September 27th, 2012

Why Chia Seeds are All the Rage

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Groovy Green Livin Chia Seeds

Yesterday a bag of very expensive organic chia seeds made its way into my grocery cart.  I’m not sure what compelled me to buy them right then and there since I’ve been walking right by them and ignoring them at least twice a week for a long time. I’m not talking about those ch-ch-ch-chia pets, although those really were my first introduction to anything chia. Possibly all of those articles I’ve been reading about the health benefits of chia seeds finally got to me. The chia seeds were calling my name in aisle 9 and here’s why:

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

  • Chia seeds are mentioned by Christopher McDougall in the book Born to Run. He claims chia seeds are a great addition to an athletes diet-providing extra energy during and after exercise.
  • Chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids-even more so than flax seeds and salmon.
  • They are rich in antioxidants
  • One serving size includes 18 percent of recommended daily calcium and four grams of protein
  • They’re low in cholesterol and sodium.
  • There’s been talk that chia seeds aid in weight loss, but the evidence in inconclusive.
  • Chia seeds are packed with fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, iron,  niacin, and zinc. WOW.

Groovy Green Livin organic chia seedsWhat are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Now chia seeds are becoming popular in the United States and other parts of the world.

How to Use Chia Seeds

I found out very quickly that I’m way behind the eight ball when it comes to using chia seeds. Thankfully I have a wonderful and knowledgeable community of chia seed users on Twitter and Facebook who were happy to share their chia seed concoctions. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Mix 1 dessertspoon of chia seeds with a quarter cup of water to make an egg substitute for baking cakes and cookies. Anna from Green Talk warns that this might dry out the batter.
  • Kathy from Safe Mama makes a pudding by soaking them in almond milk and use it in smoothies. She can’t eat them straight… so she tosses them in salads and sneaks them into her kids quesadilla’s and pancakes.
  • Stephanie from Good Girl Gone Green shared a recipe for Raw Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding from Forks and Beans and a recipe for jam from Healthy Blender Recipes.
  • Robin from Simple. Green. Organic. Happy. sprinkles them on yogurt, add to salads, make jams and compotes.
  • Danika from Your Organic Life puts them in her smoothie every morning.  She says you can mix chia seeds with nut milk to make a raw porriage/oatmeal and add berries on top. You can also mix chia seeds with berries and nut milk to make a pudding.
  • The Cruncy Hippie shares a delicious recipe for Chocolate Chia Pudding!
  • Janice from MommaWords likes to add them to cookies. She also adds chia seeds to the mix she uses to coat her kid’s chicken nuggets.

There were so many more suggestions. Check out my Facebook page to see them all!

How do you like to eat chia seeds? I’ll take any help I can get.

Ground chia seeds | Stock Photo © PixelsAway #7592847

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27 Responses to “Why Chia Seeds are All the Rage”

  1. Thanks for mentioning me. Sneaky sneaky with your questions! lol
    Good Girl Gone Green recently posted..PRANA- Changing the World One Nut at a TimeMy Profile

  2. The good things about chia is they don’t go bad like flax.
    Anna@Green Talk recently posted..Manly Armpit Odor. Miessence Nontoxic Deodorant Stops the Stench.My Profile

  3. I’ll have to see it to believe it in the baking department, but sounds interesting…
    Anne recently posted..FREE Guide Helps Find Non-Toxic School SuppliesMy Profile

  4. I ventured into chia seeds about a month ago… loving them as an egg substitute since our oldest has a mild egg allergy.
    Thanks for all the links!

  5. I just started putting these in some of my veggie/fruit blends and I was looking for a good article with more info on them. Thank you so much!
    TheAL/Accessorygal recently posted..Morning Blend… my quest for more fruits and veggies.My Profile

  6. So glad you stopped by!

  7. Hi Amity, I haven’t tried them yet as egg substitutes. Did you find that they made whatever you were baking or cooking dry? A few people commented that they made batter dry.

  8. Hi Anne, Let me know if you try chia seeds in the baking department. I’m curious to hear what you find.

  9. Good point Anna. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. I wasn’t being sneaky Stephanie :) You are a great chia seed resource!

  11. I’ve been experimenting with different seeds and grains likes quinoa, amaranth, etc.. but will have to give chia a try next. Thanks for all the recipe suggestions.
    Sue recently posted..Leaking Sink – Houston, We Have a ProblemMy Profile

  12. When chia seeds are used in baking, they can make a batter dry. Chia seeds are very hydrophilic and absorb the liquid of the batter. One way to overcome this is to sprinkle the chia seeds on top prior to baking. I do this with brownies.

    Also, organic is not necessary for chia seeds. Since they are a member of the mint family, pests do not bother them so no pesticides are used in their baking.

    There are about 100 recipes using milled and whole chia seed on azchia.com. They are FREE!

  13. Hi Patricia, I did hear that chia seeds can make batter dry. Thanks for the tip. Also, interesting fact about organic v. conventional chia seeds. Thanks for sharing the site!

  14. Thanks for stopping by Sue. Let me know if you give chia seeds a try.

  15. [...] Want to learn more about the health benefits of chia seeds? Head over to Groovy Green Livin where she discusses what all the chia seed rave is all about! [...]

  16. We love chia seeds, but we also use chia bran (defatted chia seeds) to cook. Works better as a substitute for flour, etc.

    We also manufacture cereal and granola with both chia bran and chia seed (link in my name).

    I think once more people learn about chia bran, they’ll find it very useful for baking.

  17. I love chia seeds! I put them in my smoothies, and I’m planning to make some puddings and salad dressings from them.

  18. Great. Now I need to go buy chia seeds.
    Cathy recently posted..High School Open HouseMy Profile

  19. Yes you do Cathy. I love them!

  20. [...] Chia seeds happen to be my new favorite edible seeds. Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family. [...]

  21. Chia has no real flavor so is relatively invisible taste wise. Dry they are crunchy like poppy seeds, wet they are – unusual. There texture is almost like mini fish eggs, though put them in a chunky soup you will only notice there very faint crunch but other wise unnoticeable.
    Soaking them and taking them by themselves can be a little unpleasant tactilely especially since they do not have a flavor. However, I have found that if I mix in some cool-aid or instant tea, having some flavor to distract from how they feel then they are just fine, kind of like eating jello before it has fully set up.

  22. [...] Our foray into the world of specialty food manufacturing has been insightful. We learned a lot about cooking without the top eight allergens and discovered new-to-us ingredients like chia seeds. [...]

  23. [...] Here’s what made its way into my smoothie. Yes, those are my favorite chia seeds. [...]

  24. [...] myself starring at a bag of hemp seeds. I’ve been wanting to give them a try every since chia seeds were such a big [...]

  25. […] Chia seeds are all the rage and they’re a perfect pre-workout addition to your smoothie. I like to blend frozen organic strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and apple juice with a teaspoon of chia seeds and a handful of frozen spinach. They’re great for pre-workout snack since they are easily digested. […]

  26. […] over here. My kids love making them and I love mixing in secret ingredients such as flax seed, chia seeds and ground […]

  27. […] help keep your heart and body healthy. Omega-3 fats are an example of good fats and can be found in Chia seeds, salmon and other fish and Brussels […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I like to make noise and stir the pot especially when an issue hits home and effects the health of our families. Join me as I make some noise and share along the way tips for living a green and healthy life. Read more.

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