This is the story about how I spent a ridiculous amount of time wandering around the blogosphere, discovering stuff I had never heard of.
Oh, I’m not even going to go into the fabulous Iranian dishes and Goan recipes I have been perusing on Fae’s and Nandini’s blogs, no. I am just talking about stuff people eat every day and that I had never heard of.
It could have been a bad pronounciation of the Italian “ciao!” or an Australian saying “chair”, but it isn’t. It is, in fact, a seed of a plant in the mint family of South American origin frequently used to make müesli-like breakfast dishes. Since I love müesli, semolina, tapioca, porridge, Ready Brek and other slightly sticky textures like that (polenta, riz au lait…), I thought I’d give it a try.
I saw two recipes: On Arielle’s blog With All My Affection, and on Charlene Chic. One recipe is vegan, one is not, but they are very similar and look great. Then again, maybe these ladies just take better than average photographs.
I went to the health shop to enquire about chia seeds. Holy moley! 6 Euro 10 for one little bag! Porridge oats definitely have the advantage, here. Even organic ones are cheaper than that.
Also, almond milk (for the vegan version) was €4,60. Wow. Organic semi-skimmed milk is under €1/litre.
Preparing the seeds is very easy. There is no cooking involved, just soaking, then refrigerating.
What you need:
- chia seeds
- liquid (milk, soy/rice/almond milk and/or yogurt)
- flavouring (optional), like vanilla extract
- fruit (optional), fresh or stewed
The proportions are roughly 1 cup of liquid for 1/3 cup of chia.
All you really do is mix it all up, but I found that the chia settled at the bottom of my milk/yogurt combo and was a little lumpy. I think it’s a good idea to stir it a few times in the first half-hour of soaking, before you put it in the fridge overnight.
As taste goes, it’s quite neutral, as expected, but creamy with a little bite and a great canvas for the fruit. (Despite being related to both mint and sage, it’s not one bit minty.) I like the texture. It’s cool and filling and got me through the morning without eleven o’clock cravings. Full marks for that! It would also make a nice dessert.
I might try it with some orange blossom water and a little honey next time, or else I’ll dollop on some caramel au beurre salé. Yum!