If you haven't heard of these delightful little South American black seeds (that totally don't look like little black bugs... not), prepare to be amazed. They are nutrient powerhouses and have little to no flavor, making them excellent for blending into any food you want.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert... the possibilities are endless. Plus, chia seeds are becoming widely available across the county. You can find them at your local super market, health food store, Wegmans, or Whole Foods. Really, there is no excuse not to check them out!
A little crash course on these bad boys:
- Chia seeds contain 11 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving.
- Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, with over 5 grams per 1 ounce serving.
- Chia seeds contain 18% of your daily calcium needs per 1 ounce serving.
- Chia seeds are packed with protein, with nearly five grams of protein per 1 ounce serving. Holy cow!
- Chia seeds contain 30% of your daily manganese and phosphorus needs.
- Chia seeds like to stick to everything, including your teeth. You've been warned.
So, how can one incorporate such a wonderful food into their diet everyday? Easy! Here are six suggestions for how to get on the chia train.
- Make easy overnight oatmeal. Did you know you can make oatmeal overnight in the fridge? Just add milk (dairy or non dairy is fine), rolled oats, chia seeds, and maybe a mashed banana to large bowl before bed, place in the fridge, and in the morning you have delicious oatmeal! The oats soften in the milk, and the chia seeds thicken the mixture to an almost pudding-like texture. Check out Oh She Glows for an excellent step by step recipe.
- Use as an egg replacement in baking. If you ever run out of eggs (or don't eat eggs at all), but still want to make cookies, have no fear! Mixing 1 tablespoon of chias with 3 tablespoons of water and letting it sit for five minutes yields a gelatinous mixture very similar to egg whites. Check out Lexie's Kitchen for a step-by-step guide to chia eggs.
- In smoothies. This is probably my favorite way to enjoy chia seeds, as they blend right into any smoothie or milk shake. You can't see or taste them, so it's like a magic nutrient boost! Add 1-2 tablespoons and enjoy the energy.
- Sprinkle on salads. Next time you want to up the ante on your salad, throw a couple tablespoons of chia seeds to your salad. You will feel fuller longer with all that protein and fiber. Plus, you can't taste them.
- Add to your table salt and pepper shaker. A couple shakes here and there at every meal, and you've quickly added extra omega-3's to your diet! This is probably the easiest way to make sure you get your daily chia intake.
- Make Chia Fresca. Try making this delightful Mexican drink, consisting of water, chia seeds, natural sweetener, and lemon or lime juice. If you have "texture issues" you may not want to try this as it yields a thin gel. You will either love it or hate it, but the good news is, you will definitely be getting all the nutrient benefits of chia seeds, plus hydration. Click here for more info on Chia Fresca, and an easy way to make it.
Do you eat chia seeds regularly? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy them?