Chia Seeds are high in fibre and fatty acids. From jams to chia puddings, learn more about this superfood and its multitude of uses!
Chia is a popular super seed that is absolutely packed full of goodness, and not to mention they can be added to almost every meal - from breakfast to dinner! But what really makes chia seeds so popular, and why should you add chia to your diet?
Discover their many benefits below:
HOW ARE CHIA SEEDS GROWN?
Chia seeds come from the desert plant 'Salvia hispanica'. It grows abundantly in southern Mexico and is actually a member of the mint family. The chia plant can grow up to 6 feet, with the seeds held in the head of the flowers, which are dried before harvested.
CHIA SEED BENEFITS
Chia seeds may be small, but they sure are mighty! Here are the top reasons why chia seeds are so super:
- Chia seeds are rich in vitamins A, B, E and D. They also contain the minerals calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese.
- Chia seeds are the richest natural plant source of omega-3 fatty acids - great for keto diets!
- Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain around 4 grams of plant-based protein
- Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds are digestible without the need to grind them into a meal.
- These seeds are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, making them great for digestion, gut health and keeping you fuller for longer.
- Chia seeds are naturally free from gluten, cholesterol and are low GI.
- They can be stored in a cool, dark place for long periods with no deterioration and are ideal for enriching many different foods.
DID YOU KNOW: Ancient Aztec warriors are thought to have used chia seeds as rations, with one teaspoon sustaining a warrior for 24 hours! The name chia is Mayan for 'strength.'
HOW TO USE CHIA SEEDS
The great thing about chia seeds is they have a neutral taste, making it easy to sneak them into almost any recipe! The only limiting factor is your imagination. Some ideas include:
- Combine with your choice of milk to create a chia pudding
- Add to porridge, yoghurt or overnight oats
- Sprinkle on top of breakfast bowls, smoothies, or salads
- Add to smoothies, drinks or ice cream for a thicker texture
- Add to muffins, cakes, crackers, bread, bliss balls or raw desserts
- Create a healthy chia jam
- Thicken soups, curries, pasta sauces and dips
- Chia seeds soaked in water or fruit juice is also often consumed and is known in Mexico as 'chia fresca'.
+ So much more!
CHIA GEL / EGG
Chia seeds are small and have the unique feature of a shell that turns gelatinous when wet. A tablespoon of wet chia seed, also known as a 'Chia Gel' or 'Chia Egg' can be used to thicken foods such as mayonnaise, sauces, jams, or as an egg replacement in baking!
METHOD: Simply mix together 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 2.5 tablespoons of water. Whisk thoroughly to ensure all seeds are covered with water. Let it stand for 10-15mins. Give it one last stir before using.
WHERE TO BUY CHIA SEEDS?