Chia seeds (Salvia Hispanica) are smooth kerneled small round seeds, somewhat like mustard seeds in appearance, but pretty much tasteless. Nutritionally, they are almost completely fiber, protein and omega 3 fats. Their core attribute is that when soaked, even briefly, in fluid (water, juice, almond milk) they swell up and become sort of gelatinous, kind of pudding like. The picture to the left shows the seeds in water, just at the point when they start to swell- about 5 to 7 minutes after soaking. When ingested, the body can use them incredibly efficiently as fuel, and they make you feel very full for a long time.
We've been experimenting with them as part of a cleanse, and they are a delicious add to a plant based eating plan and an energetic lifestyle.
Chia Green Drink
The morning "green drink" is an invaluable part of healthy eating. I add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia in the morning to fresh pressed or organic apple juice, water, 1 scoop of Green Vibrance (or similiar) and 1/2 banana in the blender and am energized and satisfied for hours.
Chia Enriched Cooler Beverage
You can add Chia to 3/4 unsweetened hibiscus tea, 1/4 red juice like pomegranate or blueberry-cranberry blend (we love R.W. Knudsen's), and drink throughout the day.
Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding
If you're eating nuts and grains, soak uncooked oatmeal, chia seeds in almond milk, add cinnamon and agave or local honey to taste (local honey protects against seasonal allergies!). Allow to soak for ten minutes and then stir up for a delicious breakfast pudding. Try other flavorings and sweeteners, such as fresh blueberries or maple syrup.
Chia Sweet Potato Soup
Bake sweet potatoes (1 per serving) until soft, peel, cut into chunks, and place in blender. Puree with coconut milk (we use So Delicious brand). Make sure it's not coconut water and also not any of the canned syrupy kind used in curries! Add a little at a time until the soup is the consistency you want (this could be vegetable stock, too). Add salt, pepper, and 2 TB of chia per serving for a fresh and filling course.
You can sprinkle chia in yogurts, smoothies, or almost anything to get a boost of satisfying filling protein.
Happy healthy eating!