CHIA Seeds for Healthy Hearts

When I co-owned a health food store in Central PA, I purchased a “chia pet,” which was a small animal made of ceramic, with tiny holds on its body. I would soak my chia seeds until they were “gummy,” and then spread the soaked seeds all over the animal’s tiny holes. In a few days, I had fur in the form of chia sprouts. They are still available, as this photo I just found on the internet shows.  Little did I know then that they were packed with nutrition.

I also Googled Chia for its nutritional benefits and this is what I found on the ‘net in, But this list is only an excerpt, so I urge you to go to the website for a description of each of these points.

Nutrients in CHIA seeds:

  1. High in omega 3 fatty acids, which are linked “with heart health, reducing cholesterol, supporting brain and eye health, and with reducing inflammation.”
  2. High in fiber, with the whole or ground seeds providing about 40% of fiber, with 6 grams per tablespoon, much higher than brown rice, oats, and whole grain wheat fiber.
  3. High in calcium with more than 600mg of calcium per 100gr. About 2 tablespoons could provide 190 mg of calcium, which is about equivalent to a regular-size container of yogurt.
  4. Source of complete protein, that is, with all the essential or vital amino acids.
  5. High in antioxidants and phytochemicals, including quercetin and kaempferol, plus high ORAC rating (oxygen radical absorbance capacity).

Health Benefits of CHIA Seeds:

  1. Keep you feeling full longer
  2. Support your digestive track
  3. Improve your level of cholesterol
  4. Improve your blood sugar levels
  5. Are anti-inflammatory
  6. Good for vegetarians/vegans
  7. Protect the liver (as well as the heart)At the end of the article is this statement: “So now you know about their benefits, why not make yourself a tasty chia pudding for breakfast tomorrow?”                                                                         Joie’s RAW Healthy Crunch

    …….which is exactly what I did, using organic freeze-dried fruits from Joie’s Crunch. I met the enthusiastic owner, Joie Altabet, at a farmers’ market in Las Vegas when we visited my son last November during the Thanksgiving holiday. To learn more about Joie’s excellent products, go to (The photo above is from her website.)

Here is my first chia pudding using Joie’s freeze-dried, organic raspberries, but I made it again using the freeze-dried, organic strawberries, since I felt the raspberry seeds would not be pleasant for some people, since puddings are usually smooth, not crunchy. I used the same proportions for the strawberry pudding, but forgot to take a photo. I think I ate it up before thinking about a photo! Iloved the taste and even the texture, although the strawberry pdding was smoother.

CHIA Fruit Puddings

(Feel free to use any of Joie’s freeze-dried fruits or berries (raspberry, strawberry, mango, etc.)

Utensils: Blender, bowl for soaking, measuring cup, serving bowl
Prep. Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan, Gluten Free, Can be No Sugar Added as an option


1/2 cup Joie’s freeze dried fruit
1/2 cup coconut water or unsweetened fruit juice of choice”
2 Tablespoons (white) CHIA seeds
Dash of stevia or maple syrup (optional)
Unsweetened shredded coconut


  1. Place liquid, CHIA seeds, and berries or fruit in liquid right in the blender.  Allow to soak for 15 minutes.
  2. After soaking, blend until smooth, adding stevia or maple syrup, if you wish.
  3. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with coconut. Serve as is or chill before serving. (single serving)

Applesauce CHIA Pudding

This pudding uses Joie’s organic dried apples plus Vermont Village’s thick, organic applesauce.

Utensils: Blender, bowl for soaking, measuring cup, serving bowl
Prep. Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan, Gluten Free, Can be No Sugar Added as an option


3/4 cup Joie’s freeze-dried, organic apples
2 Tbl. (white) CHIA seeds
1 cup apple juice or other liquid of choice
2 Tbl. organic applesauce
Cinnamon for topping


  1. Place one cup juice in blender; add CHIA seeds and the freeze-dried apples. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.
  2. After soaking, add applesauce* and puree the mixture until smooth.
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serves one or two room temp or place in fridge for later.
    *Note: Vermont Village applesauce is very thick. If using thinner applesauce, you may need less liquid. Or try organic apple butter, which is also thick.


