Monday, April 2, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch CHIA!

Have you heard people talking about Chia Seeds? Or seen them on the shelves at your local health food store? This post is going to give you information on the teeny tiny little seed that packs a nutritious punch!

Indigenous to what is now Mexico, evidence suggests that Chia seeds were a staple in the Aztec diet during the 16th century. Despite the Aztec heritage, Chia seeds weren't seen much outside of Mexico until the Chia Pet became widely known in the 1980s. And it wasn't until recent years that people re-discovered that you can eat the seeds, and that they are really good for your health!

Some of the benefits are:
- Protein
- Healthy Fats (like Omega-3, and including ALA)
- Fiber
- Phosphorous
- Manganese
- Calcium
- Potassium
- Sodium
For more info, check out what Dr. Weil has to say about the seeds.


All that being said, you're probably thinking "that's great, but how am I supposed to eat chia seeds?" There are multiple ways, and it's also good to know that you can eat the seeds whole and still get the health benefits. This is in contrast to flax seeds, which must be ground in order for the body to absorb their nutrients. You can sprinkle the seeds onto salads or oatmeal, add them to your smoothie, or mix them into dough-like mixtures (muffins, breads, pancakes, etc.). They can also be used as a substitute for eggs in baking, soaking them to become a Chia Gel. For more ideas, I found this awesome page to share with you: 40 Ways to Use Chia Seeds!

However, one of the easiest ways that I prepare my Chia seeds is to make a breakfast drink out of them. The small amount leaves me surprisingly full and energetic. Just like the Aztec warriors, I'm ready for my day!

Directions:
1. Using your favorite milk or milk substitute, mix about a teaspoon of Chia seeds into 6-8 ounces of liquid. This can be done in a cup, or a re-usable glass jar with a top.

2. Give it a good stir (or shake) and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. I usually make mine the night before and let it sit in the fridge.

3. When you're ready to drink your mixture, you can drink it as-is, or experiment with adding vanilla or cinnamon. Or try adding in some chopped fruit and/or home-made granola for a yummy treat!

2 comments:

  1. I am going to start putting them in my almond milk, just prepping it overnight. Thanks for the idea!

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  2. You're welcome Shannon! It's a great, easy breakfast.

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