Audrey O’Connor: Healthy Mind, Healthy BodyWe recently teamed up with Audrey O’Connor for her ‘Pilates & Chill” event in Dingle by providing some Chia Bia goodies for all of her workshop attendees. We were delighted to learn that Audrey is also a chia seed superfan and has achieved amazing results personally from using chia. Audrey was delighted to share her story and some gorgeous recipes too, here’s what she had to say:
“These little wonders have become one of the most popular ‘superfoods’ especially within the wellness industry, which I have worked in for the past few years! I was first introduced to chia seeds over ten years ago. I always suffered digestive health issues and as a teenager I would feel lethargic and sluggish even though I was quite active and ate a balanced diet of homemade meals. My wise mother had heard about the wonders of chia seeds and began soaking a tablespoon of chia seeds in a glass of water each night and I would take it in the morning before school. It became part of my morning routine and the results really helped the regularity of my digestive system. The process of soaking the seeds in water made the seeds easier to consume and allowed the soluble fibre to be absorbed to function as a digestive aid. The gel like consistency made it easy to drink and within two to four weeks I could really feel the benefits of cleansing my digestive system and giving my body that kick start every morning.
Luckily for me, over the years brands like Chia Bia have really exploded onto the market. I love the entire Chia Bia range of seeds from milled seed, whole seeds and even chia flour! I have tested every recipe on their website and I even substitute eggs with chia eggs for so many of my own baking recipes (One tablespoon of milled chia with 3 tablespoons of water). Every week I make a little jar of Chia Jam – it’s so delicious, easy to make and is a brilliant way of getting chia seeds into your diet daily. I spread it on bread and pancakes and dollop it on my morning granola. Try it out for yourself! You won’t regret it and the recipe is so simple!
Whenever I travel abroad for Pilates workshops or holidays which is quite often, I always pack the easily resealable Chia Bia packs with me. I can add them to my morning granola or add almond milk and berries for some dreamy overnight oats and pop them into the fridge in my hotel room! These beauties are so versatile and not only do they add fibre and plant proteins to my meals but these seedy snacks are also increasing my energy levels enormously too!”
Chia Berry Jam
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 pomegranate (optional)
4 tablespoons of Chia Bia Whole Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons honey (If vegan substitute with maple syrup/agave)
1 squeeze of lemon
1. Slowly simmer raspberries and blueberries until soft, but not lumpy.
2. Take off the heat and stir in seeds, honey and lemon.
3. Pour into a jam jar and once cool store in the fridge for up to two weeks!
I don’t have to drink a glass of soaked chia seeds in the morning anymore so now instead I mix them with my favourite smoothie recipes. I love how chia seeds act as a thickener in smoothies – this allows me to skip adding the excess starches! The addition of the seeds into my snacks too definitely keeps me feeling fuller for longer between pilates classes and my own training.
My go-to chia seed snacks after training are my ‘Carrot Cake Protein Balls’ which are packed with flavour but with zero of the guilt!
Carrot Cake Protein balls
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded or finely grated carrot
2 tablespoons Chia Bia Milled Chia Seeds
1/2 cup of nuts of choice (I always pre-soak nuts)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/2 cup shredded coconut for dusting
Nut butter * Sub 1/2 oats with almond flour
1. Soak the dates for 5 minutes, drain & pop dates in the blender.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients slowly and blend (minus coconut)
3. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if necessary
4. Roll into 18 – 20 balls and roll in coconut & chill
Check out Audrey’s Instagram for all things health and wellbeing.