Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chia Seed Via Troy

Chia Seeds are a nutritional power house that we have been missing out on for a number of years!
Chia Turtle

For years, most of us associated Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica) with the cute little pets that children loved to grow through sprouting.  Little did we know that the cute little sprouting seeds we were using were really an ancient super food utilized by the Aztec people.  At first glance, Chia Seeds look like a dark or black seed.  However, on closer examination one will find that the seed is a beautiful mottled seed of black, grey, brown and white.

Many nutritionists point out that Chia Seeds are a super food.  Chia Seeds are often compared to the nutritional value of Flax Seeds.  Chia Seeds are high in essential fatty acids and Omega 3's,  and represent a soluble fiber.   Some of the advantages that Chia Seeds have over Flax Seeds is that they do not need to be cracked or ground.  Chia Seeds can be used raw, soaked or sprouted.  Chia Seeds have natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help aid in nutrition, digestion and absorption.  Chia Seeds help aid the body in its digestion of other foods and help maximize the nutritional value of other foods, and is thus seen as a great dietary support.

Chia Seeds are highly hydrophilic, which means that they are able to soak up relativly large amounts of water.  The seeds will soak up about 9-10 times their own weight in water.  After soaking for about an hour, the seeds become a nutritious gel.  An easy way to do this is place 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds in 1/4 Cup water and allow to soak overnight.  Then you are ready to  add them in to a delicious smoothie, soups, casseroles or other meals.

Chia Seeds store well as they do not have oils or other agents that cause them to go rancid.  They store will in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight in glass jars or PETE Containers.

We typically add raw chia seeds into our smoothies in the morning.  Immediately the seeds go to work soaking up liquid and becoming gelatinous.   For a great Breakfast Smoothie try mixing the following in a VitaMix or other blender:

Super-Charged Breakfast Smoothie with Chia Seeds

2-3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

Handful of greens (Spinach or Kale or Beet Greens)

2 or 3 fruit servings (Bananas, Pineapple, Strawberries, other berries, etc.)

Orange Juice or Pineapple Juice

6 Cubes of Ice

Blend until smooth and enjoy.  This is a great smoothie packed with vitamins and without the addition of white refined sugar.   We add two additional items to help our children enjoy the smoothie even more.  You can add a slice of beet to make the smoothie come out a nice red color.  You can also add 1-2 Tablespoons of honey to sweeten it even more.
This smoothie makes a great breakfast by itself or a wonderful support to other breakfast items.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!