my 3 fave ways to use chia seeds

chia seeds

In the past year, thanks to some of my favorite bloggers {I’m looking at you, Julie and Lindsay!} I’ve been introduced to a nutritional powerhouse: chia seeds! In just one tablespoon of chia seeds, you get six grams of fiber, three grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are three of my favorite, no-fuss ways to use chia seeds in my daily life:

1. Smoothies. Just sprinkle some chia seeds on top of your fruit and ice and blend away! A smoothie combo I’ve been loving lately is strawberry + banana + mango.

smoothie

2. Salads. I love adding a tablespoon of chia seeds on top of my favorite healthy chicken salad.

chicken salad lunch

3. Baked goods. Stir a spoonful of chia seeds into your muffin or bread batter — or hey, why not even try some in brownies, cookies or cakes? I just made a batch of chocolate-chip banana muffins with some chia seeds added in!

banana muffins

When the weather cools down a little, I know I’ll be switching out my breakfast smoothies for a warm bowl of oatmeal — another great dish to sprinkle chia seeds on! I’ve yet to try overnight oats but I’ve heard chia seeds are a crucial ingredient in helping the oat mixture thicken overnight. This and this are both on my “to try” list of recipes!

Have you ever tried chia seeds? If so, what are your favorite ways to use them?

baked cinnamon french toast

Do you have stale bread to use up? This recipe for baked cinnamon French toast is a winner! As soon as I saw this drool-worthy recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s blog, I knew I had to make it.

The recipe would be perfect for a weekend brunch, and it’s so easy you could make it on a weekday, too! Here’s my recipe, slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s original version:

baked cinnamon french toast

  • 1 loaf slightly stale sourdough or French bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

for the topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cold butter
  • fresh fruit {optional}

1. Grease a 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.

torn bread

2. Beat eggs. Add the milk, cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, and vanilla.

3. Pour the egg mixture evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.

with egg

4. In a separate bowl, make the topping: mix flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, and salt.

5. Cut butter into small pieces.

6. Stir the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine pebbles. If you are baking the casserole in the morning, keep the topping in a plastic bag or container in the fridge until ready to bake.

7. When you’re ready to bake the casserole: preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

8. Remove casserole from the fridge and sprinkle flour crumb mixture over the top. {If you’re using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture. Next time, I’m going to try using apples. I think strawberries would be delicious, too!}

9. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.

french toast

10. Scoop out individual portions with a large spoon. Top with more fruit if desired and drizzle with maple syrup.

Enjoy! Store any leftovers covered in the fridge and microwave to reheat. I enjoyed this dish for a decadent breakfast three days in a row. 🙂

How do you add little moments of luxury to your weekday routine?