01 Apr Have you heard the buzz about Chia Seeds?
Those of you that know Joe have probably seen him walking around with a bottle of what looks alarmingly like frog spawn… infact he has wound up several unsuspecting clients that he is infact drinking Frog Spawn collected from Manly Dam. Well it’s time to let his secret out, the contents of his bottle are soaked Chia Seeds. Chia Seeds are a complete superfood grown naturally, right here in Australia!! These versatile black and white seeds are the highest known plant source of Omega-3, that’s 8 times more than salmon! These powerful little seeds also pack in Vitamins A, B12 and C, complete protein (18 Amino Acids), minerals including potassium, phosphorous, folate, zinc, iron, and calcium as well as bowel-regulating soluble and insoluble fibre not to mention their powerful naturally occurring antixodiants. Wow!
Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds:
- 7 x more Vitamin C than oranges
- 6 x more fibre than oat bran
- 5 x more calcium than milk
- 4 x higher ORAC value (measure of antioxidant ‘power’) than blueberries
- 3 x more iron than spinach
- 2 x more potassium than bananas
- 1 hundred per cent nutrition!
History of Chia
Chia seeds were first used as food as early as 3500 BC and were one of the main dietary components of the Aztecs and the Mayans. Now grown locally they are a more sustainable agricultural choice for our Australian farmers, being a bug-resistant arid crop producing seed even with limited water. It was so revered by the Aztecs as a source of supernatural energy and power that it was used as money!
How do I incorporate Chia into my daily diet? Well, the sky’s the limit!
Chia has a pleasant mild nutty taste and can be added to any food or beverage without altering the original flavour . The seeds can be sprinkled over salads, cereals and muesli or incorporated into smoothies, breads, muffins, slices, cookies or porridge. You can also use a spice/coffee grinder to make a fine meal-like consistency.
Why not try Chia as a gel? When mixed with water (ratio – 1 tablespoon of Chia to 1 cup of water), Chia seeds forms a unique nourishing gel that can be added to smoothies, juices, breakfast shakes, herbal teas, yogurts, soups, salad dressing or sauces.
You will find that the taste of the original food will remain fairly unchanged and you have all the goodness of the Chia. It is also a healthy addition to stir fries, pies and salads and anything else you can think of!
Chia Seeds for weightloss
The hydrophilic nature (they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water) of Chia seeds means they also act as an appetite suppressant. Taking the seeds whole with a glass of water or mixed in with a small meal allows them to reach your stomach before becoming a gel. Once in the stomach though they form the gel and fool your brain into thinking your stomach is full – hence you don’t feel the need to eat more.
Although Chia seeds won’t make you loose kilos over night they have been shown to facilitate natural weight loss within a few weeks of adding them to the diet. When eaten with a balanced, healthy diet you’ll see their maximum effect.
Blueberry Muffins (great for the kids too!)
2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup honey or agave syrup
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Chia whole seeds (soaked for 15 min. in a little milk)
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.
2. Prevent the muffin thins with some oil to prevent the muffins from sticking; you need only 1 tsp of oil.
3. Mix the followng ingredients in a bowl: whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Chia (pre soaked for 15 minutes)
4. Mix in a second bowl the sunflower oil, apple sauce, vanilla, honey, and blueberries.
5. Put everything together and mix it fast.
6. Put this mix in muffin tins.
7. (Do not use paper muffin tins, the muffin will stick to the paper.)
8. Place the muffins in the oven (150 degrees) for 25 minutes. Enjoy!
Tahini Banana Dream Smoothie
2 tablespoons tahini
1 cup vanilla rice milk
2 tablespoon Chia, whole seed (soaked for 15 minutes in milk)
Blend the banana, tahini, Chia and vanilla rice milk together and serve.
Chia seeds can be brought at your local health food store and at numerous online stores. Because they are so rich in antioxidants the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. Store in a cool, dry place.
Sonya is a fully qualified Personal Trainer, Experienced Trekker and Mum with an interest in Holistically based nutrition and training.
Want to know more about Sonya’s take on nutrition and training? Drop us an email
The content of this article has been mainly sourced from:
The Chia Co www.thechiaco.com.au
Honest to Goodness www.goodness.com.au
Life Organic www.lifeorganic.com.au