I'm the type of person to get really hooked on one food and eat it so often I can't stand the thought of it anymore. It's been that way since I can remember. I was thinking the other day how as a kid I used to eat Tang (powdered, before it's been added to water) by the heaping spoonful in secret. Or I'd heat up tuna fish in tin foil with melted cheese on it and eat that as a snack. I have always had a weird relationship with food. I blame it on the addict's DNA I was born with. We simply seem unable to feel, comprehend, and follow natural urges to feel satiated.
I write in present tense here-- just the other day I was eating peanut butter by the heaping spoonful right before bed. Old habits die hard-- when I was a heavy drinker especially back in my 20's, we'd hit the Hardee's drive thru after midnight for half price burgers. I now cringe at the thought of fast food meat co-mingling in my belly with Jaegermeister.
The more things change, the more they stay the same-- isn't that the saying?
A few years ago when I started looking really closely at my diet and how food affects everything-- mood, digestion, elimination, skin clarity, hair and nail growth, muscle tone, stress, brain function-- everything-- I started trying super foods. These nutrient dense and protein-packed edible wonders make healthy eating more of a no-brainer and for someone like me, that's a pretty enticing proposition.
I think chia seeds were one of the first super foods I got hooked on. I put them in and on everything. Then it was cacao powder, acai, goji berries, kale... the list grew. I got bored of all of it but chia is something I have circled back to over and over again. They add protein (almost 5 g per ounce) plus they are rich in magnesium, calcium, and iron and add 10 g dietary fiber per ounce.
I use chia seeds most often in small quantities in smoothies or on oatmeal or cereal. Although I had heard about it for years, I'd never tried chia pudding until recently. So on a whim and with an abundance of bananas and chia seeds I made banana chia pudding. It makes a yummy snack or dessert. Here's the recipe I used which was just off the top of my head-- makes two servings:
2 bananas, blended till a thick liquid with an immersion blender
4 tsp chia seeds, added by stirring into banana (if you blend with blender they will break down and the dish will not have the same consistency, but no harm is done)
2 tsp raw local honey (optional- only necessary if you prefer more sweetness), mixed in
Pour the above into two glasses or cups or small dishes
2 tbsp raw cacao nibs (which also contain protein and magnesium), divided in half and sprinkled on top of each serving (in the photo below, I drizzled honey on top too because why not?
Let sit for about 30 minutes. Refrigeration will speed up the process.
Finding foods that make me feel clear headed, strong and balanced-- especially when they are delicious-- is something of a super power. When I indulge in too much starch, refined sugar, salt, or dairy (which I don't eat very much of these days-- slowly weaning off) I feel foggy, lazy, achy, bloated, and irritable-- not exactly my most kick-ass state to be in. It's a process of trial and error to find out which foods have that rock star effect on my psyche and body. I only know it when I feel it. Have fun exploring and enjoy!
This is so delicious I can't even stand it.