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Checking Into Chia: The "New" Seed On The Block

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Many people may remember seeing chia seeds in the TV ads for "the pottery that grows" in the '80s and '90s, but now you may be seeing them in the aisles of your grocery store. Once famous for creating a tabletop-sized plant in the shape of an animal or entertaining character, chia seeds are now rising in popularity among nutritionists and health food enthusiasts because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and antioxidants, The New York Times reports.

Looking to reap some of the benefits of these super-seeds? A the grocery store, you'll find them added to chips, granola and even fruit juices. Buying them in bulk, you can add them to virtually any food you make - from granola and yogurt to stir fry and salads - because they are flavorless but offer a pleasant crunchy texture comparable to flax seeds.

Here's one recipe from the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, borrowed by Shape Magazine, that might satisfy chocolatey holiday cravings with a powerhouse of nutrition. Tapioca fans will be particularly pleased with its texture, and chocoholics will love the flavor.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients for one serving

1/4 cup of chia seeds
3/4 cup of almond milk
1 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar

Mix together chia seeds and almond milk, then stir in cocoa powder and sugar. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes (or overnight) and then enjoy a thick, pudding-like consistency.

You can toss chia seeds into your banana bread or pancake recipe this holiday season to give your morning meal an extra nutritional punch. They are also a perfect topping for salads and baked fish. 

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