. It does however have an awesome nutrient profile:
- 2 TBS (1 oz) of chia seed contain: 138 calories, 5 grams of protein, 9 grams fat (about 8 grams of the good kinds of fat), 12 grams carbohydrates and 10 grams of fiber.
Chia seeds are touted as an omega-3 powerhouse but unfortunately they primarily have the less mature form of omega-3, ALA. So I can’t really call them a good source of omega-3. To read more about omega-3 fatty acids please see my last post, Lemon-Tahini Salmon. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t a great food to incorporate into your daily routine! I love how much fiber you get from just a small amount of chia seeds. Increasing your fiber intake can help you eat less throughout the day because fiber helps you stay full for longer periods of time. By eating a high fiber/ high protein breakfast, you are less likely to overeat throughout the day. Needless to say, chia seeds have become a staple in my breakfast routine. That’s why I can’t wait to share this next recipe with you!
This Chia Seed Blueberry Yogurt is not only high in fiber but high in protein. It’s so satisfying! The blueberries give this dish a beautiful color and infuse the dish with all of their lovely flavor and antioxidants. I don’t have much more to say about this dish other than… you need to try it! Let me know what you think!
- 2 ½ cups of blueberries + extra for topping
- 1 -2 TBS sugar (depending on preferred sweetness)
- 2 TSPS vanilla extract
- ½ cup chia seed
- 17.5 oz (500g) nonfat plain Greek yogurt (you may substitute 2% or regular Greek yogurt if preferred)
- Over low heat, combine the sugar, blueberries and vanilla extract. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture begins to form a syrup. Allow to cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator to expedite the cooling process. This will create a blueberry compote.
- In a bowl, combine the yogurt, blueberry compote and chia seeds. Mix at medium speed for ~ 1 minute or until the ingredients are well combined. This may be done using a whisk or hand mixer.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes prior to serving. This dish may also be made in the evening to serve in the morning.
Nutrition Content (per ½ cup serving):
Servings: 8 –1/2 cup servings
Total Calories: 136 cal
- 12 grams of protein
- 3.4 grams of fat
- 16.6 grams of carbohydrate
- 5.1 grams of fiber