Do you remember the commercial on TV that promoted this green looking plant growing out of Scooby Doo’s head? It was called a Chia Pet, and everyone had one! You probably placed it on your windowsill, watching it sprout and grow. But did you ever think about eating the seed before you planted it? Me neither! However, chia seeds provide a good amount of nutritional benefits. Want to know more and how to incorporate it into your diet? Allow me to tell you!
From the Aztecs to Marathon Runners
During the days of the Aztec empire, chia seeds were an important staple in people’s diets. Warriors on long hunting trips would eat them as their primary source of fuel. The seeds provided enough protein and fiber to keep them energized for an extended length of time. Marathon runners have adopted this tradition and consume a hearty handful of chia seeds before a big race.
But what are chia seeds exactly? Glad you asked! This plant derives from the mint family and is native to Central America. The seeds are small, have little taste and can be found in both a white and black variety. One ounce container of chia seeds has a nutritional content of:
Fiber 11 grams
Protein 4 grams
Fat 9 gram
Calcium 18% of RDA
Manganese 30% of RDA
Magnesium 30% of RDA
Phosphorus 27% of RDA
They also have a large quantity of omega-3 fatty acids which can help your heart and brain health. It is also a good source of protein of 4.7 grams in a one-ounce serving. Do I have you convinced to try it, yet?
Cha-Cha-Cha Try These Recipes
Similar to other seeds, chia seeds can be eaten raw or added to a variety of foods. The surprising part about chia seeds is their ability to expand and swell to about nine times their volume when added to liquid. Most people use this feature to thicken their food, like smoothies, butter, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. The sprouted part of the chia seed can also be added to salads, sandwiches and wraps. But here are other ways you can health up your dish!
Raspberries and Cream Chia Pudding
This delicious dessert is a perfect way to get your fill of something sweet, without breaking your calories for the day.
16 ounces of fresh raspberries, hulled
1 ½ cups coconut milk
¼ cup honey
One vanilla bean scraped
¾ tsp finely grated lime zest
½ cup chia seeds
How To Make It
Place strawberries, coconut milk, honey, vanilla, and lime zest in a blender and blend until smooth
Place chia seeds in a large bowl, pour the strawberry mixture on top and whisk
Let stand for 10 minutes and whisk again
Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to three days. Stir the pudding before serving it.
*Side Note: If the pudding becomes too thick add in more coconut water
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Just in time for fall, this yummy recipe can add a different flavor to your breakfast.
⅔ cup of steel cut oats
2 cups coconut milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp chia seeds
pinch of sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
⅛ tsp nutmeg
How To Make It
Heat the oats and coconut milk in medium sized pot to boil
Turn down to simmer and add pumpkin and chia seeds
Simmer for five to seven minutes
Add remaining spices, stirring regularly
Simmer for additional five to seven minutes
Chocolate Chip Brownie
Yep, that’s right! You can eat healthy while snacking on a delicious chocolate chip brownie thanks to chia seeds.
¾ cups chia seed, grounded
¾ cup Swerve sweetener
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
Four large eggs
¼ cup strongly brewed coffee
2 oz dark chocolate chunks
How To Make It
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×9 square baking pan
Whisk together chia seed, sweetener, baking soda and salt in medium-sized bowl
In large saucepan over low heat, melt butter, and chocolate together, whisking until smooth
Whisk in eggs then coffee into saucepan
Stir in chia seed mixture until well combined and then stir in chocolate chunks
Spread batter into pan and bake 15 to 16 minutes
Remove and let cool completely in pan
I hope you enjoy adding chia seeds to your favorite recipes!
Did you love learning about all the wonders of chia seeds? If so, let us know in the comment section below or share your own blog with us.
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Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.