If you’re a health foodie, chia seeds probably make a regular appearance on your plate. And not just because they liven up your meals, but because you know they’re good for you.
GoodnessMe Box resident nutritionist Melissa Fine helps us get creative in the kitchen and shares her ideas for Five Days, Five Ways with Chia:
Day 1: Green Smoothie
Chia seeds are great for thickening up dishes because as soon as they’re immersed in liquid, they expand, soften and develop a jelly-like texture. Try my go-to green smoothie recipe: Into your blender throw two generous handfuls spinach and/or kale, two handfuls frozen berries (or other frozen fruit), 1 TBS chia seeds, 1/3 C coconut milk and a handful of ice cubes. Blend until smooth and drink up! Or if you’re patient, leave your smoothie to sit for ten minutes to make it extra thick.
Day 2: Chia & Banana Bircher
A great option for busy weekday mornings; Prep the night before and wake up to your breakfast ready! In a deep soup or cereal bowl, combine 1/3 C traditional rolled oats with 2/3 C milk of choice (I like almond/rice milk), 2 tsp chia seeds and half a very ripe, medium mashed banana. Cover and refrigerate overnight so that the mixture bulks up. In the morning, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a handful of raw walnuts, another plant-source of omega-3…It’s like banana pudding, but healthy.
Day 3: Chia ‘Egg’
This works as a binding agent so is perfect for vegan baking. If you want to make a cake or muffin recipe vegan, just replace the egg it calls it for with a chia egg…For one chia egg, simply combine 3 TBS water and 1 TBS chia seeds (ground or whole) in a glass; Let sit for 5-10 minutes, during which it will develop a gel-like consistency…That’s it! Your chia egg is ready.
Day 4: Chia-Topper
Thanks to their neutral flavour, chia seeds also work well in savoury dishes. Sometimes simple is best – Sprinkle them on salads, soups and sandwich fillings for some crunch and extra fibre; Just 15 g of chia (about a TBS) gives you almost 6 g of satiating, slow-to-digest fibre, which can also help keep you regular. I love sprinkling chia on avocado toast, or for something a bit different, try rolling a soft-boiled egg in some chia mixed with a pinch of sea salt. Yum!
Day 5: Chia Pod Parfait
This is my favourite thing to do with a Chia Pod from the Chia Co for breakfast. Pour your Chia Pod into a jar; Top with a layer of unsweetened yoghurt and lastly, a generous TBS of 100% nut butter. A pretty parfait made up in a minute! Full of fibre, healthy fats and some protein too, this should keep you full until lunch.
How to choose the best Chia Seeds
What you might not be aware of is that it takes the right environment and careful farming methods to produce chia with the ultimate nutritional profile. Fourth generation Australian farmer John Foss, founder of the Chia Co, was disappointed that the wholesome grains he grew were being processed, stripped of their nutrients and added to refined, sugary breakfast foods. He set out to positively change the health of the global community by making the nutrition in chia available to everyone, every day.
The Chia Co farms are located at exactly 15 degrees from the equator, the ideal latitude to provide sufficient sun hours to grow us chia that’s a rich plant source of the essential fatty acid omega-3, which has anti-inflammatory properties and that the typical Western diet is lacking in. The chia seeds ripen naturally in the sun, and irrigation is used to ensure the perfect amount of water.
Striving to emulate a farmers market model on a global scale, John operates a fully transparent supply chain with each packet of their seeds traceable right back to the paddock it was grown in. The products are sustainably grown, guaranteed 100% chemical free and certified non-GMO.
So next time you’re stocking up on chia, choose a local brand with integrity, one that cares about the nutritional profile of their product and their environmental impact.
To make it easier for people include chia in their daily diet, The Chia Co have also developed a range of innovative ready-to-eat products. Available now in the chilled section of Woolworths. Coles and independent grocers nationally, Chia Pods contain a full serve of chia mixed with coconut milk and fruit. From September, three new additions to the Chia Co’s product lines will also become available: Chia Pod Bircher Muesli, Chia Pod Oats, and Oats+Chia.
Visit thechiaco.com.au for more information on The Chia Co farms, to access a range of easy and creative chia recipes, and to learn more about their innovative ready to eat products. @thechiaco #eatchia