What are they? What do they taste like? What do I do with them? How are they good for me? Is it the same as a chia pet? (no!)
I am here to solve the mystery of the chia seed! I love these little things and have been incorporating them into my meals and snacks for a few years.
They have been around for thousands of years in fact they were a staple of the Mayan and Aztec cultures and the Mayan warriors would bring them along on conquests for energy. Chia means strength in Mayan.
Today Chia is being embraced as a super food.
Chia seed quick facts:
*Rich in omega 3 fatty acids in fact they have 8x more omega 3’s than wild atlantic salmon. AT 60% OMEGA 3’S, Chia seeds are the richest plant source of omegas. This is why I feel no need to take a fish oil supplement. Omegas 3’s reduce inflammation, reduce cholesterol, enhance brain function
* Chia seeds are a great source of plant based calcium, at more than 5x the amount of calcium that dairy milk contains.
* Gluten free
* Rich in fiber, 10 grams of fiber in 2 TBSP
* Rich in Iron ,zinc , phosphorus and magnesium.
* Contain the full spectrum of amino acids needed for muscle building and maintenance
* Chia seeds promote hydration, they can absorb more than 12x their weight in liquid, their ability to hold onto water can prolong hydration in your body so you can utilize body fluids better and maintain an electrolyte balance. The long distance running community has really used chia seeds to benefit them on long runs that are very taxing on the body.
* Chia seeds can be eaten and digested whole unlike flax seeds that your body cannot break down for digestion and must be ground up.
* Eaten on their own they have a slight nutty taste
* Can store at room temp and they can stay fresh for up to 4 years
* Can be used as an egg re-placer in cooking/baking. I have done this many many times and it boosts the nutrient content of the dish and works great. It forms into a gel much like an egg yolk when placed in water.
CHIA SEED RECIPE IDEAS:
Raw Chocolate-Chia Energy Bars
30 minutes or fewer
Whole CHIA seeds add nutritional punch and crunch to these chocolate treats.
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates
- ⅓ cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup whole chia seeds
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract, optional
- ¼ tsp. almond extract, optional
- 1 cup raw slivered almonds or raw shelled pistachios
- Oat flour for dusting, optional
1. Place dates in bowl of food processor; purée until thick paste forms. Add cocoa powder, chia seeds, and vanilla and almond extracts, if using. Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Add almonds; pulse until nuts are finely chopped and well distributed through date mixture.
2. Spread large sheet of wax paper on work surface, and dust with oat flour, if using. Transfer date mixture to wax paper, and use paper to press mixture into ½-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap tightly, and chill overnight.
3. Unwrap block, and cut into 8 bars. Dust edges and sides with oat flour, if using, to prevent sticking. Re-wrap each bar in wax paper
CHIA SEED RASPBERRY PROTEIN PUDDING
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 scoop protein powder any flavor you like
- ½ cup-3/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk, I like vanilla flavor
- ¾ cup fresh raspberries
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Let stand in refrigerator for 20-30 min
Take out and eat! Quick and easy evening snack before bed.
You can switch it up with any fruit you like, I like to do banana and cinnamon or maybe a blueberry vanilla. Options are endless.
You can now find Chia seeds in some grocery stores, the Kroger in my area now carries them. Any health food store will definitely have them