When you hear the word “chia”, you probably think of the green-haired Chia Pet. Yes, they are the same seeds, and they’re one of many kinds of seeds that should make an appearance in your meals.
If you’re wondering why you should bother adding chia seeds to your diet, well, these little seeds add a big nutritional punch to whatever you eat. They are tasteless, so they won’t change the flavour of anything they’re added to. This makes them easy to incorporate into dishes that even the pickiest eater shouldn’t have a problem with them.
You really can’t dislike them.
Super Good Superfood
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber. They’re high in antioxidants and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Chia seeds absorb more than 12 times their weight in water and they can help with constipation and help you feel fuller longer.
What to Do with Them
Not sure how to use them? There are many ways you can add chia seeds to your diet. Some easy ways are:
• Soak one tablespoon of chia seeds for 10 minutes then add to your smoothie
• Sprinkle on salads, over oatmeal, on yogurt, and on roasted or steamed veggies
• Use as an egg substitute in recipes – mix 3 tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of chia seeds. Let the mixture sit for 10-30 minutes until it becomes a gel.
• Substitute a few tablespoons in place of bread crumbs when making meatballs
• Garnish fish, poultry or meat
• Add to soups, stews, and sauces
This is one of my favourite ways to use chia seeds (pictured above):
Berry Chia Seed Pudding
1 cup of almond milk or other milk alternative
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp of cinnamon
Pure vanilla to taste (optional)
Strawberries or other berries (to garnish)
Stir the mixture well and let sit in a covered container in the fridge. Mix at night before going to bed and you will have breakfast or a snack to take with you when you wake up.
This recipe serves one. You can double or triple it depending on how many servings you’d like.
You can get black or white chia seeds, whole or ground. There are different brands of chia seeds, but I use Prana’s whole chia seeds, which give a tapioca-like consistency. If you’d like a smoother pudding, grind the seeds first or buy ground or milled chia seeds.
Are chia seeds part of your diet? How do you like to use them? Let me know in the comments.