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Chia Seeds!

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Chia seeds! Once we only knew them as the green hair on chia pets, now we are getting reacquainted with them as a powerful whole food in a tiny seed form. Here are a few good reasons to add them to your diet:

* They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, each tablespoon contains a gram of Omega 3 and 2.5 grams of Omega 6.

* They are complete with all essential amino acids, making them a great vegetarian source of protein.

* They provide phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.

* They contain 2 times more potassium than bananas, and 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries.

* They have 5 grams of fiber in each 1 tablespoon serving. That is a bit more than flax seeds, and since they are high in omega-3’s they stay fresh much longer than flax seeds do.

* When you hydrate the seeds in water the seeds absorb up to nine times their volume in water, this is useful both in keeping your body hydrated longer, and keeping hunger at bay.

* Chia seeds are also believed to slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars, thereby regulating and sustaining healthy blood sugar levels in the body.

* And finally, and perhaps most amusing they are neutrally buoyant so they are fun to add to any kind of clear beverage either hot or cold, once they swell up they swirl about like a natural boba tea.

How to use chia seeds:

The seeds are pretty much flavorless, just small, loudly crunchy and slightly nutty so you can add to baked goods, sprinkle them into cereal, or onto salads, just as you would with flax seeds. 

However they are digested best if they have been hydrated either by adding them directly to drinks and smoothies or you can also make them into a gel you can then use by adding a tablespoon or two to smoothies, juices, iced teas, salad dressings, puddings and martinis (just kidding about the last one… although it might be a good idea).

Chia Gel

You need:

⅓ cup chia seeds 
2 cups water

To make 2 cups:

Mix the 2 ingredients and store them in the fridge fridge for up to 2 weeks 

Chia Seed Aqua Fresca

You need:

10 ounces cold water
The juice of ½ a lemon
2 teaspoons chia seeds (any color)
Honey, agave or maple syrup to taste

To make 1 serving:

Mix all the ingredients, let soak for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then, add ice… drink and feel powerful.

 

Join the Discussion

  • Kimbriski

    Can they be used sported with the same nutritional benefits?  How about sprout in breads?

    • Kirstin

      Hi!
      I have not done this myself, and could not find any info on it, but usually sprouting grains increase nutrient content, and digestibility. Chia seeds do need a little extra care when sprouting…
      http://www.chiaseeds.us/how-to-sprout-chia-seeds.htm

  • ChiaMom

    For ease of digestibility you can also use micro-milled chia, such as the Running Food products. They blend easily in smoothies or yogurt and there is no crunch,  no seeds getting stuck in teeth, etc.  I use it every day! 

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