Many ancient cultures have included chia seeds in their diet. The chia seed originates from South America. Chia contains protein, omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. You can find chia seeds at your local health food market. Chia seeds create a gooey substance when soaked, which helps thicken smoothies and can add a nutty texture to baked goods. They are easier to digest than flax seeds, which must be ground to release the omega-3 properties.
Things You'll Need
Grind chia seeds to add to many baked recipes. Place 1/2 cup of chia seeds in a coffee grinder. Grind until a fine powder forms, and store in an airtight container. Add the powder to many baked recipes.
Use the ground chia seeds in pumpkin-muffins for a fall breakfast. Mix together 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup white flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 can organic pumpkin, two eggs, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Place the batter into greased muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the muffins to cook and store in plastic bags.
Use ground chia seeds as an egg replacer for vegan recipes. Add 1 tbsp. ground chia seeds to 3 tbsp. of water for the equivalent of one egg. Whisk together and allow the mixture to sit for five to 10 minutes. Use this mixture to replace eggs in cakes
Soak chia seeds for at least one hour to activate the enzymes and make them easier to digest. Add soaked chia seeds to smoothies and puddings.
Make a breakfast chia smoothie from spinach, pineapple and chia seeds. Add 2 tsp. soaked chia seeds, 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, 1 cup spinach leaves, 1 cup water, 1 tsp. agave syrup and 1/2 cup ice. Blend together until smooth.
Make chia protein pudding for a sweet treat. Place 2 tbsp. chia seeds in a glass bowl, add 3/4 cups water. Allow to soak for 20 minutes or until the gel-like consistency forms. Add 1 tbsp. soy protein powder, 1 tbsp. of cacao, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. almond extract. Top with 1 tbsp. goji berries and cacao nibs.
Soaking for a few hours in pure water will activate the enzymes, but is not essential.
You can store chia seeds for up to a year.
Throw out any soaked chia seeds after a week.
References and ResourcesNYT; The Claim: Chia Seeds Can Help You Lose Weight; Anahad O'Conner
Oprah; Pumpkin-Chia Seed Muffins
Vibrant Beauty; Sweet Chia Seeds' Health Benefits