Chia Seeds: Fibre & Antioxidant Rich

7 Nov

source  

The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you hear “chia,” might be those Chia Pets often seen on television that sprout when you water them. Chia seeds as a nutritional ingredient, however, haven’t gained enough attention to become widespread, making this an unusual ingredient!

Chia is the common name for Salvia hispanica, and is a member of the mint family. It has been estimated that chia has been cultivated since 3400 BCE in Mesoamerica. In the 16th century, chia seeds were valued for many uses: a staple food, medicine and oil source. Many of the local recipes are still popular in Mexico and Guatemala today, such as chia seeds soaked in water to make a drink called pinolillo in Nicaragua or chia fresco in Mexico.

Nutritionally, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants and dietary fibre. They are also a good source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and other vitamins/minerals. There is potential for chia seeds to aid in weight loss and diabetes control, but more research is needed in this area.

Want to give chia seeds a try? They can be found on the shelves at some health food stores or in bulk food stores. They have a mild, nutty flavor which makes them great as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal, added into a smoothie or used as a binder in baked goods. When chia seeds are added to water they form a gel, often called a ‘chia egg’ which is commonly used as an egg replacer in vegan recipes.

Blueberry Lemon Chia Seed Muffins 

source: Fabulous Food Finds

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour (use half whole wheat if desired)
  • 3 Tbsp Tru Roots Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ cup reduced fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3/4 cup washed fresh blueberries
Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray . Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

3. In another bowl, combine the flour, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt.

4. Mix together the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla in another bowl. Add the flour and sour cream mixture alternately to the sugar butter egg mixture and mix just until blended. Fold in the blueberries.

 Other recipe suggestions:

Almond  Blueberry Chia Smoothie
Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Chia Seed Pudding  
Healthy Cookie with Chia Seeds 
Homemade Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter with Hemp, Flax and Chia Seeds
Chia Vegetable Stir Fry

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One Response to “Chia Seeds: Fibre & Antioxidant Rich”

  1. pumpkinlydia November 14, 2011 at 4:07 am #

    Last month I was in bulk barn and saw that chia seeds were on sale, so I decided to buy some.. not knowing at all what to do with them. I still haven’t done anything with them, but I finally know what to make, I am definitely going to try out the chia vegetable stir fry!

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