Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cha Cha Cha Chia!




Most people know what a Chia Pet is, but did you know that chia seeds are good for you to eat? (Not the ones used for Chia Pets, however.) Yes, in fact the chia seeds were used as a high energy endurance food by the ancient Aztec warriors who subsisted on the Chia seed during conquests. The Indians of the Southwest and Mexico would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24-hr forced march, or when running from the Colorado River to California to trade turquoise for seashells. It is said to have tremendous nutritional and medicinal properties, and only one tablespoon could sustain an individual for 24-hours.

Dr. Weil has noted that "Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc."

Dr. Oz also likes the chia seed, discussing it in his bestselling book "YOU, Staying Young" and  Oprah.Com  has a wonderful recipe for a Pumpkin and Chia Seed Muffin.

You can sprinkle them on salads, fruit, just about anything. Add them to bread flower, put them in your oatmeal, or drink them in a glass of water with lemon. They have no flavor or their own, which makes them nice to sprinkle on foods. Since my husband ordered two pounds, (yes, you heard that right), from Amazon, we have plenty of chia seeds for the next couple of years! Thank goodness they keep well. For those looking for smaller quantities, we also found them at Whole Foods.

23 comments:

Brian Miller said...

so do they still grow inside you? make sure you chew well...lol.

lakeviewer said...

Oh, I just saw Brian's comment and am still laughing. Great piece of information here. Will look for them.

Alaine said...

They sound too good; will have to find a source here. Thanks, Nancy.

Kathy G said...

Interesting. Thanks for the information.

Pam said...

On a side note, don't ever try to sprout them. I tried sprouting them like you would alfalfa, and they turn into this creepy glob of gelatin.

Marguerite said...

I love Dr. Andrew Weil and I have read all of his books. I have used ground flax seed for many years and sprinkle it on just about everything, including the Cajun dishes. But these chia seeds sound great and I'll definitely try them. Thanks for such an interesting post!

Emom said...

Very Cute photo! smiles.

DJan said...

Hmmm. It seems like every time I turn around there is another thing I can't live without. We use flax seed right now and will check out the chia seeds.

Amy said...

Nancy, The Mac is hilarious! Since you have two pounds do you have to keep them in the freezer? I'll look for them - maintaining good health is number one priority around here!

Hilary said...

I didn't know that. They sound like the perfect food. I'll have to see if I can find them. Are they crunchy?.. like sesame seeds?

Nancy said...

Brian - LOL! Chia Belly...

Pam - The sprouting chia seeds are different than the eat ones - but some people like the gel they create when soaked in water. (Not me.)

Amy - I'm not sure. I think we will freeze some, but surprisingly - they go pretty fast. My husband is training for a marathon, so he eats more of them than I do, but a tablespoon a day per person uses more than I originally thought.

Hilary - They are very tiny - so there is a little crunch when on salads, but the ones I put with my fruit and yogurt get soft pretty quick and do not crunch.

LMJ said...

oh wow..that's very interesting.

Natalie said...

I tried some Chia bread recently, which was yummy, but i didn't understand why it was so pricey?!
Now I know, it's miracle food. :D

linda said...

i have just started eating them, having grown quite tired of the flax...loving their crunch and will be adding them to bread to see how that goes...
xoxo

Lori ann said...

i like the chia mac. :)

we'll have to finish our flax first. i don't know how long the seeds keep. glad to know the chia keeps well, 2 pounds is alot!

healthful eating!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Never heard of them, but now I'm going to look for them at whole foods. Two pounds? Wow. You can go into business!

otin said...

I'd worry that my tongue would need mowing after a while! hahaha!

gayle said...

I am going to try to find these!! Thanks!!

Gaston Studio said...

Those little Chia pets from the 70s? Too cute, who knew what they were made of was good for you!

Lily Robinson said...

If I could get that chia pet image out of my head, I might consider trying them...

I wonder if they're good for horses, too. I've got flax seed on my shopping list this week for Maggie.

Ruth said...

Our son turned us on to chia seeds. It's incredible the value they have!

The Good Cook said...

I am going to look for these seeds.. I've never heard of them before. Thanks!

California Girl said...

how much is 25 grams? I don't do metric so I don't know if that's alot or a little. funny to hear all this. my first impression was "WTF?"