If you pay attention to health food trends or follow any vegan/raw food blogs you've probably seen chia seeds.  These little seeds pack a big punch and will certainly make a fabulous addition to some of your meals.  

Here is what the fuss is all about:
  • according to the USDA, a one once serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein
  • the seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese (similar to the nutrient content in other edible seeds like flax or sesame)
  • when a chia comes into contact with water it becomes a gel meaning that a chia seeds can be used in place of dairy and fat in baking and will keep you fuller longer
  • chia seed can stabilize blood sugar levels because it slows down the rate at which complex carbs are broken down
  • being that chia seeds are so high in protein for such a small serving, they are helpful in those looking to lose weight or bulk up on lean protein to build lean muscle
So how can I use them?
  • use them in baking
    • make a chia "egg" by mixing 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water
    • use in place of half the fat/oil called for in a recipe
    • mix them into batters (pancakes, cakes, muffins, etc.)
  • for breakfast
    • sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt
    • blend them in smoothies 
  • at lunch
    • sprinkle them on salads
These seeds are neutral in flavor and very small so once you start cooking with them you'll have all sorts of uses for them.  I love them in all sorts of things.  Chia seeds are an ancient Aztec food and I believe them to be a bit of a miracle ingredient because they are so powerful in nutrition.  Not only do they taste great, are loaded in fiber, omega-3 oils, and protein, but they keep you fuller longer and have so many uses.  The next time you are at the health foods store consider picking up these little cuties and trying them out.

Here's to Happy Healthy and Being TOUGH!

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