Cha Cha Cha Chia SeedsPosted: June 19, 2011
I discovered these in the States last year and what I found out was that they have very similar properties to flaxseeds but only “better” –Loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids (5 grams in 2 tablespoons).
Anyway, up until now I haven’t bought any in SA because they cost a bloody arm and a leg!! (I’m still trying to figure out why?!) BUT, following my usual route around Wellness Warehouse the other day I saw them on special (R49 for 200g), so before my inner voice started telling me that I should rather be spending the money on more important things like laundry detergent or Clingwrap (which, in my opinion is must-have in ANY kitchen!), I threw the packet of seeds in my basket and without hesitation, carried straight on.. ‘No looking back’, was my mantra.
Now at first, they look strange- almost a cross between a poppy seed and an ant, and you think to yourself, what on earth makes these pathetically puny things so great?!
Well, they are known to reduce inflammation and help the body fight off some of the effects of aging (I’m only 24 but you know what they say… the younger you start etc!), and what’s nice is that unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind chia for your body to use it -so definitely less work involved, making them that much more convenient.
Another great property is that they are hydrophyllic – meaning they hold around 10 times their weight in water. This is a good thing for athletes because it helps with hydration during exercise. But it’s also a good thing for chefs/vegans because they can be used as a substitute for eggs! Yip, you will see that if you mix a few seeds with water- they fluff up and become sort of “gluey” which make them a great binding agent in baking etc.
But if you don’t feel like actually cooking with them, it’s also perfectly fine to just eat them as-is! I have found that I often put them in my morning bowl of oats and this gives it a lovely creaminess.
Chia seeds also have a large amount of antioxidants- In two tablespoons you will find fibre(7 grams), protein (4 grams) and calcium (205 milligrams).
Some people actually call them “Indian Running Food” because the ancient Aztec warriors used them during their conquests. I love high intensity exercise and I’ve started using the seeds to enhance stamina and endurance during training sessions (gosh, that sounds like I’m advocating some kind of dodgy illegal stimulant!! I promise it’s all natural!).
So, if you needing more omega-3’s in your diet…or simply just want to experiment with them- you can find the seeds at most health shops…and when the shop assistant says to you “oh, you mean chai, like chai tea?” –It’s NOT that