Here at Nutiva, we’re all about finding accessible and beneficial superfoods that are filled to the brim with nutritional value. We were happy to hit the jackpot with chia seeds. Chia seeds are an ancient food native to South America and absolutely loaded with beneficial nutrients. They are also an incredible superfood because of their versatility. If you haven’t already added chia seeds into your diet, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, we’re here to let you know! No superfood kitchen is complete without this incredible and versatile food.
What’s all the Chia Craze?
Why all the attention on this simple seed? Well, chia seeds have earned their keep as a true ancient superfood. This tiny but mighty seed is packed with omega-3, soluble and insoluble fiber, minerals (more calcium by weight than milk), antioxidants, and protein. It’s a remarkably versatile superfood because it doesn’t have much of a flavor on its own. That means that you can add chia seeds to sweet as well as savory foods and enjoy them each step of the way. Chia seeds are also unique because they swell up to 12 times their weight in liquid in just about 10 minutes!
Chia Seeds in Sweet Foods
If you’re already familiar with chia seeds, you’ve likely used them in sweet foods. Chia pudding is a naturally-sweetened favorite for adults and children alike. It’s incredibly simple to make, so if you haven’t already tried it, it’s time! Check out this simple recipe for an easy overnight pudding that is highly customizable. Chia seeds are also easily added to oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, shakes, and cereal. You can use them as a base for a homemade, healthy chocolate pudding too. Use them to make no-bake pumpkin pie or homemade muffins.
Earlier, we mentioned that chia seeds could retain a great deal of moisture. Not only is this terrific when make chia pudding, but it also means you can prepare your own chia drink at home instead of buying it at the store. Those chia drinks are sometimes loaded with extra sweeteners and not-so-natural ingredients. You can easily avoid this by making it yourself. The chia seed’s amazing water retention also makes chia seeds a shoe-in for an egg replacement in vegan baking! Chia seeds are much like flaxseeds, in that they will form a gelatinous substance that can be substituted in place of eggs in a 1:1 ratio. Chia seeds are a better choice than flaxseed, however, because they have more omega-3 acids. These Essential Fatty Acids have been tied to Alzheimer’s prevention, brain health and anti-inflammatory activity.
Chia Seeds in Savory Foods
Ready to try chia seeds in a new way? Use dry, whole chia seeds like you would poppy seeds and sprinkle them on your salads. Lightly toast some seeds in a pan and use them as a topping in savory dishes like sautéed zucchini or other vegetables. Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds can be digested easily whole. Take advantage of that and make homemade chia seed crackers! Why not add them in with your next stir-fry? Find out more great ways to try savory chia dishes at the Nutiva Kitchen.
Does Organic Matter?
All of Nutiva’s chia seeds, whether the dark, white, or milled variety, are certified organic. We believe that this is incredibly important because conventional chia seeds are often sprayed with pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Though there is no GMO variety of chia seeds (yet), many growers still spray their crop of chia seeds with harmful chemicals. Our seeds are grown organically and certified by the USDA. Not only is it important to go for organic chia seeds for the health of you and your family, it is also important for the health of our water systems, plants, animals and the planet as a whole. Get some great deals on Nutiva’s certified organic chia seeds by signing up for our Healthy Lifestyle Newsletter at the bottom of this post.
What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy chia seeds? Let us know in the comments section below!