forgotten ingredients: chia seeds
 
have you ever heard of chia seeds? yes, they are the same seeds that grow on our friendly clay pets, but come to find out they pack immense health benefits! i found my first package while roaming the isles of a local farmers market a few years ago, and after inquiring about their health benefits, decided to give them a try. they have a very mild taste and so are an easy additive to just about any dish. i use them in breads, salads, baked goods, soups and smoothies. you can also use them as a thickening agent (for soups and sauces) by cooking them with a little water for just a few mintues.

*just one note- don’t eat the seeds that actually come with a chia pet! instead, head to your local health food store and buy them in bulk.

here are just a few of their power-house benefits:

- omega-3s: chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3s, containing more omega-3′s than salmon or flax seed.

- fiber: chia seeds are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, as a 25-gram portion contains 7 grams of fiber.

- minerals: chia offers a variety of minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, molybdenum and magnesium, and also contain niacin and folic acid.

- protein: chia seeds contain 20% more protein than other grains or seeds (wheat has 14%) and the protein is of higher quality.

do you already use chia? share with us all the ways that you put in your diet!

picture via green-lemonade. resources: livestrong & wikipedia

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12 comments

comments

  • so i’ve been looking FOREVER for chia seeds to plant- we want to enjoy the greens- kinda like wheatgrass. but i can’t seem to find any seeds that are for planting- only for consuming the seed itself. well, unless it’s a little chia pet…which…isn’t my vision. ;) any leads on plantable seeds?

  • Wow, chia seeds are, to many, a completely unknown ingredient. I’ll bet they would be super yummy in a seed-filled bread. With flax seeds, maybe sunflower seeds, yum!

  • I love chia seed and it is my breakfast most mornings. I pour a glass of grapefruit juice and stir in 3 tbls of chia seed. Let it sit for about 10 -15 min for it to sprout to make it easier on our digestive tracks then drink – I love it and it keeps me full and satisfied. My sons are avid sportsmen and they keep chia seed with them at all times -

  • This is fascinating! I never realized you could eat the seeds, or that they were so nutritious! What a fantastic tip. I will definitely be looking for them on my next grocery trip!

  • Hi Bonnie, I happen to be comparing dietary fiber. Based on your article, 100 g chia seeds yield 28 g of fiber which makes it higher than the same quantity of oats which gives only 5 g. Plus the magnesium, no wonder many folks say chia helps a lot with constipation.

  • hi candy! yes, that’s what i found during research! it’s amazing how many nutrients they pack!

  • mary, great advice! i’ll have to start trying that!

  • hi kate! hmm, are you sure you can’t use organic chia seeds from the health food store for planting? my guess is that you can, but i might be wrong? think these would be better? http://www.sproutpeople.com/seed/chia.html

  • That is so interesting! I never knew you could eat chia seeds and that they had so much protein & omega 3!! I’ll have to buy some!

  • Nicole N. | March 23, 2011

    Thank you so much for this! I recently found your blog and I am smitten! I just went out and bought some chia seeds to toss in smoothies–I have been looking for a good source of magnesium without adding a supplement to my diet and this is perfect! I also have become obsessed with turning myself upside down because of your post–I even rearranged my living room so I would have a peaceful spot for it!

  • I’ve been eating these regularly for almost half a year. And I love them even more lately as my new job is outside in the cold and wind. Putting a tablespoon in my daily water has really helped me deal with the chapped lips and skin (because of the essential fatty acids). When I have the time, I make jello with it. http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/2010/07/chia-jello.html

  • wendy, what a great idea! i will certainly try this!

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