Thursday, July 28, 2011
Chia Oh My-A
I'll admit, aside from guessing that they're seeds, I know nothing about them.
Here's what I found...
Chia seeds are harvested from the Salvia hispanica plant, a type of sage in the mint family. The seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have versatile uses in the kitchen. Chia seeds were a staple of the ancient Aztec diet, and they are now grown commercially in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico.
Chia seeds may be eaten raw or prepared in a number of dishes. Raw, they are an excellent source of dietary fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds may be ground into pinole, a meal that can be used for porridge or baked goods. They may also be soaked in fruit juice or water to make a dish known as chia fresca in Mexico. Chia seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in water.
In recent decades, chia has seen a resurgence in popularity and has been hailed as a "super food" with many dietary benefits. It helps the body retain fluids and electrolytes, it forms a gel in the stomach that slows the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, and it helps build muscle and other tissues. Chia is a source of protein and boron, which aids in the absorption of calcium. Chia seeds can be used to make a gel that one can substitute for oil or other fats in a variety of recipes. Chia gel can be added to any sauces, jellies, or baked goods, for example.
Have you done the chia thing?
I usually stay away from seeds because some of them mess with my stomach but perhaps these are worth a shot. If you've tried them, let me know what they taste like and how you've used them. Thanks!