Pleased to see 60 Minutes doing a report on this important issue. Basically, if you have cancer, you should avoid sugar of any kind and if you don’t want cancer, I suggest that you limit your sugar intake.
Obviously you should also avoid “high fructose corn syrup”, and processed sugars. And if you want to lose weight, avoid things that quickly become sugar (white breads, potato, rice, alcohol, etc). Reducing these things has a major impact on your health. If you are looking for a healthy dessert that hits the spot, check out our chia seed chocolate pudding recipe.
CHIA SEEDS – NATURE’S LITTLE POWERHOUSE
The first time I heard of Chia was when Chia pets were popular in the 80’s – remember those “adorable” green leafy creatures that you grew by watering an animal shaped terracotta pot. Who knew then that beyond their ability to grow animals, Chia seeds are actually a dynamo superfood. Turns out that the Aztecs and Mayans in pre-Columbian times did! Chia was an important part of their diet and legend has it that a single tablespoon could sustain Aztec warriors all day. The seeds, which come from a plant called Salvia Hispanica are loaded with many healthy benefits.
They are the richest source of plant based omega-3 fatty acids (higher than flax seeds) – great news for vegans. Chia seeds provide an excellent source of fiber – both soluble and insoluble which helps you feel full and keeps things moving smoothly.
They are full of anti-oxidants, protein and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin and zinc.
Chia seeds look like tiny poppy seeds, have a crunchy texture and not much taste. You can sprinkle them on salads, oatmeal, yoghurt, add to baked goods, and to my personal favorite, a smoothie. Soaked in liquid and kept in the fridge, chia seeds expand to become almost pudding-like and in fact can be made into a delicious healthy pudding for breakfast or dessert .
Sarma Melngailis from the restaurant, Pure Food and Wine in New York City created this wonderful recipe in her book, Living Raw Food. I have adapted it slightly.
Chocolate Chia Pudding (serves 4 – 6)
1 cup chia seeds
3 cups nut milk, coconut or hemp milk
Sweetened to taste with stevia if desired
1 tsp vanilla – optional
1 – 2 TBS raw cocoa powder
Pinch of sea salt
Place the chia seeds, milk, stevia, cocoa and salt in a bowl (add vanilla if using) and stir well, so that there are no clumps and the chia seeds are coated in milk. Let sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate.
Please note – if you find that the cocoa is not stirring easily into the cold liquid, you may want to blend it into a small bit of the liquid first in a blender. Or, if not, put it in a large bowl and just keep on stirring it very quickly, and it will incorporate nicely.