Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why I love Chia–the food, not the pet

 

Yep. We all love cinnamon rolls!

But you wanna know what was funny?

I thought I would get a ton of emails from you guys asking how to make a vanilla glaze, but not a one…about that. Instead, I received emails about CHIA!

Who knew you guys cared more about superfoods than a sugary glaze! Winking smile

So I thought I would repost a previous blog entry where I first talked about Chia, and at the bottom, I’ll link to my favorite ways to use it! And you’ll here more about chia in an upcoming Balancing My Weight post because it’s one of my secret weapons to help me feel more full!

Enjoy!

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Previously Posted April 4, 2010

Chia What? Chia Who?

So I guess I’m not the only one who’s crazy for Chia!? I’m not sure that I’ve ever gotten that many emails about one posting before! I love it :) So let’s delve a bit deeper in to Chia…the Aztec Superfood…not the pet!

CHIA - rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which help protect against inflammation and heart disease.

Chia seeds are also high in:

  • Protein
  • Antioxidants
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Niacin
  • Zinc

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The most frequently asked question was what brand I bought and where I bought it:Navitas Naturals Chia Powder @ Whole Foods

I would love to say I researched brands and went looking for this particular purchase, but that’s just not true. It was total impulse buy! Foodies should never be allowed in to Whole Foods to kill time! As I said before, I read an article about chia previous to buying it. PLUS when I read the package and saw 6g of fiber per tbsp. I was sold! As a gluten free gal, I always feel like I’m getting way too much corn and rice. (And potato, hello!) PLUS, I’m always jealous of other gluten lovers and their whole grain this and that.

chia recap 055

Another frequent question was why I chose the sprouted chia powder over the whole chia seeds.

chia recap 061

Working at a food co-op really taught me a lot about food. One thing I learned was that ground flax seed is easier for body to digest and assimilate than flax seeds. Because flax seeds are so small, your teeth just can’t quite gnash the seeds enough to break it up for your digestive system. SO for small seeds, I’ve always gone the ground powder route. (I also learned that steamed broccoli has more nutritional value than raw!)

On the Navitas website, they explain: “in a sprouted, finely milled powder. Inherently full of healthy omega fats, protein, antioxidants and dietary fiber, the small chia seed’s nutrition is even more enhanced by the process of sprouting. This germination of the seeds increases the nutritional profile and enzyme content, and allows the food becomes more easily digested and assimilated within the body.”

mondays 012

The biggest questions on the comment board was flavor. Did the chia powder drastically change the taste of the oats. The answer: yes and no.

The first batch I made I thought I used 2 tbsp. in the mix, but I actually only used 1 tbsp. I was using a 1/2 tbsp, when I thought I was using a 1 tbsp. Shown above, you can see that the chia is there but not dominating. The first batch honestly had no taste to me. It was the same whipped banana oats flavor to me.

My second batch…I actually measured out 2 tbsp. I could tell the difference right away while cooking. The extra chia powder totally sucked up all the water and soymilk…almost instantly!

chia recap 008

The result was a chia oat cookie. SUPER THICK and very nutty. It wasn’t terrible, but it was incredibly boring! I actually ended up taking in the car with me on the way to work in my super stylish oats on the go container:

chia recap 005

Classy.

You guys were also curious about the cooking process. Do I add the chia before or after. Before! In my pot I start with 1/3 cup water then add in 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk light, 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill GLUTEN FREE rolled oats, half of a banana in thin slices, and 1 tbsp. chia powder. I cook the oats on medium and when it starts to boil, I whip it in to submission. This allows the banana to basically melt away. (It’s a KERF method) I don’t really love banana, but I do love the texture of the oats.

Any other questions about chia? Feel free to ask! And as always, feel free to ask me anything! I’m pretty much an open book.

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Favorite ways to eat it?

In everything!

Whipped Blueberry Oats

Oats in a Jar

Basic Gluten Free Pancakes

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Pancakes