Have you ever tried chia seeds? Yes, chia like Chia Pet, although eating them is a bit different than growing them on a terracotta dog. I had a couple of different Chia Pets when I was growing up in the ’90s, but I never got any of them to actually grow. Thankfully, no green thumb is needed with this popular new superfood, apparently once a staple of the Incas and the Aztecs.
Chia is native to Central America and South America, and it’s still commonly eaten there; you may have seen chia served in a delicious drink with sweetened lemon or lime juice. Chia seeds come in both black and white varieties, and they are chock full of Omega-3s. The seeds also have a ton of fiber and even a little bit of protein. When combined with water, chia seeds make a mild-tasting “gel” that you can eat with all kinds of different foods.
I’ve been eating chia seeds for about a year now, but I’m constantly trying to think of new ways to incorporate this superfood into my diet. I recently came up with this chia parfait that’s perfect for a healthy dessert or even for breakfast.
Here’s how to make the chia gel: I usually just combine a couple tablespoons of chia seeds with water, stir and let them soak for a few hours. When I come back, there’s the gel! It lasts for about 3 days in the fridge. And the chia seed gel is not only healthy, it’s versatile; I toss the gel into salads, soup, and smoothies and occasionally even baked goods.
Banana-Chia Seed Parfait
total time: less than 10 minutes, depending on blending time
total hands on time: less than 10 minutes
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 sliced fresh banana
- 2.5 tbsps chia seed gel (I used white chia)
- 3/4 cup of greek yogurt
- drizzle of honey
- sprinkle of cinnamon
1. Using your blender, blend the frozen banana until it’s smooth and creamy, almost the consistency of ice cream. (By itself, blended frozen banana is a great alternative to ice cream…try it with a bit of cocoa, too!)
2. Place the blended frozen banana in the bottom of a parfait glass, if you have one. If not, a mug or even a tumbler should do.
3. Layer the chia seeds on top of the banana.
4. Layer the greek yogurt on top of the chia seeds.
5. Top with sliced fresh bananas, a drizzle of honey and a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon.