Monday, November 7, 2011

Chia Seeds

Do you remember these guys???

They even have a "Chi-Obama"  Ha.  So hilarious.  I can't imagine why he would give that the okay...

Did you know that chia seeds can be eaten?? And they are actually really good for you???  Ha!  I didn't know either, but I'm convinced now.

Some benefits:

   Chia has so many vitamins and nutrients.  Calcium, b12, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids are all found in chia seeds.

   Chia has a lot of fiber, both soluble and insoluble.

   Chia seeds are a great source of protein for how small they are!

   Chia seeds are thought to reduce blood pressure and can control blood sugar levels in diabetics.  Obviously  if you have one of these problems you would want to talk to your doctor about incorporating this into your diet before stopping or reducing medication, but what a great natural way to keep your body healthy!

   Chia seeds expand as they absorb water and can absorb somewhere from 7-12 times their weight in liquid. This is supposed to be great for runners.  Because the chia holds onto water, it's supposed to keep you hydrated for longer.  This could also be used with dieting.  Since the chia expands in your stomach, it will help you to feel full without all the extra calories.

How to eat chia seeds:

   Chia seeds have (almost) no taste.  You can add them to almost anything without adding any extra flavor.

   You can eat them in their raw form, completely whole.  I love the idea of this because a lot of seeds (like flax) you have to grind up before you put them in things so you get all of the nutrients.  Chia seeds expand and form a kind of gel (more on that in a second) so you get all of the nutrients inside, even if you eat them whole.

   You can snack on these if you want, but it is so easy to put them on top of a salad or in something you're already eating without really noticing they are there.

   You can put chia seeds in smoothies.  I'm really weird about textures I'm eating (example--I have to chew yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, yeah...basically anything that's thick, even if it's semi-liquid), so when I add these I make sure I also have some berries so I don't think too much about eating the seeds.

   You can make a chia gel!  This is my favorite way to use my chia seeds.  This elliminates the "texture issues" I have with these seeds.  You can use the gel as a substitute for oil, you can add it to soups, sauces, and baked goods, and you can easily put the gel in smoothies.  This is just my opinion, but I think by making the gel, it uses up the absorption power of the seeds, so you won't necessarily get the "full" feeling as easily as with the raw seeds.  You still get all the nutrients, fiber, and protein though.

   You can also buy ground chia seeds or grind them with a coffee grinder.  You can use this all the same ways listed above.  Additionally, you can substitute some of the flour in baked goods with ground chia seeds.  You wouldn't want to take out too much of the flour, because that could mess with the integrity of the recipe, but adding a portion of ground chia seeds can make brownies a "health food!"

   You can use chia seeds as an egg substitute if you have egg allergies.  I haven't really researched this one, but I'm sure you can google it and find plenty of resources.

How to make the chia gel:

Measure 2 cups of water and add 1/3 cup of chia seeds.

  Give it a little stir.

 Wait about ten minutes and you will have a gel to use as your oil substitute or use however you want!

You can store this gel in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

I'm sure you will see chia seeds pop up in quite a few of the next posts I have.  I'm on a chia kick!


1 comment:

  1. Wow, I think this is crazy. I totally thought you were kidding but then you had real chia seeds on your counter. You've almost convinced me. I was totally one of those kids who wanted a ch-ch-ch-chia pet.