There are smoothies with oatmeal, smoothies with yogurt, smoothies with tofu, but the most common superfood used in a smoothie is chia seeds.
The chia seeds come from the Salvia Hispanica or chia plant, a flowering plant in the mint family. Its seeds are dark brown, oblong-shaped, and pops when pressed. The seeds also become coated with a gel when soaked for a long time.
The seeds were part of the daily diet of Aztecs during the Mesoamerican era. In modern times, these seeds have found themselves to be part of many varieties of food.
Let’s discuss more this superfood and how you should use them in your smoothie.
The Benefits of Adding Chia Seeds in Your Smoothies
Before smoothies, chia seeds are added to different food and drinks like peach cobbler, blackberry Jia jam, or chia lemonade.
The main reason why many people put chia seeds in their smoothies is the health benefits of this superfood. A regular banana or strawberry smoothie is already healthy. Can you imagine if you add chia seeds into it?
The serving size of 100 grams of chia seeds gives 17 grams of protein, 8.83 milligrams of niacin, and 34 grams of dietary fiber.
An average smoothie would require at least two tablespoons or 25 grams of chia seeds. You will still get 4 grams of protein, 2 milligrams of niacin, and 8 grams of fiber.
Expect a smooth-running digestive system and an overall healthy body. Also, chia seeds pack antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Other health benefits of this superfood are improving your body’s healing capability, reducing blood sugar levels, and even lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Aside from the health benefits you get, chia seeds in smoothies make drinking a healthy smoothie fun. It is also gluten-free, so it is good for the extra-health conscious. No need to worry too about the costs since a single two-pound pack of chia seeds costs roughly $15.
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like in a Smoothie?
First, it gives your drink a unique look and prevents it from being visually monotonous, just like any other smoothie. Think of a vibrant pink strawberry smoothie with white swirls from the milk and black speckles from the seeds. It looks good, especially on social media, if you are the type to share your food.
Second, it adds another layer of texture to your drink. Typically, drinking a smoothie feels like drinking semi-melted ice cream. It feels heavy on the tongue due to its dense texture.
When bitten, chia seeds give a “pop” in your mouth. Add the chunks of mango or strawberry; you now have a chia seed smoothie that is more fun to drink.
How Should You use Chia Seeds in a Smoothie? Is It Better to Blend Them?
Typically, chia, soaked or not, seeds are added into the drink directly for added crunch or blended first with water to create a gel-like substance.
There is no better way here. Different people preferred both. Also, both are more fitting in certain situations. For example, if you have braces on your teeth, it is better to soak and blend it first to keep the seed soft.
When you soak chia seeds in water, they expand in size and clump up to form a gel. They lose their crunch but makes them easier to swallow. People with problems in swallowing and digesting should add chia seeds that are soaked.
More and more people are recommending to soak the seeds overnight before incorporating them into your food. Soaked chia seeds are easier to digest and helps your stomach to digest other food. The nutrients are also absorbed faster.
Protips: Whenever I decided to soak chia seeds, I always use almond milk instead of water and save it in the refrigerator overnight. You will get almond chia puddings, which is a perfect pair for your smoothies.
Other people grind it first to make it into a powder. The powder one makes it easier to mix into the drink. Ground chia seeds give the same health benefits without the crunchy texture, making them appropriate for teas and even chicken breading.
When storing them, please keep them in an airtight container and avoid putting moisture inside the container, which could happen when you have wet hands and reach into it.
Blueberry Chia Seed Smoothie Recipes
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1½ cup of frozen blueberries
- 1 cup apple
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- shredded coconut for toppings
Fruit smoothies with chia are always a hit in all seasons, including this classic blueberry smoothie.
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. A useful tip is to blend the ingredients in short bursts instead of a straight minute to ensure a smooth consistency.
Winding it Up
Add chia seeds in your smoothies; whatever the recipe, it is a no-brainer. It doesn’t change the taste but only gives you a different texture depending if you use non-soaked or pre-soaked chia seeds.
With all the benefits from this superfood, there is no reason not to include it in your smoothie.