Chia seeds were prized by the Aztec and Mayan civilisations, who ate them for strength and stamina. If you’re not already a chia convert, it’s time you discovered just how amazing these little seeds are. Simple, super-nutritious and versatile, they deserve to become a staple in your pantry.
What are the benefits of chia seeds?
1. Gluten free
Chia seeds are gluten-free and suitable for coeliacs or those on gluten free diets. Ground into flour, chia is a great addition to gluten free baking.
2. They’re versatile
You can sprinkle these little nutrition bombs on anything. Add to salads, dips, smoothies, juice, yoghurt, porridge or muesli and breads and muffins for a big nutrient boost. They have a very mild flavour, which means they can be used as a thickener in almost anything – sweet or savoury. Chia seeds can even be used as an egg replacement in baking. Chia pudding is probably the easiest and most common way to eat chia seeds and there are countless variations. The basic way is to combine a few tablespoons of chia seeds with a cup of almond or coconut milk or yoghurt, a dash of vanilla extract and a bit of maple syrup or other sweetener. Leave in the fridge overnight to allow the pudding to set, then top with fresh fruit, nuts or toppings of your choice.
CHIA SEED FACTS
Chia seeds come from the flowering plant 'Salvia Hispanica', which is native to Central America. They are tiny, oval shaped, grey coloured seeds and are around 1 millimetre. They can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked! They then develop a 'jelly' like coating, which is why thy are perfect in so many recipes.