Phoebe Canakis of Phoebe’s Pure Food offers these three recipes for easily adding chia seeds to your diet.

CHIA SEED PUDDING

1 cup raw cashews

1½ to 2 cups nondairy milk, coconut water or lite coconut water

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon or more raw organic agave, optional (You may like it less sweet. Taste first and add more if you like.)

Combine cashews, milk, vanilla and agave in a blender. On high speed, blend until creamy.

Stir in chia seeds, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to “gel.”

You may want to add more liquid, but wait until the pudding has set. If it is too thin, add a teaspoon of chia seeds.

Makes 4 servings.

Notes: Serve for a late-night snack, dessert or breakfast. Try adding coconut cream, a splash of orange blossom/rose water, chocolate powder or honey.

BLUEBERRY CHIA SEED SMOOTHIE

1 cup unsweetened organic almond milk or other non-dairy milk

1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

3 ounces fresh organic spinach

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons hemp seeds, optional

1 tablespoon organic raw agave OR 2 teaspoons local, unrefined honey

1 cup ice

Put all ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.

Serve cold.

Notes: Try substituting kale for spinach and/or adding a teaspoon of cinnamon.

BLUEBERRY CHIA QUICK BREAD

This vegan quick bread is delicious straight from the oven but even better toasted the next day, Canakis says.

3 cups spelt or whole-wheat white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 teaspoons fresh orange zest

¼ cup organic raw agave

¼ cup organic applesauce

½ cup non-dairy milk or unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup orange juice

¼ cup raw organic coconut oil, melted (or substitute a neutral-flavored oil)

Generously grease a standard loaf pan with coconut oil.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and chia seeds in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the zest, agave, applesauce, milk and orange juice. Slowly incorporate the coconut oil, whisking. This will prevent the oil from clumping if the other liquids are cold.

Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until just combined, adding the berries halfway through.

Spoon into loaf pan and allow to rest as the oven heats to 350 degrees. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Notes: To prevent the oil from clumping when combined with the liquid ingredients, be sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

For a gluten-free version, substitute a gluten-free baking mix for the flour.

Try with strawberries, raspberries, cherries or peaches instead of blueberries.



Mary Beth Schweigert writes for the Lifestyle section of Lancaster Newspapers. She can be reached at mschweigert@lnpnews.com or (717) 291-8757. You can also follow@mbschweigert on Twitter.