If you don't know what chia seeds are they are the newest craze in healthy eating trends. For years, chia seeds were almost exclusively associated with sprouting terracotta pets and heads. That is, until Chris McDougall published his novel, Born to Run in 2009.
Seemingly overnight, chia seeds became a hot commodity with runners, cyclists, triathletes and other athletes, seeking the secret to Tarahumara endurance.
But soon the trend also caught on with food bloggers, chefs, foodies, and generally health-conscious people. Now, chia seeds are commonly included in energy bars and drinks, added to kombucha, used to thicken puddings, and used as a binding agent in egg-free baking.
And for good reason! These little seeds are incredibly nutritious, with significant concentrations of protein, fiber and several essential minerals.
Chia is, appropriately, the Mayan word for strength. Chia seeds were an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, and remain a dietary staple in many South and Central American countries. Some nutritional highlights:
- Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 2282 mg of Omega 3 and 752 mg of Omega 6 fatty acids!
- A significant concentration of fiber combined with their ability to absorb 10 times their weight in water also makes chia seeds excellent for maintaining regularity.
- This fiber content also helps normalize blood glucose levels by slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
- Chia seeds contain respectable concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.
- Chia seeds are extremely nutrient-dense, with one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any known food!
- 2 C frozen strawberries
- 1½ C frozen peaches
- ½ frozen banana, peeled
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 C milk
- ½ C water
- 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
- Place all ingredients into a blender. Pulse a few times and then blend on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.