Ingredient of the Month 21: Chia Seeds- and Chia Champions recipe event
|They don't look like much, but chia seeds are packed with nutrients!|
|See how tiny they really are...|
- Just one tablespoon of chia seeds contains more omega- 3 oils than salmon (great news; don't let anyone tell you you have to eat fish to get these fatty acids!) In fact, it's one of the richest known sources. Omega-3s build strong and flexible cell walls in the body, are essential for the vital organs, can prevent cancer and promote cardiovascular health.
- Antioxidants and minerals are abundant in chia seeds; they are weight for weight higher in calcium than milk and higher in antioxidants than blueberries, for example.
- Vitamins B, C, E and K are also found in chia seeds.
- Chia seeds are rich in good quality protein. (ie: made from all the essential amino acids.) They are 20% protein, in fact, and 1oz (about 2 tablespoons) of chia contains 4.4g.
- Fibre is another great benefit from eating chia seeds; they contain even more than flax seeds.
- You can use chia as an egg replacer, the same as a flax egg
- Chia seeds, ground or unground, can thicken sauces without the need for corn or wheat flour.
- Ground chia makes an excellent naturally set chilled dessert, along with your favourite fruit, plant milk and natural sweetening agents; just throw it all into the blender and leave to set in the fridge.
- You can slip chia seeds into your baking for added nutritional benefits.
- Chia seeds can be sprouted, although I have to admit I haven't had any success in this yet. Apparently you should spray them with water rather than soaking them to avoid the gelatinous mess I ended up with! (All helpful comments on sprouting chia gratefully accepted!)