Happy Belated Pi Day! I posted a great Chocolate Paleo Pie yesterday for Pi Day… but wanted to actually MAKE a pie on Pi Day (3/14 = 3.14 or π) as well. So, with blackberries in hand and a set of gluten free frozen pie crusts in the freezer, I did a quick internet search for “paleo blackberry pie” and came across this great little blog called Kokopaleo. The author posted a recipe for Summer Blackberry Pie and considering the horrible winter we’ve had this year in the North East, I thought a lil’ bit of summer sounded perfect. I was also curious about the addition of chia seeds to this recipe!
Not sure what chia seeds are? According to WebMD:
Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. “Chia” means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, andcalcium.
Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel.
Chia has become an “It Food” over the last few years. Recent studies show numerous benefits, including these Top Ten:
So you can see why I was excited to find a dessert that would actually be HEALTHY as well!
Blackberry Chia Pi
You can find the original recipe here, which includes a recipe for homemade pie crusts!
Pie crusts of choice (I used WholeFoods frozen gluten free)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 14 oz containers of fresh blackberries
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup organic 100% pure cane sugar
Preheat oven according to directions on pie crust packaging for baking a pie with filling.
In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Add the blackberries and water and continue to simmer over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to bubble and the fruit and fluids begin to cook down.
Place chia seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and process until fine (about 60 seconds).
Add about 1/4 cup of sugar to the berries and mix well. You can omit the sugar all together, but my berries were pretty tart so I thought sugar was needed. I think you could also easily use organic honey or coconut sugar as well.
Once the liquid has reduced a bit, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chia seed powder. Be sure to mix well, which may take a minute or two to get it evenly distributed (so the chia seeds don’t stick together).
Pour the mixture into the pie crust and using the second crust (if pre-made) decorate the top of the pie as desired. I did this:
Bake according to the crust packaging. For me, that was 325 degrees for 65 minutes. I always like to put my pie on a cookie sheet as well, just in case there is any spillage (this makes for much easier clean-up!)
Remove the pie and let cool. Yes, that’s a slice missing from my pie because I wanted to taste it last night, but it was too dark to get a good picture!
The pie was good! It was still somewhat tart and the texture might be a bit strange for some folks (if you’ve never baked or cooked with chia seeds before). The consistency of the pie is very similar to cooked hot cereal (like farina), but I don’t mind that at all. I think this would be great warmed up and topped with a little bit of vanilla ice cream!
The one interesting thing is how the whole blackberries are pretty much non-existent in the final product! I think this is because chia seeds can absorb 10x their weight in water/fluids and it’s my guess that this function causes the berries to burst and be “absorbed” by the chia seeds. It’s a pretty cool phenomenon!
I will definitely dabble in baking with these again! I ate one slice and was SUPER full! Not too shabby an appetite suppressor. 😉