Welcome to 2011!  It’s a new year, and like so many others out there, we’re sure eating healthy is on top of your “to do” list.  Well to help you get there, we wanted to introduce you to our number one power food of 2011.  Say hello to CHIA.  Yep, you read that right…you can actually eat chia seeds of chia pet fame! (Note: No you can’t eat the seeds that come with your chia pet and yes they do still sell Chia Pets). Sounds weird right? Read on and let us convince you.
So, what’s so great about this tiny black seed? Not only is it a vegan source of: Omega 3 fatty acids (ALA), it also contains calcium (1/4 cup of chia seeds has double the amount of calcium than milk), Protein (18 grams per 1/4 cup), Complex Carbohydrates (full of fiber) and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  See what we are saying, they are truly a power food!
If that hasn’t got you hooked, check this out! In terms of weight loss chia seeds can be a wonderful and all natural weight-loss tool. At 70 calories per tablespoon not only are they low in calories but chia seeds can actually hold up to 14 times their weight in water. So basically, eat these little seeds and they will expand in your belly, keeping you full for an extended period of time, preventing blood sugar crashes and providing you with prolonged energy (now who can’t use a little bit of that?).
So now that you know all the health benefits of chia, how exactly do you incorporate it into your diet?  The options are endless!  You can add them into your yogurt to provide crunch, toss it into your cereal, oatmeal and smoothies or sprinkle it on top of your salads.  And, you could even bake with it?  One tablespoon of chia mixed with three TBSP of water is equivalent to 1 egg (three cheers for our vegan and egg allergy fans).
At this point you might be thinking, chia sounds very similar to flax seeds.  Sure they both contain omega 3s however, chia contains more, doesn’t need to be ground up for it’s nutrients to be absorbed, can be stored at room temperature and won’t lose it’s nutrients if exposed to light, heat or cooking and the final kicker, chia is pretty much tasteless!  So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, begin adding it to all your favorite foods today and start your new year off on the right foot!