WHAT IS IT? Chia seeds are the healthy hipster ingredient du jour. Packed full of vitamins, minerals and omega oils, they hail from Latin America and are feted for their hydrophilic properties, absorbing up to 12 times their volume in liquid. They have little or no flavour of their own so, like couscous, the trick is to add plenty of spices and flavourings. They can be scattered atop of pretty much anything or soaked to make a tapioca-style pudding.
WHY IS IT QUESTIONABLE? They are perhaps a bit too healthy hipster and could easily be grouped in the same "worthy but unpronounceable" category as freekeh, quinoa and spirulina. The whole water absorption thing does mean that they do develop a slightly slimey texture. And finally, and we have to be be honest here, they get totally stuck in your teeth... you thought raspberry seeds were annoying!
SAUNDERS SAYS: "I like them. It's what frogspawn should taste like. Try with dried mango and banana for your morning food fix."
SYMONDS SAYS: "Complete convert. I am pretty cynical when it comes to obscure but healthy ingredients but find myself reaching for the chia seeds on a regular basis. I have combined them with milk, nutmeg and dried fruit to make my spin on a rice pudding, and mixed with cacao, coconut milk, bananas and honey to make a pretty delicious chocolate pudding. Totally delicious."
THE VERDICT? 10/10. Worth a try.
(the chia pudding in the video was made with cacao, banana and peanut butter with a little honey to sweeten. The jar makes it super easy to mix)