>Chia seeds are one of my new favorite additions to my ever expanding food adventures. Who knew back during the Chia Pet craze that those seeds were actually quite nutritious and can be used in so many different ways- not just as novelty grasses. As for nutritional benefits, chia seeds are rich in omega-3’s, even more so than flax. I have even read that chia has more omega 3’s than salmon.They are also an excellent source of fiber and loaded with antioxidants & minerals. When mixed with water (or any preferred liquid) the seed will form a gel, similar to that of tapioca. Some suggestions for use include puddings, adding to yogurt, smoothies, jams, tea, or grinding up as a flour substitute. Chia will soak up to 9 times its weight in water and forms a gel within 30 minutes!
Whole Foods Market sells Chia with the bulk herbs and spices & is also sold packaged through the Navitas Naturals brand.
Here are some easy and quick recipes to get you started…
1 cup of chia seed gel (Basic gel recipe below)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
Blend on high until well mixed & ENJOY.
BASIC CHIA GEL:
3 1/2 TBS chia seed
2 cups water
Mix & let stand for 30 minutes.
I prefer to stay away from jams/jellies due to the high sugar content-even if organic and not laden with high fructose corn syrup. This is an awesome alternative!
FRESH FRUIT JAM:
1/2 cup chia seed gel
2/3 cup fresh fruit of choice
Place ingredients in blender and pulse until you get the consistency you prefer. If spreading on bread or toast, try a layer of coconut oil instead of butter (with jam on top) for some extra deliciousness.