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Why we love chia seeds + organic skin care giveaway
Categories: Beauty, Health and wellbeing, RecipesMarch 12, 2015 | Posted by Mukti
These humble little black and white seeds date back to the ancient Aztec and Mayan periods and were a basic survival food. The name chia means strength in the Mayan language. The seeds were eaten as a staple food by warriors in times of battle or for feats of endurance. Now considered a 'superfood' due to their nutrient density and energy-packed punch, long distance runners and high performance athletes use them for sustenance.
The chia seed is a member of the mint family and has a mild, nutty flavour. It contains antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids at 20% and are an excellent source of fibre at 37%, protein at 20%, plus vitamins and minerals including: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, iron, zinc, manganese and phosphorus, to name a few.
They have also been used in traditional medicine to lubricate and alleviate joint pain and stimulate the flow of saliva.
Benefits of chia
- Digestion and elimination – If you have ever felt sluggish, chia seeds are one of the best additions to your diet due to their fibre rich content. They literally act as an intestinal broom and can also assist with weight loss as they suppress appetite. They absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water so that the gelatinous fibre give a feeling of fullness and satiation.
- Skin and aging – Antioxidant activity is reported to prevent up to 70% of free radical damage from environmental aggressors. In skincare products, chia seed oil (Salvia hispanica) is the perfect 3-1 balance of omega essential fatty acids and provides optimal nourishment for the skin. It increases hydration by reducing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). It also contains alpha lipoic acid that assists with enlarged pores, wrinkles and encourages healthy cellular function.
- Metabolism and energy – As chia seeds are one of the highest sources of plant protein, it assists with building lean muscle, burning fat and balancing blood sugar levels. The mineral and antioxidant content are a viable source to replenish nutrients after exercising. The high zinc content increases leptin production, a key hormone that regulates the energy and appetite.
- Serious health conditions – The high antioxidant profile in the bioavailable form of omega-3 fatty acids may assist with inflammation, heart disease, lowering blood pressure, diabetes and regulating cholesterol. As chia is high in linoleic acid, it assists with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K and has more fatty acids than salmon.
How to prepare and eat chia
Chia is highly versatile and can be added to smoothies, salads, garnishes, and baked goods or on its own as a chia seed pudding. Due to the high fibre content some people may experience minor discomfort, so start with a small amount per day and adjust accordingly.
It is also recommended to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. It's best to grind or soak the seeds, which releases the enzyme inhibitors and activates the seeds, making their nutrients bioavailable.
I generally add 1 tablespoon to my morning smoothie and leave it for 10 minutes prior to consuming, to allow the seeds to swell and hydrate. To soak the seeds, work on a ratio of 1:10 in water or another carrier such as coconut water, almond, cashew or soy milk to make a delicious pudding. (See recipe below)
Alternatively, they can be grounded in a Vitamix, blender or coffee grinder. Once pulverised, they can also be added to baked goods such as muffins, cakes, pancakes and bread. If grinding them, use them immediately or store in an airtight jar in the fridge or freezer, as they will oxidise more readily.
Basic Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
You can personalise this with as many variations as your imagination allows by substituting the coconut water for various nut milks or non-dairy yoghurts.
¼ cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut water
2 tablespoons of coconut crème or coconut yoghurt
Combine together making sure chia seeds are covered in liquid and place in the fridge overnight. Add your favourite berry or fruit compote as a topping. Enjoy!
organic skin care giveaway!
Do you have a favourite chia seed recipe that you would like to share? Best recipe idea wins a complimentary Balancing Moisturiser and Antioxidant Facial Oil.
Giveaway open to Australian blog subscribers only. Winner will be announced on our Facebook page and notified via email on thursday March 19.
Join the discussion (12)
Mar 21, 2015 06:45pm
This is one of my simple faves: 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1-2 cups Silk unsweetened coco milk, 1-2 packets stevia(opt.), maple yogurt, and for a tangy fruit flavor topper - passion fruit pulp:)
Mar 18, 2015 08:43pm
Yummy overnight oats made with layers of oats, chia seeds, vanilla extract, honey, flaked coconut and almond milk. Tastes great!
