A Healthy Alternative: Chia Seeds

Like quinoa or amaranth, chia seeds are originally from Central and South America and actually come from the same family as both sage and mint!

Health Benefits:

With 20% protein, 25% dietary fiber and about 35% healthy fats, mostly Omega 3, chia seeds are a great addition to any diet. They are also a good sources of iron, calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

Like flaxseeds, chia seeds are one of the few plant-based sources of omega 3. Unlike flaxseeds, however, they do not need to be ground to be beneficial and can be kept for years and heated without going rancid or losing their nutritional benefits.

Using Chia Seeds:

This versatile food can be used as more than just a seed due to its jelly like consistency when water is added. Here are a few ideas.

1. Sprinkle them over anything

Because they have virtually no taste, they can be sprinkled over pretty much anything to boost the nutrition and fiber content without changing the flavor. I find this works especially well for breakfast foods – added to cereal, porridge or oatmeal but can also be used on savory dishes like soups, salads or pasta.

2. Add them to baked goods or smoothies

Cakes, cookies, breads, crackers or bars can be made more nutritious by adding chia seeds into the batter or by using them as a topping. They can also be added to smoothies.

They can also be used as an egg substitute in baking by combining 1 teaspoon of ground chia seeds with 1/4 cup water per egg.

3. Chia gel

You can also make chia gel, a jelly like substance that can add consistency to soups, sauces or puddings by combining 1 part chia seeds with 2 parts warm water. This can be stored in the fridge and used when needed.

Recipes

Carob Chia Pudding

Overnight Oats

 

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2 Comments

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