January 19, 2018 7:25 am Leave your thoughts
- They’re packed with antioxidants and minerals!
- They’re stuffed with fibre!
- They’re a complete source of protein!
Hip, hip, hurray for chia!
We’re cheering for chia
Here at Naturally Good Food, we’ve been cheering for chia for years, now – right back to the days when we had to tell our customers exactly what this special kind of food was. Now, of course, you all know everything about chia – don’t you?
Well – perhaps a little refresher wouldn’t go amiss. As we revamp our Superfoods and supernutrients range this New Year, there couldn’t be a better time to take another look at the amazing properties of chia.
What exactly is chia?
Chia is seeds – chia seeds. They’re tiny little dots (usually black), rather like poppy seeds, from a species of flowering mint plant that originated in south America. It’s thought that chia was once as important as maize for the Aztec people; it’s still popular in Mexico and Guatemala today, with the seeds often added to drinks and food there.
Chia became popular in the west a few years ago, for the simple reason that the seeds are quite ridiculously good for you. As our ‘three cheers’ at the top indicate, this superfood is packed with antioxidants and minerals, stuffed with fibre, and is a ‘complete’ source of protein, containing all the essential fatty acids. It’s good for digestion, for battling inflammation and for the slow release of energy. The seeds have a slight nutty taste and bring texture to dishes, as well as a real nutritional boost.
Our chia range
Our own-label chia seeds, both organic and non-organic, are very popular at Naturally Good Food: we sell these in a variety of pack sizes, up to bulk bags. We’ve also got jars of organic chia seeds, white and black, from Raw Health, and, for ease of digestion, milled chia seeds from Linwoods. (Incidentally, there’s no nutritional difference between the white and black varieties – they’re separated purely for aesthetic reasons, it seems.)
As the years go by, chia is steadily finding its way into more and more products. We’ve now got vegan pates with chia, soups with chia, and crispbreads with chia.
Bought a bag? What’s the next step?
Once you’ve got your chia seeds, you can work out a plan for making the most of them.
- Add them to muesli, yoghurt or porridge.
- Put them into smoothies.
- Add them to mixes for cakes, muffins, pancakes and bread.
- Sprinkle them into stews and casseroles: they’ll have a thickening effect here. Along the same lines, you can add them to the left-over liquid from a stew, allow it to thicken, and then use that as a nutritious sauce in its own right for vegetables or potatoes.
- Grind them, and add milk or fruit juice for a kind of porridge or sweet mush.
- Sprinkle them over a salad.
- Add them to an omelette mix.
- Scatter a few over a stir-fry just before serving.
Having a bag easily to hand in the kitchen means that you can incorporate them, and all their health benefits, easily into your diet – without having to think of any particular recipe. If you already find ways to include other seeds (sunflower, sesame or hemp, perhaps), why not try substituting chia one week?
Tags: Aztec, chia, chia seeds, hemp seeds, Linwoods, milled chia, raw chia, raw health, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, superfoods, supernutrients, white chia seeds
This post was written by Yzanne