I'm not gunna lie, I have been so into chia seeds lately. Major big crush. Can't stop blushing and might get a little flustered if one were to ask the status of our relationship. Yes, I know in the health-junky-blog-world, these little seeds are not new to anyone. In fact, people have been talking about these itty bitty seed's greatness for a while now, but I have just seriously gotten into them this past year and have declared 2012 the year of the chia seed.
They are so pretty too. I have been grinding them and making a 'chia seed meal' that I mix with water and then let sit in the fridge to make a chia gel to have on hand to add to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, and more. The gel seems to work so well in smoothies- making them extra creamy and like a "triple-thick" milkshake if you ask me. I know I could just add the seeds whole and still get all the great health benefits form them, but I have found that I really like how the texture turns out when I make the chia-gel and add it in that form instead. So thick, creamy and almost like ice cream or pudding if you ask me.
Some reasons to LOVE chia seeds
(more than growing a chia a pet, of course!)
-Chia seeds are an amazing source of Omega-3 fats. Great for your brain, organs and heart. Chia is a great way to ingest and digest these amazing fats. If you are sick of swallowing a pill or oil to get your Omega's- then try some chia seeds instead.
-Chia seeds have a much higher amounts of antioxidants compared to the flaxseed. Chia and flax seeds are many times said to be interchangeable in recipes (which is mostly true for texture) but chia seems to beat out flax in some pretty amazing health benefits.
-Chia seeds have 5 grams of protein per serving size (1 ounce or 3 Tablespoons) and 12 grams of dietary fiber-whoa- starting your day with a serving of this powerful seed will keep you going strong without question.
-Chia seeds do not need to be refrigerated and can last a lot longer than other seeds, so there is little worry about them becoming rancid over time. Extra bonus for stock-up purposes.
-Chia seed gel is an amazing egg-substitute. Great for vegan baking with an added punch of goodness too. I have been enjoying adding it to almost any baking recipe- just because ;)
-Chia seeds contain phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin and zinc. Perfect for keeping your immunities high along with strengthening your cells and organs.
1. Grind 1 cup of chia seeds in a magic bullet, Vitamix, or smaller food processor (using a blade you would normally use to grind other seeds or whole grains).
2. Pour the chia seed meal into a quart-sized mason jar that you have a secure top for.
3. Fill the rest of the quart jar with pure water (about 2 cups).
4. Shake up the jar and let sit in the fridge ready for use.
My wake-up milkshake as of late using 'chia-gel' for extra creamy goodness:
the 4-ingredient milkshake recipe
1 cup of frozen berries
1 cup of hemp or coconut milk, or other favorite non-dairy milk
1/2 cup of chia-gel*
10-12 drops of alcohol-free liquid stevia (I use NuNatural's)
I blend all of the above ingredients in my magic bullet and you have to shake it or stir it a few times to get things moving- but I like it thick- so I am willing to make it work. I blend for a minute or so and viola my morning milkshake is ready to consume. Because I like to use hemp milk there is another dose of Omega's and the protein is around 10 grams, fiber around 16 grams and calories around 320. Not bad. And, it is fulfilling and energizing for 4-5 hours for sure- another bonus.
Costco for a very fair price (32 ounces for $6.79). Or I have bought chia seeds in larger quantities from Vitacost as well. If you are interested in getting an extra 10 dollars off your next purchase of chia seeds check out this link and order them through Vitacost with the $10 discount (disclaimer: You have to be a BRAND NEW customer to receive the 10 dollar free coupon).
I hope you find something new in the kitchen to love this new year. One that is full of health and goodness. Cheers to a year of health, hope and healing!
Much love to you!