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Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!! (guest post)

Posted Sep 12 2011 6:56pm
Hey Everyone!! Monday’s are the busiest for me out of the school week so I’d like to start featuring one of you with a guest post every week! Tonight’s post comes from the lovely Hannah!!! Thanks Hannah for being my first volunteer!

Take it away girl! 

Hi! I’m Hannah I blog over at A Happy Balance (I was formally The Little College Vegan). I’m so excited to do a guest post on Kaila’s blog ! I love her blog and it was the first one that motivated me to try Kabocha squash. Glad I did that! Today I’m going to talk with about one of my favorite foodie products that the blog world introduced me too. You may or may not already be a fan, if you at least now you will know so cool facts! :) Meet the chia seed…flax’s buddy. (Shh…don’t tell flax I like chia WAY more than him!)

(I realized after I took this, that I seriously need to moisturize, haha)

If you are like me when you first hear the word chia you immediately think “ch-ch-ch-chia” and picture scooby doo and shaggy terra cotta sculptures with little green things growing out of them. (Anyone else remember when those commercials use to plague nick at night?) So with that in mind I was very hesitant to try these little suckers. It kinda just weirded me out. After hearing about all of their healthy benefits, and reading Born to Run (READ IT!) I thought, “Eh, why not? If the best runners in the world will eat em’ so will I”. Glad I did because it was love at first bite and I’ve had them everyday since!

Usually I put them in my overnight oats, but I also make pudding, bake with them ( orange chia seed scones anyone? ), put them in smoothies, and even put them in my normal oats. These little things are very versatile. If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are 10 health benefits:

1) Supports Heart Health-Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6).

2) Stabilizes Blood Sugar-Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy.

3) Energizing-The word “Chia” comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It is said that 1 tablespoon of Chia can sustain a person for 24 hours. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time.

4) Anti-Inflammatory Properties-The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple.

5) Weight Loss- The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.

6) Detoxification and Elimination- Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.

7) High Quality Protein-Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.

8) Antioxidants- Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid – contributing to a long shelf life.

9) Provides Fiber and Other Nutrients-Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.

2 tablespoons of Chia = 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3

10) Brain Power- EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function (including memory and concentration). (source:whatscookinginamerica.net) Aren’t they awesome!

Now time for a fun recipe :) Chia Seed Pudding: First you will need:

-A Jar or Bowl -2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds -Stevia or sweetener of choice (agave syrup, brown rice syrup…) -Vanilla

-2/3c. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk Other fun stuff you can add…

-Unsweetened Cocoa (for chocolate pudding)

-Other Extracts (I’m using coconut+vanilla today, but I’ve also done other weird stuff. Like peppermint+cocoa powder+vanilla to get sort of a thin mint chia pudding. It was pretty good. Make sure you don’t put too much peppermint though if you try that one!)

-Dried Coconut

-Dried Fruit

Step One: Add 2 Tbsp chia seeds to jar or bowl.

Step Two: Add stevia (but not too much or it will taste bitter! A few pinches will do.)

Step 3: Add extracts and any other topping.

Step 4: Add almond milk.

It should look like this

Then wait for the magic to happen! They soak up to 9x their weight! Make to stir about every five minutes.

Step 5: Wait at least 20 minutes to eat them, or until most of the almond milk is soaked up. If I’m on the go, I’ll make it in the morning really quick before I leave, then pop a lid on the jar and it will be super thick by the time I eat it.

TA-DA! I probably could have waited longer, I only lasted about 20 minutes…I really wanted to try my new concoction with the coconut extract and coconut flakes. It was really good. I highly recommend.

Looks gross…tastes sooo good. Chia seeds can be bought at pretty much any health food store…I’ve even seen them at my local drug store which I thought was weird and awesome at the same time. If you decide you love chia seeds then I suggest buying in bulk online. I used to waste like 9 bucks on this tiny bag I would use up every other week and it was beginning to be really expensive. Then I finally figured out I could get them cheaper online from here . It’s around $30 all together with shipping, but I’ve had this bag for like 4 months and I’m nowhere near finishing it.

(That would be 5lbs of chia seeds) I don’t really pay attention to calories but I know some of my readers do, so here are the nutritional stats:

Ch-ch-ch-chia. Haha, I had to. Come visit me over at my blog A Happy Balance for more about my daily rants and raves with a few fun pictures and recipes thrown in! :)

***********

I CANNOT WAIT TO TRY THAT!!! It looks SO good! I have never been a big fan of ch-ch-ch chia (haha!)….but Hannah I think you just convinced me to try them again!!! I had no idea of all the health benefits they have!!! Thanks girl!!

Do you like chia seeds?

What’s your favorite way to use them?

What ‘super foods’ do you include in your diet daily?

Kaila 

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