Tuesday, July 10, 2012



"Chia seed is an ancient superfood that is currently experiencing a glorious renaissance ;) It is a member of the sage family (Salvia Hispanica). The little black and white seeds were once a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with the Native Americans of the southwest. "Chia" is actually the Mayan word for strength. The seeds were used by these ancient cultures as mega-energy food, especially for their running messengers, who would carry a small pouch of it with them. Chia has been called 'Indian Running Food' and gives an incredibly 'sustaining' surge of energy. In Mexico they say that one tablespoon of chia seeds can sustain a person for 24 hours. Chia also happens to TASTE great, looks cute (like tiny dinosaur eggs) and is ready to eat really quickly - besides which it has an off-the-scale nutritional profile..."-Angela Stokes from the Raw Reform

I know I have talked about chia in the past, but especially when the summer comes around the gel pairs so well with fresh fruit and we seem to make it ALL THE TIME! If you do not know a lot about chia seeds I encourage you to take a look at Angela's Chia Cheat Sheet. It is jam packed with wonderful information and simple recipes. Every time I read this sheet I am amazed by the power of this tiny superfood!...and yes it is the same seed to grow your cha-cha-cha-chia pet!

Benefits of Chia Seeds include:

- Provides energy

- Boosts strength

- Bolsters endurance

- Levels blood sugar

- Induces weight loss

- Aids intestinal regularity

- It is 2 times the amount of protein of any other seed or grain

- 5 times the amount of calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that 
helps transfer calcium into your bones

- 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas

- 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries

- 3 times more iron than spinach

- copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids

- it is a complete protein; meaning it provides all the essential amino acids

- has a mild taste so it pairs well with mostly anything

-slow conversion of carbs to sugar; especially good for diabetics

-keeps you hydrated and retain electrolytes

-feels light in the body and digests well

-can help with weight loss and lowering cholesterol

-helps with acid reflux

-heals wounds and relieves joint pain

-is known to calm your nerves and strengthens your memory.

What doesn't it do?!
Check out the nutrition facts here.

So how do you eat it?

You really can just eat the seeds as is. Dry, or add the dry seeds to smoothies, over salads, etc. The most important thing to know is that when you soak them in liquid the nutrient value increases. The seeds will absorb the water with in 10 minutes, but the longer they soak the more the nutrients are available to you. One of my very favorite breakfasts...Berries and Chia.


This is the gel that forms after soaking the seeds in water for 10-15 minutes. To make the gel add 1/3 cup of seeds to 2 cups of water. Yep! it really does absorb all that water and turns it into a tapioca-Iike consistency. Be sure to stir it often as it is absorbing the water so it doesn't clump together too much. I then store it in an air tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.  

For my breakfast I usually scoop about 8-10 tbsp. of chia gel into a bowl and top it with sliced strawberries (or fruit of choice) and honey...and oh my, it is glorious! 


You really could use any fruit or any sweetener, or you could soak it in fruit juice or other liquid...any flavor you want your gel to take on, soak it in that. That is the beauty of the chia seed is that it has such a mild flavor you can use it to enhance the nutrition in just about anything...cakes, pies, stir frys, salads, smoothies...the possibilities are endless!

We recently made a strawberry "jam" with chia gel. I took a strawberry or two and mashed it with a fork.


Then stirred in a little of the chia gel that I had made.


I did not add anything else, although maybe some sweetener or vanilla extract would be delish if you like. Then I topped it over a rice cake or toast. You could use it in your PB & "J" to replace the sugary jelly. I hope you are getting some creative ideas by now. :)


Again go check out Angela's Chia Cheat Sheet for some more info and recipes. I have also found many great ideas for chia puddings and other baked goods using chia seeds over at purelytwins. They have an abundance of recipes that I have wanted to check out. Also Wellness Mama has a great post about different uses for chia seeds. You can check that out here.


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