It’s no secret that chia seeds provide ample nutritional benefits. Though small in size, this superfood is packed with fibre, Omega-3 fats, proteins, vitamins and calcium. The seeds are harvested from a flowering plant known as Salvia hispanica. Though a seemingly recent health craze, this anti-oxidant packed food actually has a long history. Chia is the Mayan word for “strength,” as Mayan warriors would eat the seeds as fuel in order to prepare for battle. According to the Hevia Centre for Research, chia seeds can also protect your skin from environmental damage and offers anti-aging benefits. Here are five ways to incorporate these mighty seeds into your diet:
This is perhaps the most popular use of chia seeds, and for good reason. Chia pudding takes only a few minutes to prepare and is perfect as an on-the-go breakfast option. Simply combine a half cup of chia seeds with two cups of coconut milk, a tablespoon of vanilla extract and your choice of sweetener.
If you’re not a fan of the natural texture of these seeds, this is your best option. Just add chia seeds to your favourite smoothie recipe for an easy way to soak up their benefits, without having to tolerate the texture on the roof of your mouth.
The crunchy nature of chia seeds makes them the perfect companion for granola. You can pick up premade chia granola at your local grocery store, or bake your own at home if you’re in the mood for experimenting with culinary creations. Try combining this chia granola with Greek yogurt and mixed berries, for the ultimate parfait (and a distraction from that tempting chocolate ice cream at the back of your freezer).
Substitute for a flour crust
Rather than coating your meat and fish with starchy flours, a tablespoon of chia seeds provide a healthy crust alternative when mixed with a cup of cornmeal or almond meal.
Sprinkle it on!
Due to their versatility, chia seeds can be sprinkled onto many kinds of food like salads, eggs, and soups, thus adding an easy boost of nutrition to some of your favourite dishes. If you’re aiming for just a small dose and trying the seeds for the first time, this option may also be an effective way to introduce yourself to the powers of chia.