I had a hard core chocolate craving last night. This one was too strong to deny. Not only was it a chocolate craving, it was a chocolate milkshake craving. Double whammy! I set to work looking for recipe inspiration. Thank goodness for Gena’s blog, Choosing Raw! I made a slight change to one of her smoothie recipes, and Voila! My dessert was born! A dessert with 2 exciting aspects, Fair Trade Raw Cacao Nibs and Chia Seeds!
My Way Milkshake
– 1 cup Almond Milk
– 1 small frozen Banana
– 2 tblsp. Carob Powder
– 1 tblsp. Peanut Butter
– 1 tblsp. Chia Seeds
– 1 handful Ice
– Fair Trade, Raw Cacao Nibs
Place nut milk, banana, carob powder, PB, Chia Seeds, and ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with Cacao Nibs.
The Fair Trade, Raw Cacao Nibs are the perfect introduction for today’s green tip in honor of Earth Week:
- When buying chocolate, look for a brand with high cocoa content (more cocoa means higher quality and—at least potentially—more farm income). Look also for chocolate that carries a “fair trade” label or the mark of a similar socially responsible producer, and that is organic
What a wonderful excuse to buy high quality chocolate! It’s for the environment! Who can argue with that? Now on to the Fair Trade Label….
Buying Fair Trade labeled chocolate is responsible purchasing for both the environment AND for local farmers and communities. In fact, most Fair Trade certified chocolate can be traced to a specific farm! In order to receive a Fair Trade certification, a product must meet certain standards. These standards include:
- Paying farmers a fair wage, within the local context.
- Encouraging organic, sustainable farming methods, including shade growing and crop diversification.
- Following child labor laws.
- Providing a safe work environment, within the local context, and opportunities for advancement.
Next time you are shopping, look for this label:
You will be feeding your sweet tooth and helping to feed a community at the same time!
On to exciting ingredient number 2, Chia Seeds!
I was gifted with some Chia Seeds at work the other day, so I was looking for an excuse to bust those suckers out! Chia Seeds are a superfood eaten by the Aztecs. I am still a newbie when it comes to Chia Seeds and their health benefits, but here are a few reasons to consider adding them to your diet.
7 Good Reasons to Start Eating Chia Seeds
- Help weight loss. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper.
- Feel fuller faster: They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel.
- Hydration for athletes: They are also great for athletes because the “chia gel” can hydrate the body.
- Reduce your blood pressure: There’s evidence to suggest they can lower blood pressure.
- Omega-3: They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon!
- Benefits for diabetes: Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
- They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don’t need to be ground up.
I am not trying to lose weight. However, I love the other attributes of Chia Seeds. The Omega-3’s and superior hydration they provide are exactly what I am looking for!
Are you a Chia Seed user? What is your favorite recipe using Chia Seeds?