We've recently discovered Chia Seeds. This little food has become a new exciting addition to our whole foods way of eating (I try to avoid the word 'diet' because it just brings so many negative connotations with it). When I first started buying chia seeds it made me smile as I added them to my smoothies because I couldn't help but have the "ch-ch-chia pet" song dancing through my mind.
As I've learned more about them they indeed are powerful enough to have their own little jingle. Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which is a member of the mint family. The plant grows abundantly in southern Mexico. Chia seeds are very rich in Omega 3 fatty-acids. Chia seeds are richer in Omega 3's than flax seeds, which makes it the highest vegetarian source of Omega 3's. Some experts even claim that these little seeds are more abundant in Omega 3's than some sources of fish, and you don't have to worry about the levels of contamination in the seeds unlike in the fish sources.
These seeds are a great balance of protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and fat. Chia comes from a Mayan term meaning strength. Chia seeds contain approximately 20% protein. They are often considered among athletes to be an endurance food, and were referred to as " Running Food" by the Aztecs.
Another great perk is that these seeds don't need to be ground for the body to absorb and assimilate all of their nutrition. Not only this but Chia seeds are raw and unprocessed and also are a great source of antioxidants! A super food that can easily be added to salads, smoothies, granola bars, cereal, dinners, baked goods,...possibilities are endless! They can be found at a local health food stores and on several sites online.
We recently discovered Chia Seed Pudding. It's so good. Reminds me a bit of tapioca pudding which as a kid I wasn't found of the texture but there is so much goodness in this recipe that it's divine! My girls and my husband gobbled this up so quickly the first time I made it that I was lucky to sneak in one bite!
Chia Seed Pudding (adapted from Rawmazing.com)
- 1 3/4 cups cashew cream (see below)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, agave, or raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup blueberries
1. Mix together cashew cream, chia seeds, agave, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. Slice strawberries.
3. When chia pudding has thickened up (about 5-10 minutes) stir in sliced strawberries and blueberries (or whatever local fresh fruit you happen to have)
4. Keep refrigerated.
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight in the refrigerator
- 2 cups water, filtered
1. Drain and rinse cashews.
2. Combine with filtered water in blender (I used a high speed blender) and blend until smooth.