Do you know about Chia Seeds? No, it's not just a sprouting pet. There is much more to Chia Seeds than cats and rabbits made of green grasses. I'm gonna tell you all about them, why you want to eat them, and how to make them taste yummy and delicious! First off, this little seed from the plant salvia hispanica (a member of the mint family) and was grown by the Aztec Indians. It was one of the major crops, as they used it as food, medicine, in ceremony and fed it to the animals. Interesting stuff!
The main point? I love making Chia pudding with coconut milk, fresh fruits, raw honey, and vanilla !!! I want you to love it as much as I do :)
Chia is a SUPERFOOD. Period. You can add it into your baking, smoothies, cereals, oatmeal, raw puddings, and all sorts of other things to receive the million benefits. It's a great source of protein and every amino acid there is, so there is no excuse to avoid this food. No one is allergic to it and because it is so neutral, you can create a healthy tasty dish at any time. Keep reading for info and recipes.
Benefits of Chia:
* Chia is an evidence-based registered variety of Salvia hispanica L. and is nutritionally superior to flax and soy. Chia is the richest non-marine whole food source of Omega-3 and dietary fiber currently known to man.
* Promotes Cardiovascular Health: According to the American Heart Association, Omega-3 fatty acids (see below for more in Omega-3) can normalize blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, while helping promote healthy heart and blood vessels.
* Assists Joint Function & Mobility: With six times more calcium than milk, and with greater amounts of high-quality protein than the one found in soy, Chia also helps strengthen muscles and bones.
* Improves Digestion & Natural Detoxification : Chia can absorb a whopping 12+ times its weight in water – flax seed only absorbs 6-8 times its weight. Chia´s insoluble fiber reduces digestive transit time and removes toxins as it passes through the digestive tract.
* Supports Healthy Weight Loss: Chia´s high fiber content and its ability to reduce blood sugar levels after meals inhibits the appetite, thus making it the perfect food for healthy, effective weight loss. Thanks to its neutral flavor and color, Chia integrates seamlessly into any healthy recipe.
Random Chia Fact:
Because it is a seed with special powers, it can be stored at room temperature for up to five years.
To sum it up...
* Chia is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, niacin.
* Contains all essential amino acids.
* Vitamins B, D & E.
* 20% protein by weight
* More digestible protein than beans, soy or peas.
* 8.7 times the omega-3 in wild Atlantic salmon.
* 5.4 times the calcium in 2% milk.
* 2.7 times more iron than raw spinach.
* More antioxidants than blueberries.
* Mucin - reduces inflammation in digestive tract.
Ok, so you get the medicinal benefits of chia! Great. You know it's good for you. But, how do you eat it? How do you incorporate Chia into your life? Here is how. You just do it :) And these are my suggestions.
Go to the health food store on online and find organic chia seeds. They are very small and black or gray. Ask someone to help you find them if they are hiding.
Chia pudding can be used to make the following recipe or anything you wish to make up! This gel is also good for vegan baking. Keep reading for more on vegan baking with Chia.
To make a gel-like pudding you begin by soaking them.
-Add ı/3 cup of seeds to 1 cup water and 1 cup of coconut milk, 1/2 tablespoon raw honey, & 1Teaspoon Vanilla; stir gently with a wire whisk off and on for 5 minutes to prevent clumping, and store in a sealed container in the fridge.
After it is gelatinous (half hour or so) add in some diced fruits and berries!
I personally like nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, kiwis and MANGO is my favorite.
-Add the chia gelatin to any smoothie!
-Sprinkle dry seeds in salads!
For vegan baking, 1/4 cup of chia gel acts as an egg replacement.
Chia is wonderful for gluten free baking, because it is an excellent binder and thickener. It can be used in many recipes that call for ground flax seed, but it’s a good idea to use ½-2/3 as much because it is a more powerful binder. The amount needed may depend on the recipe, and might take a little trial and error. A small amount of chia can also replace xantham or guar gum. For most recipes, ¼ to ½ teaspoon of ground chia can serve as a binder.
Rather than using the standard flax “goop” of ground flax seeds and water, replace it with ½ of the amount of ground chia seeds. The seeds should be added to the liquid ingredients, like water, milk, juice, etc. and allowed to sit until it forms a gel, which takes about 20 minutes. Extra chia gel can be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for a week or more.
Chia seeds can also be used to bind burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, etc. instead of egg and breadcrumbs. To replace an egg, use ¼ cup of water with 1 teaspoon ground chia, or 1.5 teaspoons whole chia seeds.
I hope you are stoked about chia. Once I learned how easy it was to make it and how freakin' delicious it is to eat my amazing concoctions, I just had to share! I hope to be carrying chia seeds on my website soon. Stay posted! Aloha amazing family. Hugs and kisses from California
PS- There is a bit for info on Omega 3's below, as it is a lengthy subject. Plus, the websites I used to glean information about Chia. Enjoy!
-Extra Info on Omega 3-
Omega-3 Acids (Very Important! Keep reading even though there are big words:)
Chia seed has higher levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than flax seed. ALA is an essential acid because it is not produced by the body. In fact, chia seeds have the highest known whole-food source levels of Omega-3 acids, as measured by percent of weight. These oils, unsaturated fatty acids, are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, & K. When there are rich amounts of linoleic acid sufficiently supplied to the body through diet, linoleic and arachidonic acids can be synthesized from linoleic acid.
Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for normal glandular activity, especially of the adrenal glands and the thyroid glad. They nourish the skin cells and are essential for healthy mucus membranes and nerves. The unsaturated fatty acids function in the body by cooperating with vitamin D in making calcium available to the tissues, assisting in the assimilation of phosphorus, and stimulating the conversion of carotene into vitamin A. Fatty acids are related to normal functioning of the reproductive system. Chia seeds contain beneficial long-chain triglycerides (LCT) in the right proportion to reduce cholesterol on arterial walls.
Thank you to the following websites for having such amazing and pinpointed info about chia: