Chia seeds are the superfood of the year and that means they’ve moved out of the specialty health stores and into the mainstream.
You can either eat them on their own or as part of something but how do you eat them?
And more to the point, why should you eat Chia seeds, what makes them special?
About Chia Seeds
If you’d lived in South America in pre-colonial times this article wouldn’t have been necessary.
Chia seeds might be new on the menu in North America and Europe, today, but they’ve been part of the diet of South America forever.
The early Mayans and Incans would have been chowing down on them for centuries.
Oddly, Chia is related to mint and the scientific name for the plant is Salvia hispanica.
It’s endemic to Mexico and Guatemala.
However, the seeds don’t smell of mint and they don’t taste of it either.
If you want to eat high-quality seeds, then you should make sure that they are either black or white.
They also have a peculiar property of being super absorbent. If you drop them in water they can soak up roughly 10 times their own mass!
When they do this, they stop looking like seeds and start looking sort of like a jelly ball, instead.
Don’t Eat Them On Their Own
Chia seeds are quite nutritious but it’s fair to say that they are also nearly flavorless too.
For that reason, you will rarely encounter someone snacking on a big bag of Chia seeds – it would be an incredibly boring meal.
The most common way to consume them is in a dish called Chia pudding. You simply take a flavored liquid (fruit juices, plant milks, etc.) and then add about ¼ of the volume in seeds. They will quickly absorb all the fluid and turn into that jelly like state.
Then it’s ready to be eaten. You can also keep it in the fridge if you want and eat it later.
If there’s still not enough flavor for you then you can experiment by adding other treats to the mix to give it a bit of a boost – we like raisins for this but nuts, spices, etc. are all good too.
You can also add Chia seeds to your breakfast cereal, to your yogurt or even into smoothies that you’re making.
The lack of any discernible strong flavor makes them compatible with pretty much anything though you want to ensure that they’re added to something moist or they’ll dry out your mouth.
Why Should You Eat Chia Seeds?
There are a lot of good reasons to eat Chia seeds including:
- They are packed with nutrients but have hardly any calories (fiber, protein, healthy fats, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, Vitamins B1, B2 & B3 and they’re very low on sugar). They are full of antioxidants which help combat ageing and offer general health benefits.
- What little carbs there are in Chia seeds are found as dietary fiber. They are 40% fiber by weight and that means they’re one of the best possible sources of fiber.
- They are nearly 15% protein! If you’re trying to live a plant-based life, this is really important getting enough dietary protein can be really challenging without Chia seeds.
- They can make you feel full for longer and that means they might help you lose weight as part of a calorie-controlled diet.
- They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for healthy brain development.
In short, you eat Chia seeds because they’re so good for you!
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