Black and white chia seeds – what’s the difference?

December 7, 2018 6:30 am Published by Leave your thoughts

At Naturally Good Food we sell a great selection of chia seeds. We’ve got small packs, medium-sized bags and large 25kg sacks. We’ve got organic and non-organic chia seeds, raw and milled. We have pates, crispbreads and other products made with chia, too. Most of the seeds we sell are black – but not all. From Raw Health we have raw organic white chia seeds. What’s the difference between the black and the white?

We look at the difference between black and white chia seeds.

Chia seeds: is it as black and white as it seems?

Black and white?

It’s quite simple. Chia seeds come from a species of flowering mint plant, which originated in South America. Some plants produce seeds that are darker in colour, while others produce lighter seeds. Just to show that nothing in life is ever strictly black or white, many of the seeds are cream, grey or mottled. Even within a bag labelled ‘black chia’, you’ll find many seeds that are lighter in colour.

Extensive testing has shown that there is no nutritional difference between the seeds, whatever their colour. Where any difference has been noted, it’s been attributable to the environment in which the different plants are grown, rather than the colour of the seeds themselves.

So why sell them separately? Well, we probably all know someone who ‘picks out’ little black seeds from their meals. If you’re trying to sneak chia into a cream-coloured pudding, bake or smoothie, you might like to use white, instead of black. And of course, you might simply prefer the look of the white – or the black – seeds in a particular dish. The difference between them is purely aesthetic.

Three cheers for chia

Black or white, cream, grey or mottled, chia seeds are something we can all cheer about! 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. Here are a few ideas for making the most of them.

You could:

  • 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.

Click here to see all our chia seeds and chia products.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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