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photo: iStock

You can’t go on Instagram nowadays without seeing a picture of a chia bowl pop up on your feed. They look so delicious and healthy — but what’s with all the hype? What does a chia bowl do for me that a juicy burger can’t? The answer is a lot. Not every chia bowl is created equally — since you can opt for different toppings — but whether you’re topping it with berries or keep it plain, there’s a reason these bowls are all the rage. Even though they were coined 2013’s “It” food, chia seeds are gaining popularity across the country — and social media.

At the core level, chia seeds are the base of these bowls and are usually mixed with milk to get their creamy, fluffy texture? Coconut milk is the go-to, but almond milk and hemp milk work too! The seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family native to Mexico and Guatemala and were an important food crop for the Aztecs. The tiny seeds are jam-packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. All of these nutrients help your brain’s health, building stronger teeth and bones and is a good source of protein. With such beneficial health benefits, it’s surprising that we don’t add it to every single meal.

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Getting your chia bowl fix is incredibly easy, and since 80 percent of Americans eat breakfast at home and 45 percent are for including organic foods in their diets, this is a quick and healthy alternative to pancakes or cereal. An easy way to create your power breakfast is to combine one cup of your choice of milk and three tablespoons of chia seeds in a bowl and refrigerate them overnight. The chia seeds will expand and the mixture will turn into a loose pudding. The next morning you can top off your delicious and nutritious breakfast with fruit — such as kiwi, raspberries, pineapple — and some almonds and coconut flakes.

If you’re not into getting your hands dirty in the kitchen, then you’re bound to find a chia-serving spot in your neighborhood. If you’re in the Chicago area, a great place to snag a delicious chia bowl is at Owen and Alchemy. You’ll be able to partake in the glory of cashew yogurt, coconut milk, banana, chia seeds, oranges and grapefruit supremes and sesame brittle.

If you have any favorite places to indulge in chia bowls or have any recipes of your own, let us know in the comments section below. In the meantime, here is some chia bowl eye candy to give your taste buds something healthy to crave.

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1

Chic Bowl

Too cute to eat!
2

Berry Bowl

Time to load up on those beautiful berries.

3

Mulberry Magic Bowl

Just look at that incredible color.

4

Simple Bowl

Top it off with peaches and plums.

5

Smoothie Bowl

Chia seeds might not be the base, but it still makes an appearance here.

6

Porridge Bowl

Who can say no to shredded coconut?

7

Breakfast Bowl

We could wake up to this every morning.

8

Green Machine Bowl

A photo posted by @fitmom.2.three on

"Fresh" doesn't even begin to describe this amazingness.

9

Jam Packed Bowl

You can't go hungry with all of this deliciousness.

10

Perfect Little Bowl

Because a little can go a long way.

11

Fig Bowl

Decorative and delectable. 

12

Bright Bowl

Keep your Instagram game strong and your tummy full.