You would not be alone if you had not heard of Chia seeds before, they are the latest of superfoods to hit the market and are slowly creeping their way up to the top of the list. On a closer inspection into these funny looking little seeds I think and hope they will be more than a super phase. They are so good in fact that if you were stranded on a desert island all you would need is a good stash of Chia seeds to get all the nutrients you need.
Chai seeds may be new to us Westerner’s but they have actually been around since the Aztec times originating from Central and Southern Mexico and are part of the mint family. These little seeds are usually a mix of black, grey, white and brown, they don’t have much taste, if anything I would probably say slightly nutty, however if you soak them in liquid they swell to make a kind of gel and they take on the flavour of the liquid you mixed them with. I love to mix them with pomegranate juice and add to yoghurt with some nuts and seeds for a nutritious breakfast or with almond milk, raw honey and cacao powder for a chocolaty pudding.
So why all the fuss and why am I blogging about them? Well, I manage to sneak a good helping of these seeds into Charlie’s breakfast smoothie and they are literally bursting with goodness so I can’t help but smile from ear to ear when he is drinking his green monster with added Chia, even if he was a normal eating child I would struggle to get such a vast blast of nutrients into his daily diet. These little beauties contain more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon and it can be such a struggle to get kids to eat fish sometimes. Omega 3’s (DHA) are vital for brain development so it is especially important to make sure that they are part of the kids diet (as well as our own). Omega’s 3 (EPA) are effective for improving poor attention, hyperactivity, depression and anxiety. Chia also helps balance the blood sugar levels (another good reason to start the day with them), they energize you, are packed with antioxidants, they are a complete source of protein and are rich in fibre. And that’s not all, they are rich in calcium and magnesium, so a good way to get some bone building calcium if you avoid dairy, just two ounces of Chia seeds contain 600 mg of Calcium, compared with 120 mg for milk. They also contain iron, b vitamins and zinc, so you can see that’s a huge amount of goodness in these little gems!
So here is the lowdown….
What’s in 100g of chia?
(of which fibre is 41.2g)
Niacin (B3): 613mg
Thiamine (B1): 0.18mg
Riboflavin (B2): 0.04mg
Source: Nutritional Science Research Institute
You are probably wondering how on earth to incorporate them into your family diet, well there are a few ways that you can sneak them into food without anyone knowing. You can mix into cereal or porridge, add to soups, mix up in salads or veggies, add to rice or quinoa, add to homemade muffin’s or bread, yoghurts and smoothies.
Here is another big plus if you are trying to watch your weight (which is probably the majority of peeps reading this) they are a dieters dream as they swell up in water which makes you feel fuller longer and potentially eat less and as they balance blood sugar levels they should help keep the sugar cravings at bay. They also help you concentrate and improve your mood (double dose for me this week I think!)
You can pick up a bag of Chia seeds in the health food stores in the UK, France and Monaco prices are around €5/£5 ish for a good size bag, I try to use about a tablespoon a day and the bag lasts me a good few months.
Hopefully you can see the super benefits of these wonderful little seeds that are bursting with nutrition and health benefits. I will be trying out some more recipes soon and will update you of all the successes!