I am here to tell you about a wonder-seed that doesn’t look so wonderful. To be fair, while dry, they are absolutely delightful little things.
but with beautiful markings. Behold!
So-far so good. I have nothing against grey foods, (Hello, mushrooms!) Only, when you soak chia seeds in water, something amazing (and admittedly, potentially off-putting) begins to happen. Each seed begins to soak up water- up to 9-12 times it’s weight to form a kind of gel. Within about 15 minutes this can be seen to be happening, but left overnight, they can absorb maximum amounts of liquid. They now look a little bit like……..well, frogspawn.
Chia gel tastes of….nothing. I mean- it really doesn’t taste of much. Granted, the texture and appearance may not be amazing (grey tapicoa pudding anyone?) But let me tell you why these teeny grey jellied seeds are so great.
- Weight loss WONDER seed. These keep you full for SO long. I mixed some chia gel with my overnight oats and I was full from 8am till 2pm. (Strange for me.) the gelling action makes you feel full for ages, even though most of it is water. I don’t know how that works, but I can attest to it.
- COMPLETE PROTEIN. All the essential amino acids. Yes, really!
- NO cholesterol
- Practically tasteless
- Rich in fibre (both kinds- soluble AND insoluble, like oats. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by the body and helps to keep food moving along the digestive process. Soluble fiber keeps the colon hydrated and aids in food movement)
- Packed with calcium and other essential minerals, as well as a variety of B vitamins
- Rich in OMEGA 3 fatty acids
To make CHIA GEL, mix your chia seeds in water, mix well to avoid clumping, and leave- overnight for maximum absorption, but after 30 minutes you will see a difference. (Suggested ratio 1-2 Tablespoons seeds to 1 cup water) It is said that the longer you leave it in soak, the more of the seeds nutrients become bio available.
Whizz some fresh fruits (eg an orange and some frozen raspberries) and mix your chia seeds in- enjoy your “chia pudding” for breakfast the next day. (I actually love the texture)
If you don’t like the texture, add some gel to a fresh smoothie or juice, mix briskly and thoroughly and drink immediately (all of the added nutrition, none of the frogspawn experience)
Add some chia seeds to soak with your “Overnight oats” (aka “Bircher Muesli”)
Chia gel keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
You can buy chia seeds online or in healthfood stores like Holland & Barrett. If you want to buy them, try not to be put off by the price- while they are not really cheap, shopping around will show up some significant price differences or special offers. Holland&Barrett sell 100gram bags for about £2.19, and 1 Tablespoon of seeds works out at 20p. Ideal if you don’t fancy buying a huge pricey bag.
Plus a little really goes a long way. (Remember? The grey gel? 9-12 times it’s own weight in water?)
I am not much of a seller. I admit, it doesn’t look very appealing. If anyone has tried chia seeds, or miraculously tries it as a result of this, I will be interested to know.
For now, excuse me while I go and sprinkle some on some oats for tomorrow morning. Because sometimes grey, on a Monday morning is a good thing!