I definitely think this is important if I am to keep adding my favourite recipes, to have a couple of blog post on staple ingredients I always have lying around.
Chia seeds are one of my favourite things to have in my pantry as I can add it to smoothies, oatmeal, make a pudding or just sprinkle it over my favourite snacks. When you adopt a plant based diet, one of the first things people ask you is, “where are you going to get your protein?” “Are you going to stay full just eating vegetables?” “Are you insane?” Well chia seeds is one of the ways I can answer two of these questions; I definitely know that I am not insane.
Being the history geek I am, the first thing I looked into was the history of chia. So chia seeds are native to Mexico, and were a very important crop to the Aztecs. They were used in medicines, as a form of currency and the list goes on. Apparently, and don’t quote me on this, the word chia comes from a Mayan word meaning “strength.” But with colonialism, the use of chia seeds diminished till health enthusiasts and plant-based lifestyle aficionados brought chia seeds back to the limelight.
When you go online and google chia seeds, you get a heap of lists addressing all the reasons you should eat chia seeds, from its benefits for reducing the risk of diabetes, and aiding in weigh loss, to all the nutrients and vitamins it contains. A little bit of chia seeds can go a long way for your health.
I love chia seeds for a few reasons
- Chia seeds are very hydrophilic and absorb over ten times and more their weight in water. Which means that you will stay hydrated with a couple spoons of soaked chia seeds. But being the cheap, hungry college student that I am, I read this and think MORE FOR LESS–that means few trips to Bulk Barn for a lot of chia seeds. I don’t like to buy the packaged, over-priced chia seeds mixed with a bunch of things I don’t want. I just go straight to the sources and buy a bag from my local bulk buy store.
- For all those haters who don’t think I am not getting enough nutrients. In addition to all the beans and grains I love to indulge in, chia seeds give me the extra protein, fatty acids, and essential salts I need to keep me at my recommended limit each day.
- Just 2 tbsps of chia seeds, which is more or less the amount I consume in a day, I get about 30% of my daily dietary fibres.
- It is also known to have the highest source of omega 3-fatty acids in the form of ALA (alpha linolic acid) in a whole food per weight, which means no need for salmon.
- it also has high levels, per serving, of unsaturated fats, Vitamin A, C, E, K, Magnesium, and natural antioxidants.
- Lastly, this keeps your blood sugar very stable, which means less sugar crashes, and fullness for a long time as it helps in regulating the rate of digestion for a more even release of sugars into the blood stream. Literally after I eat a porridge with a table spoon of chia seeds, I am set for hours. I am not saying that its solely the work of the chia seeds but it certainly does help.
Chia seeds find its way into many other things I eat, from my smoothies–just to drink or smoothie bowls, and definitely my porridges for more volume and extra nutrients. It’s also great in mixing with my water. My friend just recommended this to me, but I add it to my water after a workout to keep me hydrated. I also just love to sprinkle it on anything sweet just because it looks pretty.
Everyone has a different use for this superfood. You can certainly grind them into a fine powder or incorporate them to any of your favourite porridges, puddings and more. The great thing is that they also last very long. For more on these lovely photos check out my blog posts on my smoothies.