Discover Chia

Discover Chia

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

Thousands of years ago, chia seed was a staple in the diets of ancient Mayans and Aztecs. The word chia is derived from the Mayan language, meaning “strength,” and Aztec warriors relied on chia seed to boost energy and increase stamina. Today this tiny seed is a favorite of athletes, especially distance runners, who tout it as an endurance enhancing superfood.

Chia seed contains a wealth of fiber—5 grams in just one tablespoon. It is the fiber in chia that causes chia seed to swell when combined with water, creating chia gel. Whether you eat chia gel or just the raw seeds, the hydrophilic action of chia seed will keep you full longer than many other seeds. Amazingly, chia gel can also be used as a substitute for eggs in many baked goods. Use a proportion of 1 to 6 ratio of Chia Seeds to Water to make chia gel. Use approximately one tablespoon of chia gel to replace one large egg in your baked goods.

Discover Chia

The mild, nutty flavor of chia seed goes well with both sweet and savory dishes. Use chia seed in puddings and smoothies, sprinkle on top of porridge and salads, and add to baked goods in place of flaxseed meal or poppy seeds. Try our recipe for chia fresca (video below), a refreshing drink perfect for a hot summer day in place of lemonade or use it as pre- or post-workout fuel. Looking for a fool-proof way to get chia into your diet? Make our blueberry refrigerator jam (recipe on the bag)! The gelling nature of chia makes it an ideal (and nutritious) substitute for pectin in jam. No matter the dish, you can increase the nutritional value of any meal with a sprinkle of chia seed.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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4 Responses to “Discover Chia”

  1. I love chia seeds and there are so many benefits. I am curious, what’s the difference between organic and conventional chia seeds, and is it really necessary to buy organic chia seeds?

    • Tiffany,

      The only difference between conventional and organic chia seeds is how they are grown. Organic chia seeds are held to a certain standard by the USDA Organic Program. Conventional are grown using whatever conventional farming practices are used to grow chia seeds.

  2. Is fiber the primary nutritional value of chia, or are there other nutrients in it? Can you provide a nutrient profile? It sounds like to make the gel, one simply soaks the seeds. If not making gel, but simply adding the seeds to granola or sprinkling on yogurt, should the chia be ground to access nutritional benefits, like one grinds flax? The chia lemon fresca sounds yummy! Thanks!

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