These days it is very trendy to label many edible things as "superfoods". Suffice it to say the term is overused! But for the sake of convention I will use the term but set guidelines of what is and what is not a superfood. A superfood is any food that has real health benefits, heaps of nutrition and no adverse effects when eaten in moderation. A super food is not any edible item that is newly to market and in need of a sales push. Since weat Nativegan adhere to the ancient belief that we are connected to all living things, all ingredients will be cruelty-free and vegan (as usual!).
You probably know how the non-edible chia seeds received their fame. The fame of the edible Chia seed is a much older tale and has no j-j-j-jingle. The Tarahumara tribe of the canyons of Mexico are long, lonnngg distance runners. They are also big proponents of eating chia seeds for endurance and recovery. They certainly were right! The chia seed is jam packed with good stuff like: omega-3s, tons of fiber and minerals. The omega-3s supplied are great for joint care and other properties of the seed keep you from dehydrating too quickly.
Both the chia seed and the maca root were used as currency by natives because of their known value as superfoods! Maca root is grown high in the Andes mountains of Peru. Inca warriors used to eat it before going into battle. It was said to provide energy and endurance. It was also said to provide virility which REALLY made it popular! This root veggie is full of amino acids (almost all of them!) and lots of minerals and vitamins. Also, maca has antioxidants to help ward of cancer and other killers.
A sweetener?! Yes, I'm listing a sweetener as a superfood. Why? Because it is wayyy better for us than processed and refined sweets like cane sugar. AND because there are real, tangible health benefits! One of those being its high manganese content. 3 tablespoons a day would provide your entire daily allowance. It's also contains a good amount of antioxidants and it is also anti inflammatory. However, we must respect that it is still a sugary food so moderation is highly recommended!
Vanilla and Chipotle Peppers!
Fine, I won't categorize these as superfoods but they are pretty terrific. Mostly, I just want to talk about them because they're in today's recipe! Also, they are indigenous to the Americas and they both have nutritional properties that make them super in their own way. The jalapeños that make the smoky chipotle peppers are high in folate and vitamin C. Vanilla has some of the most powerful aromatherapy, mood enhancing properties and it contains antioxidants. Vanilla is also known for having anti inflammatory properties.
So, that is about it. These are most of the ingredients for our recipe today. Almost all of them are native to this continent (everything listed above is). Okay, now let's make some food! Today's recipe is for roasted maca chia pudding:
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 c plant based milk (we used hemp)
1-2 tsp of roasted maca powder*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
A pinch of chipotle powder
*Please note: most maca is available, outside of Peru, in raw, powder form. Roasted powder is available but typically it's much more expensive. So we bought raw powder and roasted it by following directions found here: https://youtu.be/SBTtO6XPfEs . You can use raw powder, but we like the flavor and the additional health benefits of the roasted maca better.
This couldn't be easier to make! Just add all your ingredients together, saving the milk for last. Stir in the milk making sure to break up all the lumps. I like to make this mixture in a glass container with a lid, that way I can see the bottom and make sure all the chia seeds are mixed in. Refrigerate for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and stir pudding again making sure there are no lumps. If the consistency is to your liking you can eat it right away! If you wanted to be thicker leave it in the fridge for another 30 to 45 minutes. If it is too thick you can always stir in more milk.
You can use whole or ground chia seeds for this recipe. If you choose to use ground seeds you may need to use a little bit more milk. Also, you can blend the entire mixture before putting it in the fridge. Then you will have a pudding with a creamy or texture and not so tapioca-like.