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Chia Seeds

Everything you need to know about Chia Seeds

 

What are Chia Seeds?

Like quinoa, the purple-flowered chia plant is a native of South America and is grown for its seeds. This is the plant of choice in American popular culture. 

Chia Pets used to amuse us 90s youngsters while simultaneously giving us the impression that we were expert gardeners and devoted pet owners.

Chia plants are flowering members of the mint family that are indigenous to Mexico and Guatemala. It is from these plants that chia seeds are obtained. One of the four principal crops farmed by the Aztecs, who were well aware of the advantages of the seeds, was chia. 

Chia is an ancient Mayan word that means strength, and Aztec warriors believed that a single tablespoon of it would give them energy for the entire day. Today, 500 years later, chia is a popular food among people all around the world.

The chia seeds have matured along with our generations. These days, we need to consider our futures and our health so chia seeds are now there, full of hope and magic.

But this "superfood" is nothing new in the world of food. It was first grown by the Aztecs a very long time ago, and it was only with the success of Chia Pets in the 1980s and 1990s that it eventually made it to the United States.

Chia Seeds: Nutrition and Health Benefits

One tablespoon of chia seeds has 6 grams of fibre and is the second-richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids behind flaxseed. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health claims that chia seeds are a rich source of protein, calcium, and trace minerals. 

Chia seeds also don't need to be ground or hulled like flax or hemp seeds require in order for the body to absorb the nutrients.

Chia Seeds: Black Vs White

Chia seeds come in both black and white varieties, and both have the same nutritional benefits and neutral flavour. In fact, you could notice a few white seeds thrown in among the black ones. Chia seeds labelled white should be light white.

The final decision on colour is made based on availability and preference. White chia seeds are preferred by certain bakers because they integrate well in doughs and batters. Tan chia seeds should be kept in mind as they are not fully developed and will not gel as well as black or white ones.

 

How to use Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are adaptable and can be used in a variety of recipes. The soluble fibre covering of the seed quickly absorbs water when submerged in liquid, creating a gel layer that surrounds the insoluble fibre centre. This makes it perfect for substituting for gelatin in jams or sweets (as in this raw coconut chia parfait), for giving water and drinks a quirky texture (chia kombucha, anyone? ), or even for use as an egg substitute.

They're entertaining as dry seeds, too, though. Incorporate them into your cookie dough, sift them into gluten-free flour, sprinkle them on salads, cereal, or ice cream, etc. They lack flavour yet deliver a powerful, nutritious punch.

How to store Chia Seeds?

When purchasing chia, shake the container briefly to check that the seeds appear dry and are moving freely. It may be a sign that the package has been sitting on the shelf for some time if seeds adhere to the sides of containers. When kept in a closed jar or container, whole chia seeds can be kept for several years.

Can I eat Chia Seeds with Yogurt?

Chia Seeds can be used with Yogurt. When viewed from the perspective of nutrition, it actually creates the best combination. Chia Seeds in Yogurt Overnight provides a delightful and nutritious breakfast. Stir the yogurt, milk, and chia seeds together in a bowl before putting it in the fridge. The chia seeds change into a filling breakfast overnight. Every day of the week, have chia seed pudding with yogurt for a quick and easy breakfast.

Can we use Chia Seeds for weight loss?

Chia seeds are a great addition to your diet because they improve several aspects of your health, including your metabolism, high iron content, Omega-3 content, and beneficial fats. The tiny white and black seeds are particularly beneficial for helping you lose weight and get rid of tummy fat.

Is Chia Seeds good to use everyday?

Consuming chia seeds may lower your risk of heart disease due to their high fiber and omega-3 content. Chia seeds and other sources of soluble fiber can help reduce blood levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. This can thus lower your risk of developing heart disease if used daily in a right amount.

 

Can I eat Chia Seeds without soaking them?

Yes, although it won't hurt to eat them raw. However, soaking them causes them to "sprout," which allows the enzyme inhibitors that are utilised to protect the seed to be released.