Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Seeds!

I am in love with chia seeds.  Sometimes when I mention how much I eat them, I get the question, " a chia pet?  You eat that?".  And isn't the chia pet, but it is still the seeds!

A bit of history:  Thousands of years ago,
chia seed was a staple in the diets of ancient Mayans and Aztecs. The word chia is derived from the Mayan language, meaning “strength,” and Aztec warriors relied on chia seed to boost energy and increase stamina. Today this tiny seed is a favorite of athletes, especially distance runners, who tout it as an endurance enhancing superfood.  I use a gel for races called HumaGel which is based off this principle! 

Chia seeds are an amazing nutrient powerhouse.  Chia seed contains a wealth of fiber—5 grams in just one tablespoon. It is the fiber in chia that causes chia seed to swell when combined with water, creating chia gel. Whether you eat chia gel or just the raw seeds, the hydrophilic action of chia seed will keep you full longer than many other seeds.

Did I mention I use Chia in everything???  I use chia seed in puddings and smoothies, sprinkle on top of porridge and salads, and add to baked goods in place of poppy seeds.  I add it to my smoothies, oatmeal, soups, etc.  I make a drink with them and use it as pre- or post-workout fuel. (I love Kombucha with chia seeds.)   Make blueberry refrigerator jam (or any other fruit!) The gelling nature of chia makes it an ideal (and nutritious) substitute for pectin in jam. Amazingly, chia gel can also be used as a substitute for eggs in many baked goods. Use a proportion of 1 to 6 ratio of
Chia Seeds to Water to make chia gel. Use approximately one tablespoon of chia gel to replace one large egg in your baked goods.  I have been using this in recipes, though we don't eat baked goods very often in our house, but it is a great option as I try to cut more and more animal products out of our diet.  
No matter the dish, you can increase the nutritional value of any meal with a sprinkle of chia seed.

This article advises getting 4 tbsp. per day! 

They are definitely more widely availiable now....I find that at my local Harris Teeter, at Trader Joes, Whole Foods or you can buy online from Amazon.  I need to start buying in bulk because we go through them like water in this house!

How do you use Chia Seeds?  Share here!  And if you don't use them yet, I challenge you to give them a try! 


  1. Love them! I am going to try the chia gel when I bake - great idea!

    1. I was so happy to discover that too. I've been working to reduce our consumption of animal products!

  2. I love them too. I didn't know you could use them for making jam and as a substitute for eggs! Very interesting! I put them on my oatmeal for breakfast.