What are Chia Seeds
What are chia seeds? The seeds produced by the chia (Salvia hispanica) plant are the same seeds used for the Chia Pet products. Chia is native to Mexico and Guatemala. It is an annual herb and it grows up to 1 meter tall. Chia is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family. It produces a spiky cluster of flowers that can be either purple or white. In pre-Columbian times it was grown by the ancient Aztecs. Today, chia is grown commercial for its seed.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can be eaten many ways and the seeds are very easy to digest. Although the taste is bland it readily absorbs other flavors, and as with anything with the proper seasoning it tastes great! The seeds can also be sprouted which greatly improves the nutritional value. Some other ways it is commonly used is in breads, cakes, biscuits, porridge, puddings, beverages, salads, and much more.
What are Chia Seeds Used for?
As mentioned above, chia seeds are famously used for the Chia Pet products.The reason why the seeds stick to the Chia Pets is because chia seeds naturally become extremely mucilaginous (sticky) when wet. More importantly though, chia is an amazing super food! It is one of the most nutritious seeds or food you can eat. The seed is very rich in Omega-3 essentials oils, protein, is very high in fibre, and minerals. Around 20% of the seed is a complete form a protein.
Where to Buy Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can be found at most whole food or grocery stores. If you are located in Canada, you can purchase chia seeds here. Seed Bank is a Canadian seed company and they ship garden seeds Canada wide.
Growing chia from seed is very easy! Under the right conditions the seed will sprout in 3 to 5 days. It’s important to use sterilized soil because there are many fungi or diseases that can kill the sprouts or even stop the seed from germinating. Whether growing indoors or outdoors make sure not to let the soil dry out. Keep the soil moist but avoid soggy conditions. It only takes a few days to germinate chia seeds, so it’s okay if you have to start over again. The ease and quick germination of the seeds makes it a fun project for kids to enjoy.
To start, place some sterilized black earth into pots, water the soil until it is moist but not soggy. Surface sow the seeds – as they need light to germinate. Press the seeds gently into the soil. As the chia seed sprout and get large enough to handle you can divide the plants. Don’t sow the seeds too close together or it will be harder to separate them. Some people cover the pots with plastic to keep the seeds moist and humid, and when the seeds sprout they remove the plastic. This is not necessary but it may work better if sprouting the chia seed in the cold winter months.
Health Benefits of Chia
Chia seeds have been found to be very useful in treating diabetes. This also makes it a good food choice for people trying to lose weight. Really, everyone can benefit from this food, so it’s worth giving it a try. There are many, many, more health benefits from eating chia seeds and research will have to keep up with that. As with anything chia seed should only be considered as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.
Rich in Fiber
The gelatinous nature of chia seeds is because they are so rich in soluble fiber. It is believed that the gel produced by the chia seeds coats the stomach and this slows the digestive process down even more so that energy is released slowly over time in our bodies.