I was not exactly sure what to call this beverage because it does not exactly fall in the drink category as it has more than enough nutrients to be called a full meal replacement on its own. I landed on calling this creation exactly what it tasted like, heaven. This chia layered recipe is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid and fiber at 10g per ounce equal to 2 tablespoons. That is already 40 percent of your dietary fiber allotment for adult women daily and 26 percent for men. Talk about a simple way to fit fiber filled foods into your diet.
I want to discuss chia seed in more detail for a second because many of my family and friends are unfamiliar with chia. As a dietitian some things regarding food choices, nutritional content of foods, and health benefits for the body gained from specific foods come to me like second nature. I need to remember to slow down, explain, and virtually teach what I am making and why. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have had people ask me “what is chia seed?”, “like the plant, chia pet?”. It use to surprise me, but now I realize there is so much to be learned when it comes to eating healthy and I am happy I can help with that. Chia seed is an edible seed that is derived from a desert plant. I learned that the word “Chia” actually means strength which makes sense because the ancient aztec culture use to eat these little seeds as an energy booster. They have a mild, nutty flavor which makes them extremely versatile. You can add them to liquid forming a gel or sprinkle on top of any type of food you prefer (breakfast, lunch, or dinner). For this particular recipe, I obviously choice to form the gel/pudding like substance for my smoothie/beverage. I haven’t even mentioned the best part, these seeds are naturally gluten/ grain free. This 7 layered chia heaven is a great option for people who not only have a gluten intolerance, but it is also dairy free and made from all organic produce.
In addition to chia seed’s omega-3 and fiber goodness, it also contains protein and minerals including zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Consuming chia seed regularly as part of your healthy diet may help to improve cardiovascular risk factors. Chia may help lower cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
7 Layered Chia Heaven
Preparation: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 (12oz cups)
- 2 Tbsp chia seed
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 banana
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 cup homemade whipped coconut cream
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup black berries
1. For the first layer, combined the chia seed, almond milk, cinnamon, and 1/2 banana (save other half). Blend for about 10 seconds or until ingredients are well mixed. Place content in a tupperware container and refrigerate for 30min-1hr. Personally, I did this step the night before because I always make a large amount of this cinnamon chia pudding to use with multiple meals over the next couple days. The longer the chia has to refrigerate, the thicker it will get, which is my preference. I used my bullet, but any blender would would and the process truly does take a couple minutes.
2. Blend strawberries and pomegranate seeds.
3. Blend spinach, avocado, and the other 1/2 of the banana.
4. Blend blueberries and blackberries.
5. Add all the layers together (the chia, strawberry/pom, avocado layer, the ready made whipped coconut, gluten free oats, berry mix, and more of the chia layer to started with). Top with fresh berries and pomegranate seeds (optional).
This entire recipe only requires you to throw the ingredients in the blender, turn it on, and stack the layers. The easiest way to do this with minimal dirty dishes is to use two cups. I used the cups that double as the blending cup. Blend one layer, dump it into the cup you will be drinking from, then rinse and start again. Sometimes making pretty recipes can leave you with a messy kitchen, I am definitely always proud when I get quicker and cleaner in the kitchen with any recipe.
Keep Visualizing Nutrition with me!
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN