This is my brain process about half an hour ago.
I need to do a blog post, but I’m not inspired. Maybe I’ll have a little snack. I’ve got those Chia Pod things in the fridge that someone sent me.
Opens Chia Pod – spends a long time looking down at what looks like frogspawn. Prods the frogspawn. Views alarmingly lifelike wobble. Decides it’s not food – but that it may be an alien life form. Or brains. Puts in spoon – tastes it anyway. Thinks not bad for tadpoles/edible alien. Takes it upstairs to start typing a Chia Pod Review.
What Are Chia Pods?
Chia Pods are the latest incarnation of this year’s hippest health food – chia seeds.
I’ve written about these before (in a post on why some types of chia seeds can lead to bloating) but now companies are not content with just giving you seeds to sprinkle on your cereal and yoghurt yourself – they are making creations.
Chia Pods are the first ‘creation’ I’ve seen here in the UK. There’s a reason for this – until this year Chia Seeds were only technically legally allowed to be sold in the UK as an ingredient for bread, however, brand The Chia Company applied for a license to add them to other foods which was approved in January.
Cue exciting new eating opportunities.
So, Are Chia Pods Healthy?
Yes, Chia Pods with just three ingredients – chia seeds, coconut milk and fruit – are seriously healthy stuff.
Described as chia porridge, they are designed to be eaten as a healthy breakfast, a snack or a dessert and contain about 130-170 calories (depending on the flavour), 5g of fibre, and a whopping 100 per cent of the recommended omega-3 you need each day.
Personally, I think they’d be better described as chia jelly or chia tapioca than porridge but that doesn’t sound quite so healthy!
I cannot emphasise enough how much they look like frogspawn.
Having never actually eaten frogspawn I can’t say if it also feels like this – but I think it probably does. Imagine eating jelly with little bits in.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it might be an acquired texture.
In terms of taste – my initial feeling is ‘they need sugar’ – they look like they should be sweet, but they aren’t.
They’re kind of bland.
Again, that sounds like a bad thing and I don’t want to put you off them, but they weren’t the taste explosion I was expecting.
The flavours are subtle – and I need a bit more of an intense taste to register with my tastebuds. So far I’ve tasted Blueberry, Mango and the Vanilla Bean one – yep, I got over my fear of how they look pretty quickly.
Of the three Mango is the sweetest but I think I prefer the Vanilla as the creaminess seems to over-ride the need for sugar.
So do I like them – weirdly yes, although I’m not sure I’d rush off to buy them as I do need more taste in a snack for it to satisfy me.
But considering they are wheat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and very healthy, I certainly wouldn’t turn them down if I had a fridgeful (which I do!).
It’s also claimed that they are excellent fuel for running – I didn’t try that today but I have got a pretty intensive exercise day tomorrow so I’ll breakfast on one and let you know.
Another bonus of Chia Pods – because the seeds are soaked, it’s less likely that they will trigger bloating, one of the side effects of chia (to find out more about why this happens or how to stop it, click here.)
Chia Pods: The Next Generation
Anyway, obviously, our Chia Seed Overlords didn’t create enough Pod people with their first incarnation as now, they’re expanding the range and branching out into breakfasts.
And pretty good they are too.
If you didn’t like that frog-spawny wobble, or (like I did) felt like the original puddings needed a little of sweetening, both your problems are solved with the arrival of their Chia and Oat based combos.
There’s three of them, so let’s take each in turn in a nice orderly fashion….(orderly, on this blog, I think they might have got me already)
Ready to Eat Oats+Chia: These come in sachets to which you just add water to make a porridge. There’s lots of fruit and the chia seeds give it a bit of a crunchy twist. They’re also super convenient – but if I’m honest, they’re my least favourite of the three.
They’re just a bit meh – although definitely not unpleasant. If I hadn’t had the other two products I’d probably have thought they were great. But I have so let’s move to….
Chia Pod Oats: The first pack of these I tried I didn’t read the instructions and ate it cold.
And loved it!
Then I realised you’re supposed to warm them up in the microwave, which I did. That I didn’t like as much as it became a bit more liquid in texture, dare I say it, even a bit slimy (probably as it’s main ingredient is Chia Seed gel) – but it is a really filling breakfast for 290 calories.
I waited to see how long it was before I needed food and lasted from 9am to 1.30 – and even then
I wasn’t starving. Normally I’m making my lunch at dead on 12.00. My fave flave is Apple Spice.
Bircher Muesli. Yes, I saved the best for last.
This is fantastic – particularly the Orange and Brazil nut flavour. Creamy, rich, oaty – but with that gooey chia sensation that I actually quite like giving it a bit of an extra something.
If I had to criticise, as with the original puddings, a tiny dab more sugar wouldn’t go amiss (although it does have some coconut sugar in it already) but as I live in a world of people giving up sugar right now, I’m probably alone with that particular comment.
It is the highest calorie offering at 340 calories a tub, but I was really impressed.
If this is what becoming a Pod Person feels like then sign me up. If you need me I’ll be forming a cocoon in the garden somewhere.
Where to Buy Chia Pods
If you want to try them, they are made by The Chia Co and stocked in health stores around the UK, US and Australia, Check their website here to find your nearest stockist.
But don’t blame me if it turns out they really are alien lifeforms and this is just a clever plan to take hold of the bodies of the healthy people. I’m still not totally ruling that out.
If I don’t post by Monday, send help. Ideally Will Smith. Or at a push Tom Cruise. And a cold virus.
Alien image: freedigitalphotos.net
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.