Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Chia Seed

Happy New Year!  It's time to try something new, the Chia Seed.  Remember the Chia Pet?  Well, it's the same seed, only this time around, we are going to eat it, not grow it. There are many great health benefits that come with eating the Chia seed.
According to Chia Seed, by Andrew Kissee,  The Chia seed is an ancient super food that was once a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with the Native Americans of the southwest.  "Chia" is actually the Mayan word for strength, and these seeds were used as a high energy food.  Andrew also writes that the Chia seed is very stable, and can be stored dry for 4-5 years without any deterioration in flavor, odor or nutritional value.  You can substitute Chia in any recipe that calls for flax.
The Chia seed is very tiny and resembles a mixture of black and white sesame seeds.  It's high protein content combined with it's yield of iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, magnesium, niacin, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids shine the light on why it is a 'superfood'.
I made this Chia Oatmeal, a simple breakfast from the Chia Seed and was surprised with it's staying power.
1 Cup of water
2 TB Chia seeds
3 TB Hemp seeds
1 TB palm sugar (I used date sugar, but I'm sure brown sugar would be fine)
fresh fruit of your choice.

Add Chia seeds to boiling water while stirring, so seeds do not clump.
Add Hemp seeds to mixture and stir, mixture will gradually thicken a little.
Add sugar, fruit and stir.

I used strawberries, black berries and pomegranate seeds.  I ate half of this and refrigerated the rest for the following day.  It was just as good the second day as the first.

Here are a few other facts about the Chia seed that I found amazing:

~2 times the protein of any other seed or grain
~5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones.
~2 times the amount of potassium as bananas
~3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
~3 times more iron than spinach

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