I'm in love with these little seeds and I will tell ya why!
Yes you heard me right.....I said CHIA! Yes the same ones on those silly little cha cha cha chia pet commercials.
So what exactly is a chia seed you may ask? Well chia seeds are small seeds with a faint nutty taste to no flavor depending on who you talk to. They are tiny little seeds packed with an amazing powerhouse of nutrition.
1 TBSP of chia seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk and more omega 3 fatty acids than a piece of salmon. They are a great source of plant based protein and full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The word Chia means strength in the Mayan language and it is said that Mayans and Aztecs used these seeds for endurance during battle or traveling long distance.
Today athletes are discovering their energy and hydration benefits and they are becoming more and more popular staples in health seekers diets.
Here are 5 great reasons to add chia seeds into your diet!
- Great for weight loss - Chia seeds are great for weight loss as they help reduce food cravings, control hunger, slow conversion of carbohydrates, regulate blood sugar, reduce insulin levels, and absorb water creating a feeling of fullness.
- Help hydrate - Chia seeds absorb 10 times their weight in water forming a gel like substance that helps with prolonged hydration. Great for athletes.
- Can help lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower triglyceride levels and help to control blood pressure.
- Helps balance hormones by providing a valuable fiber source to help gather and flush excess estrogen from the body
- High levels of omega 3's which help to produce beautiful skin, hair, and nails, reduce inflammation, and enhance energy levels.
If you have never tried Chia seeds you really should. They are kinda fun, almost tasteless, and act as a great thickener. But fair warning......you will be picking them out of your teeth for a while after eating them. Sticky little buggers! Chia seeds have a variety of great uses such as:
- Healthy pudding
- Egg replacement in recipes
- As a thickener for soups and gravies
- Added to smoothies
- As a binder for meatballs instead of bread crumbs
- Homemade healthy jello like snack
- Or just added to drinks for texture or to fill you up between meals
Here is a great recipe to include a daily dose of chia seeds from Young and Raw!
Banana Cream Pie Smoothie Bowl
- 3 large bananas, frozen and cut into pieces
- 1/4-1/2 cup raw hemp milk or coconut milk (depending on how liquidy you like it, I like mine thick so I add less)
- 1 Tbsp raw maca powder
- 1 Tbsp raw lucuma powder (optional)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- stevia to taste (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
- 1/2 sliced banana
- sliced bananas
- flaked dried coconut
- bee pollen (optional, leave out if vegan)
- cacao nibs
- ground flaxseed
- chia seeds
Instructions: for the smoothie, combine all ingredients except the sliced banana and toppings in a blender and blend until smooth, using the tamper to press the mixture into the blades. Pour into a bowl, stir in sliced bananas, and top with toppings (I used about 1 Tbsp of each).
Here's another that I make quite frequently. You will always find one of these made up in my fridge at work. A few bites and hunger is satisfied for a couple hours.
- 2 cups of coconut milk or other nut milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder or cinnamon or both (or to taste)(optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
Put all ingredients in a mason jar with lid on and shake until blended. Put in refrigerator until solid. Top with banana, raw cacao nibs, shredded coconut, or topping of choice
Give them a try and let me know how you like them and how you incorporated them into your diet!
As always....In good healthy and happiness,
Brandy Augustine PhD