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Chia Seeds 101

Posted Apr 12 2012 4:09pm

“So, I bought these chia seed things you always talk about…now what do I do with them??”

This is a questions I often come across. In the blog world and from my clients, family and friends.

ChiaSeedstext

 

ChiaSeeds

Chia is the nutritious seed of the plant Salvia hispanica, which is part of the mint family {they do not taste minty though, they have more of a “nutty” flavor}. This mighty seed is the ancient superfood of the Aztecs and Inca empires who consumed chia seeds for their vital nourishment. As a kid, I remember my mom spreading the chia seeds on the head of a planter that looked like…well….a head! Who knew that those seeds would end up being a staple in my diet someday?

Why eat them?

  • Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamins including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, and zinc. I love them, but I know there have been mixed reviews by many. My take is you just have to find a way to add them into your diet that works for you, and that you will like. Even my 11 month old daughter loves them!
  • Aids in weight loss!  Chia seed’s nutritional value will result in a healthier body, and therefore more energy. They are also known to control your appetite! And they expand, to make your food more filling!
  • Research shows they slow down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Making them a beneficial food for diabetics! {I have even heard of veterinarians prescribing chia seeds for cats with diabetes!}
  • The omega-3 fatty acid content of chia seeds is even greater than that of flax seeds! Omega 3′s can provide relief from the symptoms of conditions as diverse as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, hypertension and joint pain.
  • Chia seeds are a muscle and tissue builder and an energizer of endurance with extensive hydration properties. {great for athletes…you can make a “gel” that’s much better than the processed stuff on the market!}
  • They contain 9% of the daily value for protein; 13% fat (57% of which is ALA); and 42% dietary fiber {based on a daily intake of 2000 calories}.
  • It binds to toxins in your intestines and helps to pass them through!

What do you do with them?

Chia has so many uses. The best way is to consume them raw, but not everyone has a palate for chia! Here are a few ways I like to incorporate them, and I will add some links at the bottom to some friends recipes! This way, there’s no excuse to hate them…unless you have tried them multiple ways. Personally, I love them every way!

  • You can sprinkle them on salads, oatmeal, in yogurt, sandwiches
  • Blend them into a smoothie, or mix them through nut butter
  • Bake with them, or use them as an egg replacer {1 Tablespoon chia seeds mixed in 3 Tablespoons warm water, let sit for 10-15 minutes}!
  • Grind them up and use them as a flour
  • Make homemade granola or protein bars/bites
  • toast them with some cinnamon and nuts to make a pie crust or a sugar-free cobbler base
  • Grind them, add to water and let it gel up to use in nut burgers, veggie burgers, sliders, etc
  • Skincare—use it as a natural exfoliate !!!

You can mix seeds in water and add lime or lemon juice and natural sugar stevia to make a drink known in Mexico and Central America as “chia fresca.”

*To add to liquid to make “puddings” it’s basically 1 part chia seeds to 9 parts water. I make Ella “chia pudding” all the time with rice or hemp seed milk, cinnamon and berries!

Out of all of the ways you can incorporate them into your diet, I have to say my favorite and most frequent way is in a morning “muesli.” I used to add 1-2 Tablespoons to my oatmeal, and let it fluff up {you can do this the night before to raw oatmeal or that morning to cooked oats} but I have lowered my portion of oats over the past few months {trying to eat less grains} and now I  I use them, along with  hemp seeds, in a protein packed breakfast cereal!

 

ChiaHempCereal

    Print This!    

Chia-Hemp Cereal

This grain-free chia-hemp cereal that is delicious, filling, and gives me an energy kick start for the day! You can make this the night before or that morning {I let it sit for at least 15 minutes to fluff up)

serves: 1

© The Fitness Dish

ingredients:

-2 Tablespoons chia seeds

-3 Tablespoons hemp seeds

-1 scoop of a good tasting protein powder {I use Vega vanilla chai or Jay Robb vanilla}

- 1/2-1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil

-3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla Tempt hemp milk {or almond milk, dairy-free milk of choice}

-fruit of choice

-cinnamon

-few drops of liquid stevia (may not be needed depending on the protein you use)

directions:

place the seeds and protein in a bowl. Pour the milk over it and mix it up well. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes until it gets some nice volume (the seeds expand and become gelatinous). Mix in melted coconut oil and top with fruit. Add more milk to thin it out if needed.

Other Recipes:

ChiaEnergyBites_TheFitnessDishcopyright

Chocolate Chia Energy Bites {this one requires dental floss, but I do love them!}

Very Berry Millet Pancakes {I give this one 5 stars…Ella too!}

Treats From My Friends:

I asked in the comments last post, but didn’t get too many recipe responses…so I used the power of social media to ask my friends for their favorite recipes! Not all of these are super low in sugar, so anyone that’s trying to avoid it {like me} can definitely ask the original poster how much stevia to sub, if possible.

If you have any to add please link up in the comments section for my readers!

Chocolate Fudge Balls {worth re-posting}

Chocolate Salty Balls {mmmmm….salty balls Winking smile}

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins {I’m not a meat eater, but some of you out there are!}

Healthy Peanut Butter “Twix” Bars {these look amazing!}

Vegan Gluten-Free Granola Bars {I think I need to try these ASAP!}

HempSeeds GroundFlax

Next time I will cover hemp and flax seed with more recipes!!!

I hope I answered all the questions…

let me know your favorite way to use chia!?

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xo

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