Friday Feast: Chia Seeds
|July 6, 2012||Posted by Running at Disney under Healthy Eating|
Chia seeds are making a comeback in the world of super foods. You probably know them best from your childhood Chia Pet, but they are actually very good for you to eat! They are an excellent source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other important nutrients.
The history of chia goes back to Aztec and Mayan cultures in Mexico where they were used to not only sustain hunger, but medicinally to relieve joint pain. Today, chia seeds are increasing in popularity as more and more people are realizing the benefits of to adding them to your diet. The seeds don’t have much flavor, so you can add them to cereals, yogurt, or my favorite is to throw a tablespoon in my morning smoothie. Because of this, you can get off of those wonderful nutrients without even noticing!
An interesting thing about chia seeds is the gel that they form when added to water. I know this may sound gross, but it is actually a really good thing. The gel can help you feel fuller longer by slowing down the process of how digestive enzymes break down food. The gel can also be used to balance your blood sugar, relieve heartburn, and even make low fat baked goods. That’s right, I said baked goods! Chia gel can replace up to half of the butter in a recipe for a low fat version of your favorite cupcake. Chia Guinness cupcakes anyone??
So, why not give chia seeds a try? They are inexpensive and because they are high in antioxidants, they last a very long time. Plus, because insects aren’t a fan of the chia plant, they are almost always organic and that’s a good thing!
Do you cook with chia seeds? What are some of your favorite uses?