Reportedly first used by the Aztecs, chia seeds are popping up here, there and everywhere. These mighty little seeds (that come in black or white varieties) tick multiple nutrition boxes, and their neutral flavour makes them a versatile addition to almost any dish! Before we get into some specific ways to use these tiny nutrition powerhouses, let’s take a look at their benefits.
What are the health benefits of chia seeds?
Full of fibre:
Chia is an excellent source of fibre – key for healthy digestion, lowering cholesterol, providing long-lasting energy and keeping us full. There’s 5g of fibre in 1 Tablespoon of chia, which can make a pretty hefty contribution to the recommended 25-30g per day.
Chia is a source of quality protein - essential building blocks of much of our body, and key to keeping us full in between meals. The protein contribution of chia is particularly useful if following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
Omega-3 is key for heart and brain health, promotes healthy skin and is known to be anti-inflammatory. Chia has an unusually high content of the plant form of omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid. The Chia Co seeds are grown in the Kimberley – giving them the perfect amount of daylight to develop the maximum amount of omega-3.
Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants:
Including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. If vegetarian or vegan the vitamin and mineral content of the little seeds can be particularly valuable!
6 ways to use chia seeds:
A topper too – well, anything
Sprinkle over cereal, muesli or porridge. Add to any salad for a welcome crunch. Add to salad dressings to get a thicker, sauce-like consistency. The Chia Co ‘shots’ are handy to keep in your bag, particularly if traveling. Add a nutrition boost to your meal literally anywhere!
Whip up a chia pudding – the perfect dessert, breaky or snack
These little seeds soak up fluid like superstars, making them perfect for puddings. Soak the seeds in your milk of choice, and add any flavour your heart desires! Check out our simple chia pudding recipe below, or for an easy option try The Chia Co pre-made chia pods.
Many muesli bars on the shelves are more of a treat than a healthy snack – so why not try making your own? Need inspiration? Check out these from The Chia Co - https://thechiaco.com/au/chewy-chia-muesli-bars/
Add a tablespoon of chia to smoothies along with fruit, yoghurt, nut butter and/or protein powder for a filling and protein-rich post-gym recovery drink.
No added-sugar jam
Love jam on toast? Cook and smash 2 cups berries, add 2 Tablespoons chia seeds and let cool into a healthy jam. Spread on a piece of sourdough, add to baking, or dollop onto porridge or overnight oats.
Vegan? Allergic or intolerant? Just don’t eat eggs? Add 1 Tbsp chia + 2.5 Tbsp water and leave to rest for 5 minutes = a chia egg for all your baking needs.
Simple Chia Pudding Recipe:
- ¼ C chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup/honey (or sweetener to taste)
- Fresh berries, or fruit of choice to serve
- In a bowl or jar combine chia, milk, maple syrup and vanilla.
- Mix or shake well.
- Once well-combined, cover and leave for 2 hours or overnight.
- Serve, top with berries and enjoy!