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Cooking with Chia

Chia SeedsChia seeds are a fantastic super food – high in protein, soluble fibre, omega-3 and antioxidants.

There is so much more to this tiny seed with the impressive nutritional profile. Having recently read the book “Chia, The complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood” by Wayne Coates, it is a truly amazing food.

Did you know?

  • Chia has eight times more of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty than salmon. This is great news for people suffering from joint disorders. The high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds helps to ‘lubricate’ joints and keeps them mobile.
  • The high fibre content of chia seeds is perfect for weight loss. It creates a feeling of fullness and satiety and takes the edge off hunger or food cravings. Just 1 tablespoon (12g) of chia seeds contains 5,000 mg of total fibre, the same as 10 cups of corn flakes cereal or 10 slices of white bread.
  • Chia is gluten-free which makes it ideal for people who have celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
  • Dairy products are not the only source of calcium. Chia seeds are full of this bone building mineral and also contain boron, a trace mineral that helps calcium to move into the bones.
  • If eating tomatoes or other food leave you with heartburn or digestive upsets, sprinkle chia seeds over your food. These tiny seeds absorb acids in tart food in the same manner they absorb water, which might reduce your digestive discomfort.
  • Chia seeds are in there for the long run. Several whole foods such as flaxseed, brown rice or wheat germ go rancid quickly. Due to high antioxidant levels of chia seeds, they don’t spoil and keep for up to two years.

Using chia seeds in your diet

  • To protect the omega-3 content of chia seeds, cooking at lower temperatures (190° C or below) is recommended.
  • Chia seeds make a perfect egg replacement. For every egg, combine one tablespoon chia seeds with three tablespoons water. Whisk together and allow to gel for 10 to 15 minutes before using.
  • When using chia seeds in your baking, you may find the cooking time to be about 5 percent longer than non-chia recipes.
  • To increase the nutritional profile of your favourite food, add some chia seeds or chia gel. Using chia seeds or gel doesn’t affect flavours but adds vital nutrients while promoting good health with fibre. Making chia gel is easy:
    • Combine 1 cup of cold water and 1 3/4 tablespoons chia seeds with wire whisk in a sealable container. Wait for a few minutes before whisking again. Refrigerate chia gel and use as needed. Use within 2 weeks.
  • To add fullness to your tummy and prevent overeating, have a teaspoon or up to a tablespoon of chia seeds in a big glass of water before meals.

Chia helps to reduce fat

Have you got a favourite muffin, cookie or cake and would like to have a healthier version? Chia gel an be used as a replacement for the fat or oil. If your favourite Choc Chip Cookies call for 1/2 cup of butter, use 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of chia gel without changing the taste or texture of your recipe.

Looking for healthy chia bar on the run?

Check out my recipe.

Looks like you cannot go wrong with chia seeds. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

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