3 Simple Ways to Add Chia to Your Diet
Long before they grew fuzzy green hair atop terracotta pets in the 1980s, miniscule yet mighty chia seeds were a staple in Incan and Mayan diets. Today, the versatility and vast health benefits of chia seeds are well known. Gluten-free and vegan friendly, chia seeds provide the ultimate balance of omega-3s, protein, fiber and antioxidants.
Whole chia seeds contain about 18 grams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) per 100 grams. This plant-based fatty acid is said to prevent cardiovascular, neurological and autoimmune diseases. Chia are a superb source of vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and vitamin B3 just to name a few. What’s more, at 4.7 grams per ounce, chia are packed with more protein than most other vegetarian sources and have four times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries.
3 No-Fuss Chia Recipes
When you add chia seeds, this smoothie becomes a refreshing and filling snack or meal replacer.
- 1 cup soy, almond or hemp milk
- Handful of spinach
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
Add the berries, ginger, chia seeds, spinach and milk to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
Nutrients per serving (1.5 cups antioxidant smoothie): Calories: 274, total fat: 10g, sat. fat: 0g, polyunsaturated fat: 0g, carbs: 40g, fiber: 11g, sugars: 26g, protein: 8g, sodium: 186mg, cholesterol: 0mg
Chia Seed Vinaigrette
This tart vinaigrette is a versatile topping for any salad.
- 1/2 tbsp of ground chia seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Whisk all ingredients in small bowl until combined. Toss in a large bowl with your favorite salad ingredients (pairs well with blueberries and red onion) and enjoy.
Nutrients per serving (1 cup chia seed vinaigrette): Calories: 233, total fat: 16g, sat. fat: 2g, polyunsaturated fat: 0g, carbs: 23g, fiber: 3g, sugars: 18g, protein: 1g, sodium: 3mg, cholesterol: 0mg
Chia Strawberry Jam
This energy-packed twist on an ancient Incan recipe is the perfect start to your day and is delicious when spread over toast or pancakes and stirred into oatmeal.
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp water
- Pure maple syrup to taste
Mash strawberries with a fork or throw in a blender to get desired consistency. In a jar, mix strawberries with chia seeds, water and pure maple syrup to achieve desired sweetness. Store in the refrigerator overnight to allow to gel.
Nutrients per serving (1 cup chia strawberry jam): Calories: 169, total fat: 5g, sat. fat: 0g, polyunsaturated fat: 0g, carbs: 31g, fiber: 8g, sugars: 19g, protein: 3g, sodium: 7mg, cholesterol: 0mg
Written by Samara Napolitan for Clean Eating Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.