Sunday, April 8, 2012
not-so-secret ingredient spotlight: chia seed
So, you've heard me mention chia seeds on the blog a few times now. These seeds have received quite the notoriety as of late and with good reason. At one point, I was worried that I was too addicted to these tiny wonders! I really can't live without them.
- The seed from the chia plant (yes, the same seed that grows Chia Pets) is native to South America, where ancient Aztec warriors used it before going into battle or running long distances on foot because they're prized for their energy inducing properties.
- Also known as salba (good to know when searching for them at your local market. Seriously.).
- Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds don’t need to be ground to release their nutritional powers.
- They’re virtually tasteless.
-Contains 25% of your daily-recommended calcium.
- Rich in magnesium, iron, zinc and antioxidants.
- Omega 3, chia’s fiber, forms a gel that slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, binds it to toxins in the digestive system, and helps eliminate waste.
- Due to this high fiber content, chia seed absorbs ten times its weight in water, making it an excellent source of hydration. This also means a slower conversion of carbohydrates to sugars, resulting in greater stamina and endurance.
Try them in Chia Fresca, an easy-to-make energy drink that’s favored by indigenous Mexican tribes:
- Just Mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with 1½ cups of water. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of agave nectar.
When buying: Be sure to get darker chia, as it's nutritionally superior to the lighter kind.
Good to know: Don't let your smoothie with chia seeds sit for to long! It thickens and takes on a gelly consistency.
I'm still waiting to start sprouting little green blades of grass through my skin! Stay tuned...