Remember the clay animals on the television commercials covered with green, furry chia seed sprouts? These highly nutritious seeds, members of the mint family, were first used by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. Mehmet Oz, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon, television show host and co-author of "You Staying Young--The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty," says people need to get excited about chia seeds. "Chia--a harvested, unprocessed, nutty-tasting, nutrient-dense whole grain with omega-3 fatty acids--has among the highest antioxidant activity of any whole food, outdistancing even fresh blueberries."
Consume Chia Seeds Dry or Gelled
Take two daily doses of chia seeds of 20 grams of seeds each. Dr. Oz says these seeds lower your blood pressure as well as the risk of heart disease. You do not need to grind chia seeds before eating them; sprinkle the dry seeds onto your salads for a crunchy, nutty flavour, high in protein. Make certain when you eat dry chia seeds that you drink lots of water since the seeds will dehydrate you. To lower blood-sugar spikes an hour after eating, take 30 grams of chia seeds with bread. Purchase chia seeds at natural health food stores and online.
Before using chia seeds in your recipes, prepare them first using pure water. Never pour water into a bowl of dry chia seeds, or they will clump. Instead, while stirring with a wire whisk quickly, add dry chia seeds to the water. Use 10 parts water to one part seed. In under 10 minutes, you will notice the chia seeds have changed into a gel, absorbing 10 times its weight in water. Let it sit up to 30 minutes before using. Store chia gel in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Use chia gel as a fat replacer or an egg replacer in your recipes, according to James Sheer, pioneer in nutrition and author of "The Magic of Chia: Revival of an Ancient Wonder Food." Add chia gel to your salad dressings, butter, sauces or jams and peanut butter, for example, not only to stretch them but to cut the fat and sugar in half without changing the flavour and texture. Chia seeds add to the texture and flavour of foods rather than dilute and soak up the flavour. To help with weight loss, make chia seed gel and add it to juice or water for a full feeling without hunger for several hours and a slow release of carbohydrates. Other ways to take chia seed gel include adding it to milkshakes, puddings, dips and hot cereal, mixing it with yoghurt, and even scrambling the gel with eggs. Use dry chia seeds in your bread, muffin and pancake mixes.