What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are funny tiny seeds that go weird and goopy when wet. This is a part of their magic – they start expanding and become a crazy superfood gooey mess which can act as a replacement for thickeners (e.g corn flour), gelatine, eggs and more. A part from getting stuck in your teeth, there is a lot of fun to be had with chia.
Why are chia seeds good for me?
Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods in the world. Chia seeds are natively found in South America and back in the day were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayan because of the sustainable energy they provide. ‘Chia’ is actually the ancient Mayan word for ‘strength’. So no wonder this seed has rapidly become popular in the health-crazed world we live in today.
Just two tablespoons of chia provides you with 11 grams of fibre, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of Omega-3’s, 30% RDA of manganese and magnesium, 18% RDA calcium and amazing amounts of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2. What?! How can one little seed do so much?!
They are also high in antioxidants which help protects the seeds fats, which is a good thing as it helps protect us as well!
All these things help prevent cancers, fight type 2 diabetes and make our skin shine and our insides happy! So add these weird little glob balls to all your raw desserts and shakes!
Where to get chia seeds from:
Because they’re so popular, chia seeds can be found in most supermarkets. It is best to get them from markets or health food stores so you know you are getting the best, freshest quality.
What to look for:
Whole seeds are better than ground as it preserves their nutritional content and they last longer. As most things I use them in require blending this is not an issue for me. If you need ground up chia – just waz it yourself for a few seconds in a blender, or use a pepper grinder. As with most foods, look for organic, chemical free varieties. Buying bulk will always give you a better deal as well.
How to use:
Chia comes in 2 different colours – brown and white. Both are pretty much identical in nutrition however they both have different aesthetic advantages. The brown seeds look beautiful in contrast to cashew milk in chia puddings and white blend in nicer in raw cheesecakes. A mix can equally look as pretty – it’s really up to you to put your own spin on it!
You can find delicious recipes with chia seeds here.