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Chia Seeds

Know Your Ingredients: Chia Seeds

If you're all caught up on your healthy food trends, you're most likely aware of the chia seed revolution. The first question most people have is if the chia seeds we're supposed to eat are the same seeds we massaged into the heads of those kitschy Chia Pets. The answer? An enthusiastic "yes!" But the ingestion of these tiny black and white seeds predates the '80s Chia Pet craze; their benefits can be traced all the way back to Aztec and Mayan times. In fact, "chia" is actually the Mayan word for strength. Chock-full of omega-3s and fiber, these superfood seeds were used by ancient cultures to boost energy. Messengers from these civilizations sometimes carried a small pouch of chia seeds around with them, just to provide them with the extra push they needed during a strenuous day.

While chia seeds is actually part of the mint family, their flavor is very subtle. They can be seamlessly added into just about any recipe whether it's savory or sweet. I'm curious about your thoughts on these little guys. Are you seeing chia seeds readily available in your neighborhood? Have you tried incorporating them into recipes for a little extra crunch? Share below!

Source: Flickr User little blue hen

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