Ch Ch Ch Chia!
You love them, hate them or don’t know what the heck to do with them. Am I right? I am constantly being asked how to incorporate them into a healthy diet (in an easy way). Chia Seeds are one of my favorite super foods. They are an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. Yes! They are the same seeds you saw growing on Chia Pets.
Nutritionists generally agree that foods with higher than usual antioxidant, fiber or essential fatty acid content can be called superfoods. Let’s break this bad boy down:
- Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. The Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants in Chia are fantastic for maintaining healthy, supple skin – a quick search for skin loving smoothies will direct you blend berries, water/juice with Chia.
- The high volume of healthy fats in Chia also protect your heart by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol & inflammation
- Chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and thus can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. Unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available.
- Chia seeds also provide fiber, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. They’re high fiber content make it great for people managing diabetes or working to lose weight as they are also low in digestible carbs. Fiber is a must in a healthy diet – and especially important for weight loss as it adds bulk without adding extra calories becasue it passes through the body undigested.
- They’re a Mood Booster! Chia Seeds can actually make you happier because of the amino acids and tryptophan found in them.
- They are an Energy Booster! Chia seeds fight dehydration, provide a considerable amount of energy, reduce joint inflammation and accelerate post-run recovery.
I know it’s a long list of goodness but there’s more. Chia is an excellent staple for Vegans. When added to water and allowed to sit for 10 minutes, chia forms a gel, which works well as an egg replacer in many baked goods.
If you’re ever feeling constipated or just need a little help, take one to two heaping tablespoons daily (it’s a gentle form of fiber). Add to your green smoothie or your water bottle along with some slice citrus or other fruit.
Chia seeds are incredibly easy to use and can be added to smoothies, salads, and even breakfast cereals. I gave one of my clients a bag of Chia Seeds which she took to work. She told me she added it to salads and most recently she sent me this picture. She added it to her Tuna Salad on crackers. Genius!
You can buy chia seeds in many health food stores. They are usually located in the raw foods or bulk sections. If you don’t have a health food store near you, you can get chia seeds online.
OK, today’s recipe is provided by cocooncooks.com:
4 cups filtered water
1 cup | 135 gr. blackberries
3 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp maple syrup
STEP BY STEP
Start by gathering, preparing and measuring all of the ingredients. This will improve your dynamic in the kitchen.
- In a high speed blender, combine 3/4 cup | 100 gr. blackberries with the juice of 1 1/2 limes, the maple syrup and 2 cups of water.
- Blend until completely smooth.
- Strain this mixture with the help of a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
- In a large jar or bottle, combine the chia seeds with 2 cups of water and stir thoroughly, making sure the seeds do not form clumps.
- Pour in the blackberry and lime mixture and stir again.
- Drop in the remaining blackberries and the lime half, cut in thin slices.
- Place the jar in the fridge and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve on ice and enjoy!