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Cha-Cha-Cha Chia!

by on March 24, 2012

Do you eat chia seeds?  Yes, I’m referring to the same seeds that adorn those silly statues that are all over TV during the Christmas shopping season.  Chia seeds can be found without the silly statue on the shelves of your favorite grocery store.  

Chia seeds are another superfood.  They are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, Alpha Linolenic Acid, calcium, and are a complete protein source. Two tablespoons of chia seed will provide you with 3 grams of protein, and approximately 6 grams of fiber. 

“Chia” is actually the Mayan word for strength.  The Aztec and Mayan Indians enjoyed chia seeds as a main staple of their diet, and called them the running food.  A couple of teaspoons of chia seed consumed with water would sustain them for a long day in battle or while traveling long distances to trade.  Chia seed mixed can absorb up to 12 times its weight in water which can prolong hydration.  They release carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream, which helps to keep you from suffering those blood sugar highs and lows. 

Chia seeds have a nutty flavor, rather like poppy seeds, and do not need to be ground like flax seed to be digested.  Sprinkle them on salads; throw some in your yogurt or in a smoothie.  Consume quickly after mixing chia with liquid, as it will gel up. Chia seeds can also be sprouted and thrown into salads, or thrown into bread mix.

I eat mine as raw chia pudding.  Take 2 tablespoons of chia seed, 4 tablespoons of water, 4 tablespoons of coconut milk, 1/4 tsp stevia, ½ tsp vanilla, a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon and mix with a fork.  I’ll then throw in a couple of raisins & let it sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours.  It’s my version of healthy rice pudding.  Try it!  It looks a little odd, but it’s a great conversation starter in the staff dining room.  I’m hooked.  It’s my trick to making it through a night shift with the strength of a warrior! 

My oldest has decided that if it’s good enough for a warrior, he needs to have a daily dose as well.  My pudding’s consistency isn’t very kid-friendly, but he likes to chew on a tablespoon of dry seeds and chase it with a glass of water.  I’m growing an endurance machine.  I have no doubt that with all the “strength” propaganda floated about in this family, that the two youngest will soon decide that they need to start eating the warrior food too. Strong, energetic kids are healthy kids.  What’s better than that?

Krista Maloney

 

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