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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

CurtM CurtM 5 years
I'm a runner and I LOVE chia seeds! The give me lots of energy and make me feel great. I prefer to drink them so I've been buying lots of Mamma Chia. The stuff tastes great, they come in different flavors and they do a remarkable job making them not too sweet but full of flavor. I drink them before and after my run, and first thing in the AM instead of coffee. Makes me feel great all day! A lot easier than messing with my blender and making smoothies.
Cymry Cymry 5 years
I love chia seeds, but it can be tricky finding brands that haven't been cross-contaminated with gluten on production lines. The freshest (and safest) brand I've come across yet is Navitas Naturals, which isn't locally available so I order it online. I use chia in raw overnight oats with soft serve and mixed with soy and cocoa powder or pumpkin to make a pudding.
LovelyLyn LovelyLyn 5 years
I actually keep Chia seeds on hand and use it where I think it would be interesting. I recently made Brownies with Chia seeds. I'm determined to make everything "healthy" :-)
Anna-Monette-Roberts Anna-Monette-Roberts 5 years
I love the gelatinous texture. I've been putting them in pomegranate juice (like those mamma chia drinks) for a post workout snack.
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 5 years
I love chia seeds — I sprinkle them on breakfast — as well as hemp seeds. If they've got enough nutrients to make a plant sprout, well, they can't be half bad for you!
three-active three-active 5 years
I use them in my morning smoothies. I used the chai powder, you can't even taste it when it is combined in the smoothie.
ChiaMom ChiaMom 5 years
HI, I think the expense for Chia depends on how you use it. I use two tbls of milled chia each day in my yogurt. A 16 oz jar contains 30 servings of two tbls. Running Food sells 16 oz for about $14.00 for a one-month supply. Considering the benefits and that it's a whole food, I don't think that's too bad a price.
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 5 years
I love chia seeds, though I go through phases with them because they're so expensive! To me they're best when used to thicken up overnight oatmeal.
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