Chia Seeds: A Super Food!
Over the past few months we’ve noticed a higher-than-normal demand for chia seeds in our store. We wondered why. Quite frankly, we think it has something to do with Dr. Oz. But the question is, “What is it that makes chia seeds so alluring?” Here’s what we found out:
- Energy. Used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a main energy source.
- Fiber. They offer 11 grams of fiber per ounce – that’s a whopping 41% of the daily recommended value!
- Omega Fatty Acids. If you’re not a fish eater, omegas can be hard to get. Chia seeds are jam-packed with omega-3s and omega-6s.
- Protein. It’s a complete and clean protein!
- Weight Loss Aid. Sprinkle on salads, smoothies, soups, and casseroles. The high fiber provides bulk, meaning you feel more satisfied at meal time.
- Balance Blood Sugar. The unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down the body’s conversion of starches into sugars.
Chia seeds absorb 9 times their weight in water! Put 1 tablespoon of chia, in 9 tablespoons of water and watch them expand and create what’s called chia gel. Chia gel can then be added to whatever you like. It also makes a perfect egg substitute. You can also add them unsoaked to whatever suits your fancy.
Now go get yourself some chia and see what they can do for you. Here are a couple recipes to get you started:
At The Yummy Life you can get recipes for 14 different flavors of Overnight, No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal. It is sooo good. Don’t miss out on a super easy, healthy, and filling breakfast.
You can find recipes for chia seed pudding all over the internet, but this one from What’s Cooking Good Looking is particularly good.
Enjoy your chia seeds and here’s to good health!
Here are some extra tidbits and other recipes that you can enjoy!
As a child chia seeds were known in our everyday language as a terra cotta animal shape that was purchased. These shapes had grooves and moistened chia seeds would be placed on the grooves and within a couple of weeks these seeds would sprout and grow and resemble hair and fur for the animal.
Today is a much different conversation about chia seeds. I am impressed each time I study a new grain or seed to see the nutrition and the variety of used for each. Chia is no different. Chia is a complete protein. 1 ounce of chia seeds = 4 grams of protein. In addition to protein, these powerful seeds contain, fiber, calcium, omega 3 fats, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and vitamin B2.
Where did this amazing seed originate? “Chia” means strength, and was thought to provide supernatural powers to the Mayans and the Aztecs. Chia seeds were cultivated by the Aztecs and Mayans in pre-Columbian times and was a staple food for these ancient cultures. Jesuit chroniclers placed chia seed as the third most important crop in the Aztec culture, behind only corn and beans, and ahead of amaranth.
Chia can be eaten whole, ground into flour, mixed as an ingredient in drinks and pressed for oil. I consider this a staple for my food storage and a grain that I use every day. I add to smoothies, hot cereal, yogurt. I make a chia gel and add to my guacamole. South American runners make a drink called Iskiate which includes chia seeds, lemon or lime, and water which is delicious. Challenge yourself today to incorporate chia into your daily diet and feel the results.
Chia Fresca / Iskiate
2 T. chia seeds
2 cups water
1 lemon or lime juiced
1T honey or agave
Mix all ingredients together in a suitable container and let cool in the fridge for minimum 2-3 hours. The is the perfect drink for sports and working out. Contains all the electrolytes and antioxidants that you need!
One of my favorite ways to eat chia is chia pudding. This is delicious and a healthy snack for kids any time of the day.
2 cups milk (dairy, almond, or coconut)
1/3 Cup chia seeds
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all four ingredients in a large bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Granola and berries
Pinch of salt and a drizzle of caramel sauce
Fresh cut fruit
Cocoa powder for chocolate chia pudding
2 T. Chia Seeds
3/4 C Water (I prefer distilled)
- Combine water and chia seeds in a bowl or jar.
- Use a fork to stir vigorously for 45 seconds, making sure to fully submerge the seeds to get them nice and wet.
- Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Use a fork to stir vigorously (again) for 45 seconds, making sure to break apart any clumps in the chia seeds that may have formed.
- Keep a close eye on your mixture – it should be ready to use within the next few minutes!