Mar 14, 2015 01:07pm
Coconut Chia Pudding.
1/2 cup Chia Seeds - (black or white)
400ml can Coconut Milk - (light or full-fat)
1 Tablespoon Honey
Ground Cinnamon to taste
1. Mix Chia Seeds, Coconut Milk, and Honey together in a small bowl. Set in refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours.
2. Remove from fridge when it's thick and the chia seeds have jelled, serve with fresh fruit and nuts.
Serves 2 - 4 people.
I like mine served with fresh chopped mango and sprinkled with a little extra ground cinnamon - delicious!
Will keep in the fridge for 4 days.
Mar 13, 2015 08:19pm
i make a banana smoothie with the lot- coconut oil, frozen banana, fresh berries, chia, yoghurt, a bit of honey and a handful of spinach. Add just enough coconut water or milk of your choice to make it whizz. I love it so thick you have to use a spoon. Yum!!
Mar 13, 2015 06:01pm
I am mad about banana bread but slightly intolerant of eggs (throat gets itchy), so this recipe is genius because soaked chia seeds turns into a gel which makes the perfect substitute for eggs! Mix 2 tbs of chia seeds with 6tbs almond milk,let it sit for 10 mins, then combine 4 bananas,2 cups spelt flour and a pinch of baking powder. Bake at 180c for 40 minutes and voila, eggless deliciousness!
Thanks for the chance, Mukti! x
Mar 13, 2015 04:56pm
I use Chia seeds on my home made muesli every morning I also use chia seeds in the cup cakes I cook
Mar 13, 2015 12:16pm
This makes about 4 little puddings.
1 cup blueberries
2/3 cup chia seeds
2 cups coconut milk
2-3 tablespoons rice malt syrup
4 tablespoons shredded coconut
Divide the blueberries into the bowls. Then in a seperate bowl whisk remainding ingredients. Then pour this over the blueberries. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Once it's set you can add some more coconut and rice malt syrup.
Mar 13, 2015 09:32am
Warm chia seed pudding which has chia seeds, cacao powder, rice malt syrup, maca powder, then add almond milk topped with either banana or berries - yum!
Mar 12, 2015 08:45pm
I love adding chia seeds to my 2 minute Oats, with hot water/milk and brown sugar. Delicious, hearty and healthy!
Mar 12, 2015 03:25pm
I would not exactly call this a recipe...it only takes about 4 mins to complete BUT is so worth it - the taste is amazing and I use 3 ingredients that I love. I get a whole avocado and mash it all up, then add fresh lemon juice from half a lemon and then throw in 1 tbsp. of Chia Seeds (I use white or black, but I actually find the white have a better flavour). This is my home-made dip and I use it with Celery sticks, Carrots or if I'm feeling particularly naughty and rebellious...I will have some Cheese Doritos with it - they go hand-in-hand <3
Mar 12, 2015 03:06pm
I love my one pot quinoa/chia apple slice. Throw a cup of uncooked quinoa, 2 diced apples, spices, some raisins, an egg & 1/2 cup chia seeds mixed with 2 cups almond milk & 1/4 cup of a sweetener (I like maple) in a bowl and mix well. Pop in a lined tray and sprinkle with nuts and bake for up to an hour at 180 degrees. Its the perfect morning tea slice, filling, delicious & nutritious!
Mar 12, 2015 02:34pm
I wouldn't call this a recipe because it's so simple, but it's always satisfying. My go-to snack is a cup of Greek or natural yogurt with a handful of berries (or dried fruit, like cranberries or dates when berries are out of season), a good sprinkle of chia (about a tablespoon) and a drizzle of honey. The honey with the yogurt is a bit chewy and the chia gives it a bit of crunch so there's fun textures and great flavours.
Hi, I'm Mukti, the founder and creator of Mukti Organics. My aim is to assist you in achieving beautiful, radiant skin without using products containing toxic chemicals. Certified organic skin care is better for you, your family and our planet. Click here to sign up and receive 15% off your first order. Signing up and commenting on our blog posts enters you into our bimonthly draw to receive $150 worth of products of your choice.