Chia seeds are a superfood, and are a great addition to your diet in order to help maintain health and wellbeing. The health benefits of the seeds are many and varied because they include a heap of essential ingredients, such as:
- Essential fatty acids
- Vitamins A, B, E and D
- A wide range of minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, thiamine, potassium, phosphorus and more
In addition to everything mentioned above, it’s important to note that chia seeds are high in Omega-3’s. This is especially valuable for people who don’t eat a lot of fish (or have a seafood allergy), as Omega-3 is something people should not be missing out on. The body doesn’t absorb the Omega-3s from chia seeds as well as it does from fish however, so if used as an alternative to seafood they should be ground up first, to help with absorption in the body.
Unfortunately eating chia seeds by themselves doesn’t make for a particularly pleasant meal, so the trick is learning how to eat them in a way you can reap all their benefits, while still enjoying the food you eat.
Chia seeds are an incredibly versatile ingredient, and can be added to a wide range of nutritious meals.
Add some chia seeds to your breakfast
Regardless of what you eat for breakfast, you can easily slip some chia seeds in to really enhance the most important meal of the day. Topping off a bowl of yoghurt and berries with a dusting of chia seeds is a good way kick-start your morning. If you eat cereal, throw a couple of spoonfuls of chia seeds in there for some an extra nutritional boost. And if you’re in the mood for a muffin (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), chia seeds go great with a number of different muffin variations. This blueberry and chia seed recipe is particularly delicious.
That being said, chia pudding is one of the best breakfasts you can have. Very popular and incredibly easy to make, here’s how you go about it:
1. Mix ¼ cup of chia seeds in one cup of liquid (typically almond milk, coconut milk or fruit juice).
2. Put in the fridge.
3. Leave for around 15 minutes until the mixture is no longer watery.
4. Add fruit, nuts and spices of your preference.
And that’s it! So easy to make, and one of the healthiest breakfasts you could ever think of.
Make the most of lunch with chia seeds
If you make your own muesli or granola bars, a few chia seeds thrown into the mix are a great way to boost their nutritional value. They also make for an excellent addition to a bread mixtures, so your sandwiches can be transformed into superfood stature with very little effort on your part. They’re also gluten-free, so they’re suitable for everyone!
You can also use chia seeds as an alternative to breadcrumbs, for example in fried meatballs. Rather than rolling them in old bread, switch to chia seeds and instantly make your meal a healthy alternative.
Another common lunch dish is soup. Adding some chia seeds to soup helps it to become more filling for longer. This makes it a great choice for people watching their weight, as it means a soup can be enough of a meal in itself to get over that mid-day hump.
Using chia seeds as a replacement for eggs
Something not a lot of people know is chia seeds are a very useful replacement for eggs in cooking. The primary role of egg in a lot of dishes is to act as a binding agent for the other ingredients. The thick, sticky consistency of egg can’t be tasted in a lot of cooking, but without it the dish wouldn’t be the same…
… or would it? One tablespoon of chia seeds and three tablespoons of water, once combined and left to rest, will result in a gel-like substance that effectively works as well as egg does.
Once you’ve realised this, suddenly the number of things you can cook using chia seeds expands exponentially. It also means people who can’t eat egg don’t need to miss out on all their favourite dishes!
As you can see, chia seeds are more versatile than people often give them credit for. Once you’ve discovered their versatility for yourself, you’ll find you will start adding them everywhere. Stock up on your chia seeds today!