Have you ever noticed that ever few years there’s a new Super Food? Remember the oat bran craze in the 80’s (OK maybe some of you are too young, but we really thought oat bran would save us all), then there were flax seeds. I’m sure you were there when there was a run on Greek yogurt a few years ago– we couldn’t and still can’t get enough. Next came kale. Well, now it’s Chia seeds (yes, as in ch ch ch chia… As seen on TV). Someone realized that those tiny seeds are good for something other than growing fur-like greenery on clay animal and people shapes.
The chia plant is native to Mexico and Central American, and it’s thought that chia seeds were an ancient Aztec super food. Today, we know they are full of omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and fiber. Two tablespoons of chia seeds adds about 120 calories, but it provides a whopping 10 grams of fiber (!), and more than twice as much omega-3 (heart healthy) fat as an ounce of walnuts.
So what to do with them, and more importantly, will they grow into furry greenery in your stomach?
I have not heard reports of them growing into anything in anyone’s stomach. However, because they are so high in fiber, they may help to keep your stomach full.
Lots of people do like to use them to make “puddings”, or jam, or they are often added to smoothies, sprinkled on hot cereal, or even used as an egg substitute. Chia seeds absorb a lot of liquid, and they form a gel, so they are a great thickener. Like any seed, you can also add them to baked goods, or sprinkle them onto anything you like.
Here are 10 ways to use chia seeds. Click on any photo for the recipe.
Have you tried chia seeds?