Chia seeds are small, grey marbled seeds that look like tiny dragon’s eggs. When you add water, they swell up and turn into a sort of jelly that is super healthy. They taste mild and nutty, with an interesting crunchy/jelly texture a little like caviar.
According to Isabell Shipard’s ‘How Can I Use Herbs In My Daily Life’, chia contains 30% protein. The nutrition panel on chia from The Chia Co product packaging lists it as 20%. That’s about the same as a steak (chia doesn’t have complete proteins, but combined with other foods it is just as good).
It contains high amounts – up to 20% – of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as some omega 6. This makes it one of the highest known sources of these good fats. Chia also contains high amounts of magnesium (good for mood, depression, sleep and muscle problems) and lots of other minerals and phytonutrients. It stores well for 4-5 years without going rancid.
Health benefits of chia include energy boosting. I find I can wake up earlier and go to bed later when I have a tablespoon of chia every morning. This amount of chia, with plenty of water, supposedly gives you enough energy to physically work all day. I haven’t tested this yet!
It also increases oxygen in the blood, boosts the immune system, increases the metabolic rate in the body which helps with weight loss, gently cleanses the bowel, quenches thirst, and soothes the nerves. You can put the soaked seeds on a wound to cleanse it. If you have the plant growing, you can drink a tea from the leaves too.
You can eat chia plain, soaked in water. I use a few tablespoons of water to one tablespoon of seeds, to make a jelly. I like to add it to my muesli in the morning. You can also just add a tablespoon to a glass of water or juice to make a nutritious energy-boosting drink. Or soak a little in milk, with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa, to make chia ‘pudding’. Soak them at least five minutes, or overnight if you prefer.
To feed it to children, try calling it jelly and soaking it in juice or milk. Add cocoa, cinnamon or other spices to flavour.
It is cheaper to buy in bulk. A month’s supply is about half the price of multivitamin tablets, and when you soak it you activate enzymes and get a live food, rather than extruded stabilised laboratory-made supplements.
Enjoy delicious healthy chia!