Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

Posted on October 9, 2011

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Chia as food? Yep! It’s not just a 1980’s infomercial gimmick! I didn’t even realize that chia seeds were edible until I started my raw journey about a year ago. Of course, they’re not just for those consuming a raw diet.

So what are chia seeds and why should you bother? They were a key staple in the Aztec and Mayan cultures that provided not only calories but also soluble fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

When you see the seeds they may remind you of flax. And while flax seeds are good for your health, chia is an alternative that contains more antioxidants making it more stable (i.e.doesn’t turn rancid as fast) than flax. Additionally, for flax seeds to be absorbed by the body, they must be ground or in an oil format. The human body can absorb the nutritional benefits from digesting the whole chia seed.

Two tablespoons of this delicious nutty-flavored seed provides approximately 70 calories, 4.5 g of fat, 7 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of dietary fiber and 3 g of protein. So that’s no trans fat, saturated fat, sodium or cholesterol! You also have the added benefits of calcium, vitamin C, zinc, iron, phosphorus among other micronutrients.

What are you waiting for? Give chia seeds a try sprinkled on your salads, on your yogurt or make a pudding! Simply add water and a sweetener to chia seeds and they form a gel similar to tapioca but better tasting (in my opinion) when left in the fridge for about 4 to 6 hours. I enjoyed chia pudding for breakfast yesterday morning and today. The wait is worth it!

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Happy Sunday!

– Kareen, RD

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Posted in: raw, vegan