By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern
Yes, it’s the same chia seed you saw in those dorky Chia Pet commercials but you won’t forget the jingle! According to WebMD, chia is an edible seed that is grown in South America and dates back to the time of the Mayans and Aztecs. Today it can be found in most grocery stores and is used as a healthy ingredient that can be added to certain dishes. For example, these seeds can be included in recipes for pudding, bread, and smoothies, yum!
Chia seeds are a whole-grain food that contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as calcium, fiber, carbohydrates, antioxidants and protein, among other things, and according to Aztec and Mayan legends, they pack a powerful punch when it comes to giving you energy. The two ancient groups were said to have used chia seeds as a kind of energy supplement before laborious tasks, so give them a try before your next workout and see how it goes!
It is also said that chia seeds help with weight loss, and although that has never been proven, they do absorb 10 times their weight in water which means when eaten they will make you feel fuller faster. All in all, the chia seed can add lots of nutrients to your diet in a new and interesting way, so the next time you’re at the grocery store pick some up and see what they can do for you; and if you need a bit of help figuring out what scrumptious creation to make with these little seeds, here are 10 recipes to get you started!
- Honey Wheat Bread with Chia and Flax
- Chia Seed Pudding
- Raspberry and Coconut Chia Pudding Pops
- Raspberry Lemonade Chia Drink
- Chia Crusted Salmon with Soy Bok Choy
- Mango, Coconut and Chia Seed Smoothie
- Chia Seed Jam
- Blueberry Oatmeal Chia Seed Muffins
- Healthy Multi-Grain Chia Waffles
- Superfood Chocolate Chip Cookies
My personal favorite of the recipes above is the Superfood Chocolate Chip Cookies. While I haven’t tried it yet, it will be the first recipe I attempt with chia. The discovery of this unique food has left me thinking lots about chia!