ABC* Pudding
*Avocado, Banana, CHIA Seeds

Note: Many people do not realize that avocado is actually a fruit, and in this pudding, it disappears so you don’t even realize it’s there, but you do get the benefits of this healthy fat.

Utensils: Blender, bowl for soaking, measuring cup, 2 small serving bowls or ramekins
Prep. Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan, Gluten Free, Can be No Sugar Added as an option


one cup coconut water (or other liquid, such as almond milk)
one small or 1/2 large, ripe, organic banana
one cup Joie’s freeze-dried organic, avocado pieces
2 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
1 Tbl. honey or 1/2 Tbl. maple syrup
Semi-sweet (vegan) chocolate chips


  1. Place freeze-dried avocado pieces in the blender with liquid and allow to soak for 25 minutes.
  2. After soaking, add cut banana, cocoa or carob powder, and sweetener.
  3. Blend until smooth. Depending on your palate, you can add more cocoa or carob powder for a very thick pudding. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
    Note: This makes about 1 1/2 cups, so I spooned the pudding into two small, ramekins.


I also used Joie’s freeze-dried mango to make a CHIA smoothie, but will save that for another posting.

Cashew Sauce over Roasted Veggies

We ate at an Indian restaurant recently and I ordered veggies in some kind of curried cashew sauce which I enjoyed, so I thought I would experiment at home with roasted veggies, instead of stewed veggies.

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, baking pan, small pot, bowl, platter and spoon for serving
Prep. Time: About 10 minutes
Cooking Time: About 20 minutes
Categories: Vegan (V), Gluten Free (GF), No Sugar Added (NSA)

Note: The beauty of this dish is that you can choose whatever vegetables appeal to you, keeping in mind they need to be cut about the same size in order for them to roast at the same time. (See my P.S. with alternative suggestions.)


2- 2 1/2 cups bite-sized (Organic) veggies, such as:
one carrot, scrubbed and cut into thin circles or toothpicks
one leek, washed with green tops removed (use for soup stock) & cut into circles
2 oe 3 cauliflower flowerets, washed and sliced thinly, lengthwise
4-5 Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and sliced thinly
3-4 small mushrooms, wiped with a wet cloth and sliced from top to bottom
2-3 Tbl. Ghee, butter, or your choice of oil for baking pan

1/2 cup soaked cashews (raw or roasted)
approx. 1 1/4 cups coconut water or water
Curry powder to taste (start with 2 teaspoons.)


Here are the veggies on the oiled baking pan. They tend to shrink when roasted,
so add more of each veggie for additional servings.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Soak cashews in warm water. (Best soaked earlier in the day for ease of making it into a puree.)

2. Scrub and slice veggies as noted above. Toss with 1 – 2 Tbl.oil, ghee, or butter.

3. Brush final Tbl. oil, ghee, or butter on baking pan. Spread prepared veggies and bake for about 20 minutes, turning at least once. They should be tender, but not mushy. (Feel free to sprinkle with salt and pepper.)

4. While veggies are roasting, drain soaked cashews, place in blender with coconut water (or water) and curry powder (start with 2 tsp.) and puree until smooth. If too thick to pour, add more (coconut) water and blend again. Also add more curry powder, if needed.

5. Place the cashew cream in a small pot and warm on the stove for about 5 minutes, stirring to avoid burning.

6. Remove veggies from baking pan and spoon onto a serving platter. Turn off stove and pour cashew sauce over the veggies and serve.

Yield: Serves 2 to 4 depending on if it is a main dish or side dish. For a main dish feel free to add a protein source, such as chickpeas.*

*P.S. On the Home Page for February I listed 10 foods from the Global Health Center site that are heart healthy, so you can use broccoli instead of cauliflower (although they are both good-for-you cruciferous veggies) and add thick asparagus stalks when  in season. Then serve a green salad using spinach, avocado or walnuts, olives, and chickpeas and you have a super heart-healthy dish!

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