Ways to Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are the seeds of the chia plant, which is native to Mexico. The history of chia seeds dates back as far as the Mayan and Aztec cultures, who ate them as a super energy food. Chia seeds have become a popular item in the health food world because of their purported nutritional benefits. Chia seeds are rich in omega fatty acids, protein, iron and antioxidants. Chia seeds are also a good source of calcium and potassium. You can purchase chia seeds at most health food stores and organic markets.
As a Topping
You can use chia seeds as a topping to add a little crunch and some extra nutrients to foods like breakfast cereal and yogurt. You can also sprinkle chia seeds on top of salads and pasta dishes, or incorporate them into your sauces or salad dressings. Chia seeds have a mild flavor so they will not overpower your dish.
In Smoothies and Shakes
You can add chia seeds to fruit smoothies and health and protein shakes by tossing them in the blender with your other ingredients. Adding chia seeds to your healthy drinks is an easy way to get extra vitamins and nutrients into your diet. They are also rich in protein, which means they can fill you up, kill hunger and help reduce snacking throughout the day.
There are two ways to incorporate chia seeds into baked goods. First, you can grind chia seeds and use a portion of the power to replace flour in baking recipes for anything from cookies and cakes to bread and pizza crust. Chia powder has a consistency similar to flour and will not heavily affect the texture of your baked goods. You can also add dried chia seeds for some extra crunch to muffins, scones or homemade energy bars. Follow recipe directions as usual then add your dried chia seeds to the batter as a final step. Chia seeds are also gluten free and can be used for gluten-free baked goods and recipes.
Straight from the Package
You can also snack on plain dried chia seeds as they are. Their crunchy texture, mild flavor and high protein levels makes them a nutritious and satisying snack. You can pick up chia seeds pre-packaged or in bulk.