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Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding Is The Perfect Dessert

07/07/2014 02:23 EDT | Updated 09/06/2014 05:59 EDT

Do you remember the days of Chia Pets? And that commercial that just stuck in your head: Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Chia seeds are now not only known as a fuzzy green pet, but more recently for their great taste, versatility, and impressive nutritional benefits!

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These unprocessed seeds have been around for thousands of years. They come from a flowering plant in the mint family grown in Mexico, and were a staple in the diet of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Chia seeds were thought to have magical powers. Aztec soldiers would grind up the seeds and eat them for a boost of energy to sustain them over long periods of time.

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These little seeds -- which come in three colours: white, dark brown, and black -- contain a powerhouse of nutrients. They're packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fats. Chia seeds also contain a punch of protein and have a very high fiber content. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 10 grams of fiber (40 percent of your daily value!), and 20 per cent of your daily value for calcium. Unlike flaxseeds, they don't have to be ground in order for you to absorb the nutrients.

Chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their own weight in liquid. So, when you put the seeds in some sort of liquid such as milk, yogurt, or water, they expand and take on a gel-like quality after soaking for just a few hours. Chia seeds are so versatile. I add them to oatmeal, salads, granola, and baking.

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Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

1/2 cup skim milk (or milk alternative)

1/2 cup 0 per cent plain Greek yogurt

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Any toppings of your choice: fruit, granola, nuts, shaved coconut

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, cup, or jar. Cover and refrigerate. After 45 minutes, whisk again to disperse any seeds that have settled at the bottom. Cover and refrigerate for seven to eight hours, or overnight. Add toppings and enjoy!

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Source: Wealth of Health