Nutrition Spotlight: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds that have recently caught the health industry by storm, and with good reason – These little seeds are a nutrition powerhouse. With origins in Mexico and South America, chia seeds were once thought to have supernatural powers. They are in fact excellent sources of several nutrients; just 2 tablespoons (one serving) contains 138 calories, 9 grams of heart- healthy fat (excellent source of omega-3), 5 grams of protein, and 18 percent of the Daily Value for calcium. The taste is very similar to flax seeds, mild and nutty, and chia can be used similar to flax.
If you’re looking for a nutritious recipe and simple ways to boost your eating plan, try sprinkling ground or whole chia seeds over foods like yogurt, cereal, salads, mixing them in smoothies, or even use as a replacement for eggs in baked goods. One very unique property of chia seeds is the ability to form a gel when mixed with liquid. In just a few minutes, a smoothie will thicken into a creamy texture; you can even make jams and pudding out of them.
Info gathered from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 Issue
Here’s a nutritious recipe to try:
Lemon Chia Pudding
Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 issue
• 1 TBS olive oil
• 2 TBS maple syrup
• 2 TBS granulated sugar
• 1 large lemon, juice and zest
• 1 cup nondairy milk, such as coconut or almond
• ¼ cup chia seeds
Blend together the olive oil, maple syrup, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and almond milk. Add the chia seeds, whisk together and let sit for 15 minutes until gelled.
Amber Ketchum, MDS, RD
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts