Ch-ch-ch-chia! We know, we know. We're all sick and tired of that one. But it's fun, yeah?
We all recall those crazy clay animals sprouting afros of green in the 80's right? Not only is chia a fun memory from our youth, but the seeds of those wigs and fur coats are super great to eat and are jam-packed full of nutritional neat-o! Chia is a member of the mint family and is a fast-growing herb, with white, blue, and purple flowers that produce these super-powered seeds that we now cultivate and devour. Gluten free and fiber-full, chia seeds boast the highest omega-3 content in nature, and also contain high levels of tryptophan, the amino acid precursor of serotonin (the happy chemical!). They're also a good source of iron, magnesium, calcium, and folic acid, and thanks to their ability to absorb liquid like a sponge, they make for a great vegan egg replacer and binder in baking, and also help flush toxins out of the body during digestion by adhering to the bad stuff in the digestive tract and ushering it out. The beauty of these little gems, is that unlike flax seeds, you needn't grind them to reap all the health bonuses!
So what do you do with chia seeds? Anything! You can blend the seeds into juice and smoothies, add them into soups, stews, and chillis, or roll the little guys into raw chocolate protein balls.
Eat More Chia!
With an amazing nutritional profile, mild flavor, and impressive versatility, it's hard to think of a reason NOT to incorporate more of these super seeds into your diet!
Smoothies and Drinks: Chia seeds make a great addition to smoothies and other drinks. Added whole, they impart a fun texture to frescas and even cocktails. Ground, they are great thickeners for smoothies and nogs. Our fave is this Cranberry Coconut Smoothie!
Raw Treats: With their amazing water-absorbing capacity (and no heat required), chia seeds are perfect thickeners raw puddings and sauces! These recipes are all must-try's!
1. Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds
These raw, certified-organic chia seeds pack a high fiber punch, while also satisfying consumer desire for products of superior nutritional value. Nutiva supports sustainable agricultural practices and a fair return to the farmers who produce their goods. The company also donates one percent of sales to groups that support sustainable agriculture.
2. Bob's Red Mill Chia Seeds
WIth a mild, nutty flavor, these seeds come from a company that knows a thing or two about sustainability. Bob's has been around since 1978 and says it guarantees quality by keeping production all under one roof; theirs, and by maintaining personal relationships with farmers from across the country, often making visits to their farms. Bob's Red Mill offer one of the largest lines of 'USDA Organic', whole grain foods in the country.
This article was originally published on One Green Planet. If you loved these recommendations, you can browse through some more amazing product recommendations here!