This week we will be uncovering the myths and mysteries of the chia seed, per special request (shout-out to Stephanie)! If you have any favorite chia recipes, please be sure to comment! Let’s get some good ideas flowing and shared so we can all treat ourselves and our kiddos this summer!
What are Chia Seeds, really?
Aside being fun to sing (think back to the early 1990s cha cha cha chia!), the chia is a nutritious seed originating from Mexico and South America. Its proper name is Salvia hispanica, and it is a distant relative of the mint leaf. Fancy.
Although the chia seed has been known for its health benefits for hundreds of years, they only recently became popular in the United States. Although called a seed, they are actually technically a whole grain, plus non-GMO and gluten-free. That makes the chia seed extra trendy.
How do Chia Seeds affect our bodies?
Chia seeds are packed full of fiber, protein, omega 3s, zinc, Vitamin B3, potassium, thiamine, and Vitamin B2. They are also loaded with antioxidants that help fight against free radicals and help prevent various diseases and cancers (Hm. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? Similar to the goji berry, perhaps?)
Want to know something else that’s pretty cool? Because chia seeds are so full of fiber, they can actually absorb about 10 times their weight in water. Have you ever tried to make a chia pudding? If so, you’ve probably noticed that the consistency often becomes gel-like. When chia seeds fill with water, they expand, which ultimately results in filling space in your stomach and giving you the effect of feeling fuller, longer.
How the heck do we eat them?!
So. How does one eat a chia seed? Let’s be real. Unlike the goji berry, a chia seed isn’t exactly something you want to just grab a handful of and start munching on. I suppose you could, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it (Plus they’re a bitch to clean out of your teeth..).
My absolute favorite ways to incorporate chia seeds into my diet is to add them to oatmeal or blended in a smoothie. You can also top your yogurt with chia plus fresh fruit.
Multiple other ways include making a chia pudding, baking and using for muffins, pancakes, cookies, or even adding to a salad. I’ve listed a website that gives you multiple options for using chia seeds below.
Let’s recap on what we’ve learned:
Are there multiple health benefits to eating chia seeds? Absolutely.
Are they super trendy right now? You betcha.
Will you need to keep floss on hand after eating them? It’s definitely a good idea.
For more information and some really great recipe ideas, check out these resources: