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Chia Seeds – Superfood – Why are they good and what to do with them

7. August 2016 no comments Organic Nutritions

Chia Seeds

Chia is an annual herb growing up to 1.75 metres (5.7 feet) tall, with opposite leaves that are 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) long and 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) wide. Its flowers are purple or white and are produced in numerous clusters in a spike at the end of each stem. The word “chia” is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily. Chia seeds are a nutrient dense food from Mexico that has become a popular superfood.

Nutritional gems from chia:

Omega-3 fatty acids. With all of the omega-6 fatty acids from soy and corn entering our food supply, most Americans have unbalanced omega-6: omega-3 ratios. Omega-6 fats are more commonly associated with promoting inflammation in the body. While inflammation is a necessary part of health, it needs to be kept in balance by cholesterol, saturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are higher in omega-3 fats than any other plant source. However, as with all plant-based sources of omega-3’s, your body converts a relatively small amount of these short-chain ALA fatty acids into the very healthy long-chain fatty acids DHA and EPA. Animal sources such as salmon, tuna and algae are direct sources and therefore have a much more significant impact on raising the body’s levels. Still, it is nice to get a variety of dietary fats.

Protein. Chia seeds have 19 amino acids and so provide a nice variety to supplement one’s diet. You would have to eat an enormous quantity of chia seeds to meet your daily allowance, but as a condiment, they sure pack a great amino acid array.

Fiber. Chia seeds absorb 9 times their weight in water yet most of their fiber is insoluble. They are filling and tend to be absorbed more slowly and therefore promote a slow release of blood sugar (helpful for weight loss and those with blood sugar control issues).

High in antioxidants. Chia seeds are higher in antioxidants than blueberries. It’s a good thing too because omega-3 fatty acids are very delicate and easily damaged, therefore, it is important that plenty of antioxidants are ingested to prevent a free radical cascade. Think of omega-3’s as a movie star surrounded by paparazzi. Without bodyguards (antioxidants), the “movie star” chia seed is going to get pummeled. Cholesterol is the most potent antioxidant. Foods high in cholesterol include animal-based foods (egg yolks, shrimp, butter, liver, and cheese).

Chia seeds are easy to incorporate into your diet.

Here are a few suggestions:

* Mixed in salad dressing and sauces.

* Mixed in batter (i.e. pancake) or as a thickener for homemade pudding.

* Sprinkle on yogurt or cottage cheese.

* Added to beverages. Hot cocoa with chia seeds is wonderful!

* Add to nut butter and eat with celery.

* Bake your bread with chia seeds or your cake

* Mixed in different drinks and shakes

Look in our shop for Chia Seeds , we found some very nice offer for you!

This is my favourite chia seed bread recipe. I found it and loved the bread from the first time:

400 g whole wheat flour or rye flour or any flour you like
200 g white bread flour or spelt flour
400 grams of keffir whey (or just plain water)
A few tablespoons of chia seeds
12 g fresh yeast (6 g dry or 3 g instant)
12 g salt

The night before you want to bake, mix the chia seeds and the whey or water together and let them sit to allow the chia seeds to swell.  This is important because you will only extract all the goodness from chia seeds if they are soaked or ground.  Their little shells are too hard for our systems to crack on their own so if you don’t soak or grind them, they just go straight through you and this is an expensive waste of an otherwise highly nutritious seed.  The same is true for flax seeds, by the way.

When you want to bake, measure the flours into a bowl.  If you are using dry yeast, make a well in the flour, measure in the yeast and pour over about 100 g of the liquid (including any chia seeds that sneak in).  Wait for 15 minutes or so for the yeast to dissolve and then add all of the other ingredients.  If you are using fresh or instant yeast, just measure them into the bowl along with everything else.  Bring the ingredients together and then turn them out on the counter.  Knead well for 10 minutes (even if you are using a mixer, knead for 10 minutes).  Pop the dough back into the bowl, cover, and let sit for 1-2 hours (or all day in the fridge) until it has double in size.

Once it has doubled in size, turn the dough out on the counter (gently) and shape it how you would like it.  Cover the dough and let it sit for 45 minutes to one hour and then turn the oven on to 200 degrees c.  Pop the dough in and bake it for 45 minutes.  When you tap the bottom of the dough it should sound hollow and feel “thin”.  Let it cool completely before cutting into it.  The bread is lovely and makes great, tasty toast.

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