Ch Ch Ch Chia!

What’s the deal with CHIA? What was once a catchy tune and silly entertainment for kids watching their chia pet grow, is now sprouting up in health food markets and nutrition forums everywhere. It’s all the buzz, “the new flax seed”, “ancient grain”,  “hottest superfood”… but let’s look a little deeper into these super-seed claims and why you should sprinkle some of this goodness into your diet.    Some interesting facts about chia:

  • It got it’s name from the Mayan word for “strength”
  • Evidence shows humans began using chia seeds around 3500 BC 
  • Becomes gelatinous when added to liquid and absorbs up to 12 times it’s weight in water!
  • Unlike flax seeds, you don’t have to grind them in order to get the nutritional value
  • Has a longer shelf life than flax seeds too!

  Those are all pretty cool facts, but why is it good for your health?  Chia is considered a super food because of its nutritional value to calorie ratio. It is extremely nutrient dense including fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and complete protein. It actually contains the highest amount of Omega 3 fatty acids per ounce compared to any other food! Before you snooze off… let me tell you what this does for you. It helps you stay “regular”, fuller longer, beautifies your hair/skin/nails, strengthen your blood pumper & bone structure, helps build lean muscle (go ahead, flex) and supports thousands of chemical communication pathways in your body. Pretty nifty hu?!     Ways to add it into your diet: 

  • Smoothies for added fiber (grind in a coffee grinder first for smoother texture) 
  • My Chocolate Banana Chia Pudding recipe: 1/3 cup chia, 2 cups light coconut milk (from a can), 1 small banana, 1tbsp cacao, stevia to taste, pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt … blend & let the chia soak for 30 minutes to give it a pudding texture. So yumm!! 
  • When soaked, can be used as an egg substitute for vegans.
  • Sprinkle on salads (make sure to drink water if you aren’t soaking the seeds) 
  • Mix into your morning oatmeal or yogurt for a little extra energy
  • Mix into healthy cookies, protein pancakes or bread recipes. 
  • Add into any of your favorite drinks (try the recipe below)

   

2013-04-12 12.40.52Blueberry Chia Chiller

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds 

Blend all ingredients together and let sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Maybe even add a little splash of somethin’-somethin’ to liven it up 😉    Happy Foodie Friday!  Lauren McBride 

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