Wednesday, June 6, 2012

cha-cha-cha-chia

Chia seeds. 
Like Chia Pet?
yes.
, 
So what are they?
"A chia seed is an ancient superfood. The little black and white seeds were once a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with the Native Americans of the southwest. "Chia" is actually the Mayan word for strength. The seeds were used by these ancient cultures as mega-energy food, especially for their running messengers, who would carry a small pouch of it with them. Chia has been called 'Indian Running Food' and gives an incredibly 'sustaining' surge of energy". (source)

Interested? Me too.

Chia seeds are rich in fiber, antioxidants, full of minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. No other grain has more protein than a chia seed. They are also loaded with omega-6 and have the most omega-3 out of any other seed.
, 
Where do you get them? 
Check with any health food store. You can find them in the bulk bins or packaged.
(speaking of health food stores......locals, did you hear the AMAZING news?! Trader Joes is coming!!!)

What can you do with chia seeds? 
This is the best part......you can do anything! 
They are so tiny and mild flavored, you really can add them to anything.......

for example:
-Yogurt
-Oatmeal (whether raw or cooked)
-Smoothies
-We've been taking peanut butter, honey, and chia seed (whole wheat) tortillas (rolled up) on our hikes
-My pre-run meal lately has been whole wheat toast or english muffin with peanut butter, honey, and chia seeds. (with a glass of frosty o.j.)

If you have read Born to Run (a book you really need to read!!) you are probably familiar with the drink Chia Fresca or Iskiate. When chia seeds are soaked in water, they turn into a gel. While they don't need to be soaked to eat them, soaking does aid in digestion. Add your seeds to water with a little lime juice and some honey. (recipe here, scroll to the bottom). I have been mixing this up for the past few weeks a little here and there, and while I don't LOVE the texture of the gel, it's not too bad. I've also added the gel to my smoothie.

Speaking of smoothies....
,
Get Up and Go Smoothie
this smoothie is loaded with a little bit of everything you need to get your day going
serves 1-2

BLEND:
1 small banana
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
heaping spoon of peanut butter
small handful of raw oats
small handful of almonds
small handful of blueberries (you don't taste the berries--I just threw them in for some extra antioxidants)
spoonful of chia seeds
spoonful of ground flax
large drizzle of raw honey (more or less as you like)
spoonful of coconut oil, in liquid form
spoonful of cocoa powder (optional....sometimes I add it, sometimes I don't....I like to mix it up)
a few ice cubes

enjoy!

Do you eat chia seeds? 
I'd love to hear how YOU use them!

28 comments:

Claire said...

TRADER JOE'S! Sheena, I had no idea they'd be coming to Utah, so thank you for sharing the great news! I foresee some frequent trips to SLC in my future.

I've never had chia seeds, but I've been wanting to try them out ever since you started talking about them. Thanks for the tips on how to use them!

Kaitlyn Luce said...

I have a friend who is doing a detox and puts them in water with lemon, honey, and chili pepper or something like that? I haven't been daring enough to try it.

Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo said...

I use to bland it and add to my bread,love it.

Kenny said...

You can make lots of different tasty chia puddings. My base recipe is 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup liquid (really tasty with coconut milk), a banana or two, maybe some honey or agave if it needs it, a little vanilla, etc. and blend it all up! I add other fresh fruits when I feel like changing it up. I especially love to throw a bunch of strawberries in and/or drizzle some chocolate syrup on top.

Jackie Norris said...

Never had them, but they sound intriguing! Just curious, I've noticed you are using almond milk instead of cow's milk in your recent recipes... is that because of taste? nutrition? cost?

kylie said...

this looks so yum. i gotta try it.

Kassidi Bridge said...

Oh I'm so excited to try these little babies!!

Elise said...

I make chia seed pancakes with them! I want to make more desserts using them because they are so good!

Tara said...

My friend has been drinking/eating/force-feeding-herself chia seeds soaked in water before her long runs for a while. I think that's all she does, just chia seeds and water. It sounded so delicious, I don't know why I haven't tried it yet. But throwing some on the traditional pb-banana-honey sandwich might be a little more up my alley. I'll have to try it when I start marathon training like 2 days after I have this baby... haha. Kidding. Sort of.

stacey said...

Sounds great! Just wondering though, any idea how many calories are in this? It sounds like a lot.

sheena said...

@jackie norris: I just love the taste of almond milk:) So I like to sneak it in every now and then.

@stacey: so sorry....I have no idea--I'm super active, and not a calorie counter. It's not low-cal, that's for sure;) But it's all good fats that are important in a balanced diet.....that, I do know.

Candace said...

Hey sheena, I have been infatuated with chia seeds lately too! I have been experimenting with using the hydrated seeds as an oil substitute in salad dressings. If you come up with any great dressings I would love to hear about them!

Sara C. Walk said...

no! But I am going to try!

tutusandtea said...

I am loving Chia seeds! Just read this post with my whole family and we are so excited to get creative with them...thanks for the nutritional, intriguing history of these little power punched seeds!

melissa said...

i went to summer camp in 5th grade and one of our counselors was named chia. we all thought she was AWESOME.

elisa girard said...

I add a 1/4 cup of chia seeds to a quart of plain yogurt and it thickens up to Greek style in a few hours. I then add this to my smoothies or eat is with fruit for breakfast.

Rebecca Luke said...

I've used them to make fresh, healthy jam before. You mix fresh berries, or whatever fruit, some honey, and chia seeds in a blender. Fast and yummy. Could use it on pancakes too!

Sparkling said...

My sister put them in a soymilk/orange juice concoction that made up like a pudding because of the way the seeds expand like tapioca and it tasted like a creamsicle! Kind of creepy....

cosmohippiechef.com said...

LOVE chia seeds, I buy mine in the bulk section of Good Earth. If you don't soak them they need to be ground for your body to absorb them. All your tips for using them are spot on- good job.

tanalicious said...

hah! did you love born to run? seriously fun book, eh? totally makes me want to run. until i actually put on my shoes and start running. then i realize that it work. ;)

mysleepykitchen said...

it's been too long since I've visited your blog - so many great photos and recipes to catch up on. This post was great - I've been reading lots about chia seeds and really need to try them. The smoothie sounds so healthy and tasty - though I've just gotten into green smoothies, so I'll probably add in a couple handfuls of spinach too! love other people ideas about adding chia to yogurt and making puddings, etc!

healthyfortwo.com said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have made this smoothie 3 times! I use a frozen banana and omit the coconut oil each time but I LOVE it! It really fills me up and gives me energy for the day. So... thanks! :)

Nazareth Secret said...

Thank you the chia suggestions. I wanted to try them but had no idea what to do with them. Honey, peanut butter and chia sounds very good!

Lexie said...

I just started eating chia seeds recently, and I love them! I soak them in almond milk, then add a few spoonfuls to my go-to power breakfast of quinoa, cottage cheese, berries, almonds, and honey. They go by virtually unnoticed, but I know they're doing great things for my body and energy levels. I am much less likely to be a zombie at 2 p.m. on the days I have them with breakfast.

Sandy said...

I am always concerned about using peanut butter in a smoothie ( or anything for that matter) that is supposed to be healthy as it is often full of aflatoxins. Almond butter would be better.

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen bertoch said...

Thanks for the smoothie recipe! I'm gonna try it. I've been doing chia seeds in water, then tossing in a banana and a handful of frozen berries. :)

Karen Babine said...

I use chia seeds on salads, soups, fruit, pizza I put them under the sauce so my husband doesnt see them lol. Enjot