Recipe: raw apple, cinnamon and chia seed pudding
Do you crave a healthy dessert but don’t have time or feel like doing too complicated stuff? This recipe is super fast and easy to make (literally 5 minutes!) and it also tastes amazing! 🙂 Plus, it really is a “superfood” dessert!
Here, we combine apples with chia seeds and cinnamon.
When mixed with water, chia seeds can absorb the water for about 10 times their own weight and form a gel. This property turns them ideal to use in raw healthy puddings!
Besides giving this nice jelly consistency to our dessert, chia seeds have also a great nutritional value. They are rich in fiber, omega-3 fat (alpha-linolenic acid), vitamins (namely, vitamins A, Bs, E) and minerals (such as, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, boron). Also, chia seeds are a complete protein, meaning that they contain all the essential amino acids.
Chia seeds (Salvia Hispanica) can support digestive health (due to the amount of fibers they contain), cardiovascular health, bone and dental health (they contain a high amount of calcium and boron) and muscles (they are high in protein). For example, a study conducted in patients with type 2 diabetes found that consumption of chia seeds during 12 weeks led to a decrease of a major cardiovascular risk factor (systolic blood pressure) and C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation) . They can also improve postprandial glycemia and prolong the feeling of satiety .
Because of their high-content of omega-3 fats, they can help fight inflammation-related disorders. For example, it was found that the alpha-linolenic acid (present in chia, flax and hemp seeds) can limit the growth and promote apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells without harming normal cells  (these are promising results, however this study was done only in cells, much more research has to be done to prove the benefits in vivo).
Interestingly, chia can also enhance performance for endurance events lasting longer than 90 minutes ! In this study, athletes were divided in 2 groups: one who did the traditional “carbo-loading” before competition (consuming a lot of carbohydrates, mainly refined sugar and food made of refined flour) and another who did 50% “chia-loading” and 50% “carbo-loading”. They found no difference between groups, showing that a “chia-loading” can also be as good for performance as eating just unhealthy carbohydrates. For me, this is one more indication that the common belief that high-performance athletes need to consume high amounts of sugar before competition is not correct. Sugar can be replaced with healthier alternatives and this study was just one more indication of this.
Another ingredient that we use in this recipe is cinnamon. In my opinion, apple and cinnamon really go well together. Besides the great taste, cinnamon is also a very healthy spice. It lowers blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes , reduces blood pressure , fights infection since it has a high anti-microbial activity against many bacteria types [7-12], improves memory [13, 14], is neuroprotective and could potentially help preventing Alzheimer’s disease possibly due to its positive effects on insulin sensitivity and its associated changes in the brain (insulin resistance leads to memory impairment) [15-17], alleviates menstrual pain and bleeding [18, 19], among many other medicinal properties. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it can also be used as a natural food preservative [20, 21]. Also, cinnamon can alleviate muscle soreness after exercising . That being said, if you are taking blood thinning drugs (anticoagulants) like aspirin, you should be extra cautious with high cinnamon consumption, specially the type C. cassia (or Cinnamonum iners), because this type of cinnamon is by itself a blood thinner (contains the substance coumarin).
Healthy dessert: raw apple, cinnamon and chia seed pudding
Preparation time: 5 min
– 5 organic apples
– 70 g of organic chia seeds
– 2 teaspoons of organic cinnamon powder
– 100-150 ml of water (you have to check the amount of water needed, since it depends on how juicy and big your apples are, but try with this amount and add extra water if needed)
– 1 tablespoon of organic raw extra-virgin coconut oil (optional)
– 2 walnuts for topping (or other nuts of your choice)
1. Wash the apples, cut them into quarters and put them in your blender.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the walnuts.
3. Run the blender until your mixture is homogeneous and has a gel-like consistency.
4. Put the mixture in a nice glass and top it with a bit cinnamon powder and crashed walnuts.
5. (Optional) You can put it in the fridge for about 30min so that the pudding gets even thicker and a more stable consistency.
6. Voilà! Enjoy your healthy and tasty pudding! 🙂
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