Chia seeds

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Nuts and seeds can be an excellent addition to anyone's diet. Not only are they a great source of vitamins, essential amino acids, and protein, but some (such as flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts) are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Chia seeds have been around for a very long time but have recently started to become more popular because of their high nutrient content. If you have read Christopher McDougall's Born to Run, you might be familiar with "chia fresca" or iskiate; a drink made by the Tarahumara Indians that is said to help them refuel after endurance runs.

There are countless ways to use chia seeds: add them to salads, oatmeal or breakfast cereals, smoothies, or baked goods. They are small, crunchy, and a bit like poppy seeds. I invented a chia yogurt snack that I really enjoy. Here is my recipe:

Chia Yogurt Snack
1 cup soy yogurt (cherry flavor is especially good but any will work)
1 heaping Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl and stir slowly until all of the cacao powder has been mixed in (to avoid it "poofing" out of the bowl). Then whisk like crazy until it reaches a pudding-like consistency.

I noticed that chia seeds are now available in the bulk food section of my local Whole Foods Market. They are also available from various online sources including Amazon.

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