ANCIENT SEEDS OF STRENGTH
These tiny, healthy seeds can trace their origins back to ancient times. In Mayan chia meant “strength.” And yes, in more recent years these were the same seeds sprouted and used for chia pets!
Here are just a few of the delicious and powerful reasons to include more of these unique seeds into your day:
Loaded with Healthy Oils – Chia seeds are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3. Ounce-per-ounce they contain more omega-3 than salmon!
Plant-Based Protein – Chia seeds are one of nature’s most complete sources of plant-based protein.
Calcium Rich - By weight, chia has more calcium than whole milk.
Improve relaxation and circulation - Chia seeds are loaded with magnesium.
Gluten-Free and Grain-Free - Chia Seeds are both and therefor wonderful for those with Celiac or following a Paleo Lifestyle.
Rich in antioxidants – Chia seeds are extremely high in antioxidants and unlike fruits (such as blueberries) which are seasonal, chia seeds are always readily available.
Filling - When chia seeds expand they help to satisfy hunger and in turn, reduce cravings.
Regulate Digestion – Their high fiber helps to keep food moving smoothly through the digestive process and improve colon function.
Balance Blood Sugar – The chia seed’s unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber helps to slow down our body’s conversion of starches into sugars. This helps us to convert our food more efficiently into a steady, lasting source of energy.
Highly Shelf Stable – their unique antioxidant profile allows chia seeds retain their nutrients for over two years (unlike flax and sesame seeds which quickly degrade).
Aging Prevention – The antioxidants in chia seeds have been shown to prevent and reduce signs of aging and reduce inflammation.
Assist with Calcium Absorption – chia seeds contain essential trace minerals magnesium and boron, used in the absorption of calcium and other vitamins.
Curb Cravings – nutrient dense foods, such as chia seeds, prevent and reduce cravings by satisfying our body with the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Easily Digestible - Chia seeds soft outer shell makes all of these amazing nutrients readily accessible- unlike flax seeds, which need to be ground or thoroughly chewed in order to access the nutrients within their tough outer shell, chia seeds may be eaten whole.
Ready to enjoy the benefits of chia seeds? Type chia seeds into the search box on my blog to find my latest Hip, Simple, Fabulous™ recipes and uses for chia seeds. Make sure to try the Heavenly Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe - it's a family favorite!
Thicken and Improve Texture – Chia seeds are hydrohpyllic, meaning that when exposed to liquid, it forms a gel-like coating, which increases the chia seed’s size and weight.
Chia Seed Gel:
- Add 1/4 cup chia seeds to 2 cups of water. Mix well.
- Let stand and mix again in 15 minutes.
- Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 10 days. Add to your smoothies, salad dressings, sauces and baked goods. It is not gritty and will not change flavor. (The overall ratio for gel is 1 part chia to 4 parts water)
Healthy Alternative – Easily replace fats, oil or eggs in baked goods with chia gel.
Chia Egg Replacer:
- For one egg equivalent - Add 1 Tablespoon chia seeds to 3 Tablespoons water
- Let sit for 15 minutes. Stir. Use as you would eggs in baking.
- 1/4 cup of chia seed gel = approximately 1 egg
Replace Oils in Baking:
- Make chia gel (recipe above).
- Replace 1/2 or all of oils in your baked good recipe.
- You may need to slightly increase baking times, as chia seeds increase moisture. Great for gluten-free baking!
Natural Preservative - Antioxidants in chia seeds act as a natural preservative to retain freshness in baked goods.
Easy Additions for a quick nutrient boost:
- Sprinkle over yogurt, cereal, applesauce or oatmeal
- Mix into pancake batters and baked goods recipes (see above)
- Add to nut butters - cashew, almond, peanut, etc.
- Toss into salads
- Add 1/2 Tablespoon to baked goods
- Add to smoothies, dressings, soups and puddings
Increase Flavor – The chia seed's hydrophyllic property and neutral flavor bring texture and help to magnify existing flavors of the foods to which they are added.
Share some of your favorites and feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. What's your favorite way to eat chia seeds?
© Copyright Clea Shannon 2009-2012
Eat Inspired Today™ LLC
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