Adding Superfoods Easily To Your Diet
As our family wanders more and more towards traditional foods and raw foods, we are making new and facinating discoveries. Foods that have been around for many years, but which are not known by most modern moms, have slowly become a staple of our diet (the kids too!). We had no idea it was so easy to get hugely nutrient foods into our diet, one such superfood is chia.
What is Chia?
Chia seed is an ancient superfood that was once a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with the Native Americans of the southwest.
What Angela of Raw Reform says about chia (link also includes recipes):
"Chia" is actually the Mayan word for strength. The seeds were used by these ancient cultures as mega-energy food, especially for their running messengers, who would carry a small pouch of it with them. Chia has been called 'Indian Running Food' and gives an incredibly 'sustaining' surge of energy."
Why would you want to eat Chia?
Chia seeds are said to have:
* 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
* copius amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 (essential fatty acids)
They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fiber.
Like flax, chia is highly "hydrophilic" - which basically means that, when combined with water, the seeds absorb water and create a jello-like consistency. They can hold 9-12 times their weight in water and they absorb it very rapidly (under 10 minutes).
The chia gel is actually a very pleasing texture, and once you make a batch of chia gel as a "base", you can then doctor it up in a number of ways. We like ours sweetened with stevia and some chunks of green apple and Sara from Happy Foody has a great recipe for chia with peaches.