The It List: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are edible seeds that come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico and dating back to ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures. The word chia means “strength,” and Aztec warriors relied on chia seeds to boost energy and increase stamina.
And yes, these are the same seeds that grow the famous “Chia Pets.”
Chia seeds contain healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium – plus, they don’t need to be ground up to be easily digested (unlike flax seeds). Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They’re most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods.
They can also be used as a vegan egg substitute for baking: Make chia gel using a 1 to 6 ratio of chia seeds to water. Use approximately one tablespoon of the chia gel to replace one large egg in your baked goods.
So what are you waiting for? Ch-ch-ch chia!