Ingredient Break Down! Do you find yourself buying the same thing week-to-week at the grocery store? Getting tired of getting the same thing all the time? My ingredient break-down series explores the health benefits and ways to use different ingredients so you can try to incorporate them into your cooking!
Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Seeds! Besides making a great pet, chia seeds are a versatile ingredient which provide great health benefits.
Where can I find them?
Chia seeds will usually be found in the nuts/seeds aisle of the supermarket. The average price is about $10/lb, however they can be as cheap as $6.89 for a 2-pound tub at Walmart.
Why should I eat them?
Two tablespoons of chia seeds (26 grams) contain about 130 calories, 6 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 6.5 grams of unsaturated fat and are a good source for calcium and iron.
Uniquely, they are one of the best plant-based source for Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which have shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health (including lowering cholesterol and blood pressure).
How do I prepare them?
Chia seeds are stored in the pantry, in a cool and dry environment. They can be used whole or ground in a food processor to make chia flour. Chia seeds absorb water and swell up, which can help to thicken a sauce or liquid. They can also be used in salads as a crunchy topping. Chia flour can be used as a mix in for baked goods (replace some of the all purpose flour in the recipe) or as a vegetarian egg substitute.
One of my favorite ways to use Chia Seeds...
Chia Seed Pudding
2 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 cup Milk (any kind, including milk alternatives)
Honey for sweetness (to taste)
Mix the ingredients together in mason jar. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then re-mix the ingredients, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day your mixture should have a more pudding-like texture. This can serve as a base for endless variations if you add different fruits, chocolate or vanilla, and nuts to the mix.
If you try this recipe at home, comment on different variations you have tried and what worked best for you!
Here are other recipes for using Chia Seeds which I've found online and encourage you to try!