Chia the Great: Benefits and Uses of Chia Seeds
Author: Melissa Lahti ~ September 30, 2016
Recently I was at the book store and found a cook book dedicated to only Chia Seeds. I had already been hearing all the hype and wondered what it was all about, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and purchase the book. I hadn’t even realized what an awesome little seed this is. There are so many benefits when adding this to your diet. The seed is flavorless so you can add it to pretty much anything and it will not change the flavor. As a matter of fact, it will enhance it.
I have already been buying a chia drink from the store that I really like but it’s defiantly not something everyone can enjoy. I describe it as trying to drink Jell-O with seeds in it but if you give it a try more than once, I promise you will start to like it. Although drinking the chia seeds without any flavor, I have to admit, was pretty weird. My mom said she almost threw up. I suggest adding some kind of flavor before trying to drink it plain.
When exposed to water, or any non-acidic liquid, the shell of the chia seed turns into gelatin. This chia gel can then be used for so many things. I recommend making your own since it is so easy to do. Just mix 9 parts filtered water to 1 part seeds. It is important to use filtered water because the gelatin on the seed will pick up the flavor of whatever you mix it with and if there is any type of flavor in your tap water, it will definitely enhance it. Let the seeds soak for about 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent clumps. It will then become flavorless gel that can be kept covered in the fridge, for up to a week. It will dry out if not covered. I read chia gel can actually be used as a substitute for half the butter in most recipes when baking. I have not tried this yet though.
To name a few of the many benefits of Chia:
~ Weight loss. Like celery, chia seeds add no calories to your diet but the body has to work to digest them. Therefore, you will actually burn calories by eating them and the fiber will help you feel full longer.
~ Energy while balancing blood sugar and helping to prevent diabetes. Since this little seed is a complete protein, it will give you energy. The gelling action of the shell also makes this a soluble and insoluble fiber which slows down the body’s conversion of sugar, converting your food into steady energy that can last all day.
~ Omega-3 oil! It’s loaded with this wonderful stuff that is important in heart health and has been shown to contribute to weight loss.
~ Anti-oxidants. The anti-oxidants in this seed are extremely high. So high in fact, the seed can be kept at room temperature without going bad for up to two years or more. All with no chemicals or preservatives. These same anti-oxidants help prevent free radical damage to your body which can lead to premature aging of the skin and inflammation.
And here's a few of the many, many ways to use chia:
~ Stir the dry seeds into yogurt or smoothies.
~ Sprinkle over cereal, jelly, peanut butter, or into an omelet.
~ Add chia gel to oatmeal after cooking or put it into any drink.
I will be trying all of the different recipes in the cook book I bought and posting the results on here so check back often to see new ways to get your chia.
Recipes to enjoy!
Chia Egg Yumminess