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Chia me Happy!

Chia seeds are the little miracle seeds in my opinion. I've heard that Chia seeds are an acquired taste and texture preference, but wow these little babies pack a massive punch! With a ton of fiber per 2 tablespoons, 11 grams to be exact, omega-3's, calcium, protein and containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. These little tiny miracles are on my top 5 list of items to consume weekly and they are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Whether you buy the white or black seeds, they contain all the same nutritional properties, it's all just a matter of preference. Chia seeds are becoming fairly popular with exercise and running enthusiasts. These little tiny suckers can absorb 12x times their weight and allow for slow water absorption in the gut. Thats pretty damn fantastic! Especially for endurance athletes or individuals that sweat a ton when they work out (like me). Also they are great in smoothies and anyone looking to lose weight, these little gems are great at helping you feel fuller and eating less. They are great added to smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, juices, muffin batters, cookie doughs, breakfast breads, granola bar recipes and bread. I even sprinkle chia seeds on salads, soups and dare I say this, when I eat pizza, I sprinkle a little bit on top. (I'm hearing everyone either cringe in fright or hearing "oh that's a great idea"). There is a great toppings recipe that I make monthly, that I pretty much put on everything. If you're familiar with nutritional yeast (which I go through a bag a month of this stuff) take 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoon chia seeds (black or white), 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1T hemp seeds, 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Mix all together and store in mason jar for up to a month in fridge or cool, dry cabinet. Its great on salads, pasta, soups, pizza and really anything that strikes you fancy.

Ok, lets get down to brass tax and tell you all about this great Chia pudding recipe. I created this recipe when I was a private chef for a high profile family back in Chicago. The main principle wanted something to fuel his workouts and have a ton of energy. So low and behold this recipe came about. Chia pudding is great. It can be eaten as a breakfast item or if you have sweet tooth at night, this is a great alternative for a dessert.

Peanut Butter Cashew Chia Pudding

1-1/4 cup milk of choice ( regular, nut or oat)

1 cup vanilla yogurt (dairy free, regular or greek)

1/3 cup chia seeds (black or white seeds)

2T cashew butter

1/4 cup peanut butter

2T pure maple syrup

pinch salt

Toppings (Optional) Cacao nibs, strawberries, coconut flakes, dried berries

In a medium bowl mix together milk and yogurt. Stir together with a whisk until combined. Add Chia seeds and whisk in slowly. Stir to combine. Add rest of ingredients and make sure all ingredients are incorporated together. Allow to sit for 30 minutes in fridge. Chia pudding will keep for up to 1 week in fridge. Add your desired toppings. Enjoy.. :)

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