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Tuesday
Apr172012

Chia: Not Just For Planters

Perhaps best known as the source of “fur” on novelty planters called Chia Pets, chia is the highly nutritious seed of a desert plant called Salvia hispanica. An important part of the diet of ancient Aztecs and Mayans, chia seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vital minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. It has a nutty flavor - sprinkle seeds whole or ground on cereal, in yogurt or on salads, or grind and mix them with flour when baking. Chia is undergoing a well-deserved renaissance, and is widely available in online and in natural food stores. Seek out organic versions and experiment – you’ll likely find it a tasty addition to your diet!

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Reader Comments (1)

I saw chia seeds in the grocery store for the first time recently, so they are beginning to hit the mainstream.

Chia gel made by soaking the seeds in water, works very well in baked products to replace some of the shortening while adding nutrients. Make chia gel by adding 1/4 cup seeds to 2 cups of water and stirring every so often till seeds stay suspended in the gel. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use chia gel to replace one half of the oil in baked goods such as muffins and pancakes.

Spread chia gel on top of your homemade bread before you bake it to help keep the bread fresh longer. (The seeds will dry out and toast and resemble sesame seeds on the crust of the bread.)

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzy

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