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Cooking with Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are not only healthy, but much valued for their distinctive gooey texture when soaked in liquids. Read on and learn how you can incorporate these extraordinary seeds into your diet with yummy and quick chia seeds recipes.

What are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are edible, blackish-grey seeds from the mint family, native to Mexico and Guatemala. These nutritious seeds are best known for their unique texture when soaked in liquid. Chia seeds are capable of absorbing water 12 times their original weight while giving a gel-like appearance and texture. 

Chia seeds were once the staple diet of Mesoamericans dating back to the 16th century. Today, chia seeds are consumed by people around the world as per their health benefits and quick preparation time. Chia seeds are prized for their high fiber, protein, and fatty acid content. Mexico, Guatemala, Central, and South America are the largest producers of chia seeds to date.

Flavor and texture of chia seeds

Image Credit: xie mzc from Pixabay

Chia seeds don’t have a specific flavor of their own besides a subtle, nutty taste. That’s also the reason why they make a good fit into a variety of sweet and savory recipes. Their texture, however, is of more importance. Raw chia seeds offer a crunchy texture, while soaked chias are mucilaginous and often used as a thickening agent in cooking.

Chia seeds uses

Image Credit: ally j from Pixabay

Chia seeds make a great addition to breakfast cereals, oatmeal, and smoothies. Green chia smoothie is a popular vegan recipe incorporating almond milk, spinach, avocados, fresh fruits, and raw chia seeds. Like many other edible seeds, raw chia can be sprinkled over your everyday meals. 

If you don’t want the crunch of chia in your food, try using powdered chia seeds to avail the many health benefits it contains. Interestingly, chia seeds can be consumed soaked in fresh juice or even plain water. Many beverages add chia seeds to uplift the flavor and give a glutenous texture, a combination preferred by many people.

Amongst desserts, chia seed pudding comes at the top, being a quick, yet tasty sweet dish. Just soak a handful of chia seeds in sweetened almond milk, top it up with fresh berries, and voila! Your chia pudding is ready to eat. Moreover, chia seeds can be cooked into bread, muffins, granola bars, and cookies. For vegans, chia seeds can be used as an alternative to eggs. To make a chia egg, simply mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 2.5 tbsp water and let sit until gelled. The mixture can then be utilized in most recipes where an egg would traditionally be used; baked goods and pastries are the best recipes to use chia eggs in.

Feature Image: Никита Лазоренко from Pixabay

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