Never heard of chia seeds? It’s time to try some chia seed recipes

Chia seed recipes aren't hard to prepare, but the payoff is huge. Look for the seeds at natural supermarkets or buy them online.

You might not have heard of chia seeds, but giving them a try is beneficial to your health. Adding the seeds to your healthy and well-balanced diet can improve your blood pressure and treat diabetes. It can also help with weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer. The high omega-3 content of a chia seed can also play a role in heart health by helping to prevent heart disease. Chia seed recipes aren’t hard to prepare, but the payoff is huge. Look for the seeds at natural supermarkets or buy them online.

Smoothies

Chia seeds have a nutty flavor, which makes them ideal for smoothies. They pair well with a variety of fruits and other ingredients, and they add lots of nutrition to your beverage. Combine one cup of frozen fruit, enough 100 percent fruit juice to cover the fruit, and a spoonful of Greek yogurt to the blender. Toss in a tablespoon or so of chia seeds and puree the mixture until smooth. Add a bit more juice as needed to thin the smoothie. Bananas, strawberries, kiwis, mangoes , raspberries, and melon work well. Mix and match your favorites to change your chia seed smoothie recipe so you meet different nutritional needs and keep things from getting boring with the same smoothie all the time.

Bread and muffins

Adding chia seeds to your favorite bread or muffin recipe lends it a bit of a nutty flavor without compromising the texture or taste too much. When you bake, adding just a tablespoon of chia seeds to your recipe increases the omega-3 and fiber content. Despite these benefits, some bread and muffin recipes are high in sugar and fat, so eat them in moderation to get the benefits of the chia seed without overdoing it. Add chia seeds after the batter is ready, but before you pour it into the pan. Be sure to mix the chia seeds in well to ensure that they are evenly distributed among each serving.

Cereal

Many types of cereal are healthy options because they contain whole grains, which offer up an abundance of fiber, iron, and B vitamins. However, other options offer little in the way of nutrition. Making your own chia seed cereal lets you control the ingredients so you can get the healthiest cereal possible without giving up good flavor. Mix chia seeds with oats, a pinch of cinnamon and sugar, and unsalted sunflower seeds. Boil the mixture until soft and thickened. Mix in fresh chopped fruit before serving. Bananas and berries work well.

For a dry cereal, combine oats with a pinch of nutmeg, and stir in a couple of tablespoons of honey and a drizzle of canola oil. Add the chia seeds and mix well. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray, spread the oat mixture evenly on the tray, and bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the mixture over Greek yogurt or combine it with dried fruit and nuts for a yummy trail mix recipe.