What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are small, oval and nutrient-packed. They can be eaten raw or soaked, which makes them swell and become gelatinous.
Chia is a species of plant in the mint family. Like amaranth, its seeds are thought to have first been cultivated by the Aztecs.
A little bit of history
Chia is native to Central America and Mexico. Its name in fact comes from the Mexican word ‘chian’, meaning oily.
What do you do with them?
Chia seeds are a mottled brown, grey, white or black colour. When eaten raw, they can be sprinkled onto salads or added to smoothies, oatmeal, yoghurt and other foods. When soaked, they can be added to juices and cold drinks, or mixed with liquids to make a pudding. It’s worth noting that the seeds themselves are flavourless, so they can be added to recipes without affecting their taste. Heating chia doesn’t have any negative effect on the nutrients, which makes it great for use in bread and bakery products.
And did you know – soaked chia seeds act as a brilliant egg alternative, in vegan baking. 1 teaspoon of ground chia + 3 tablespoons of water = 1 egg.
What's so great about them?
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They have a similar nutrient content to flax and sesame seeds. Studies have shown that eating them can reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, enhance brain performance, aid weight loss and reduce cholesterol.