Chia seed is much better used as a food than as a pet.
It is actually an ancient superfood from the sage family (Salvia Hispanica), and was once a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with the Native Americans of the southwest.
It was actually used as an energy supplement for Mayan couriers who ran messages between cities and always had a small bag of chia seeds with them to get a surge of energy.
It has a lot of essential nutrients, is energy dense, and is very easy to eat.
It is said by some Mayan descendants in Mexico that as little as one table spoon of chia can sustain a person for 24 hours.
Chia seeds are said to have:
- Twice the protein of any other seed or grain
- 5 times the calcium of milk
- Twice as much potassium as bananas
- 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- Substantial amounts of essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6
Chia seed is a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form.
They are also provide a good source of soluble fiber.
Another advantage of chia is that it has a high antioxidant content, which contributes to the seeds ability to store much longer than other fatty grains flax, for example, may turn rancid.
Chia seeds can easily be stored dry for 4-5 years without deterioration in flavor, odor or nutritional value.
You can substitute chia in any recipe that calls for flax.
Chia has a mild taste, so you can combine it with other foods without dramatically changing your diet. It will, however, bulk food up so that you consume less calories but feel like you have eaten as much as normal.
What is neat about chia is that it is very hydrophilic, and will absorb water and create a mucilaginous gel. They can hold 9-12 times their weight in water and they absorb it very rapidly – in under 10 minutes.
To eat it:
The most common way to eat chia is to first soak the seeds. They can very quickly absorb a large amount of liquid – between 9-12 times their volume, in under 10 minutes.
The Basic Gel
- Add 1/3 cup of seeds (2oz) to 2 cups of water.
- Stir the mixture well, to avoid clumping, then leave it in your fridge, in a sealed jar.
- This will yield around 17oz of chia gel.
- You can begin to eat the gel almost immediately if you like.
- Just 10 minutes is enough time for the gel to be formed.
- More nutrients will be digestible if you let it set a few hours, so many people make up a batch and leave it in the fridge.
- It will stay good for about three weeks.
- You can add the gel to smoothies, mix it with salad dressings, puddings or granola, or simply take it by the spoonful.
Since Chia will absorb anything – it doesn’t have to soak in water. try apple juice as an example. The sweetness of the apple juice is offset by the chia and it tastes yummy ;).
You can also sprinkle the dry seeds onto salads or add them to granola mixes.