I don’t mean to turn into a food blog, but this is a long overdue followup to the post “Using Chia Seeds to Cure Heartburn.” I have had several people ask for chia recipes. Instead of emailing every time, I thought I would post some. Give the people what they want!!! Oh sorry, the power went to my head for a minute.
For those of you who haven’t read every word I’ve written (what?!) here is a quick review of chia seeds
You know them from the pets, but these babies do more than adorn cheap terra-cotta sculptures, they can transform your body by boosting your energy levels and providing a myriad of other health benefits. If I had to designate one food as a miracle food this is it. I give this three thumbs up! Before you read on about the health benefits, here is why:
- cheap! (a wholesome, “miracle” food I can actually afford!!)
- all natural (what you see is what you get! No fancy brands or schemes)
- versatile (you can do a billion different things with it)
- no dosage (eat as much as you need to feel your best)
- kid friendly, even hubby friendly! (they can’t tell what I hide it in)
- No aftertaste or even much of a taste at all.
I can’t list all the benefits of chia without sounding too good to be true, but here are a few: High in protein and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Chia slows the metabolism of sugar, so it is a great tool for people struggling with their blood sugar. Easy to digest. Supports your thyroid. Rich in antioxidants. Chia has 6 times the iron of spinach! Helps in weight loss because it fills you up. Dense nutrition, it is known as the running food, its use as a high-energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. In fact, chia is the Mayan word for “strength.” Seriously, awesome stuff.
How do you use it? Well, here are a few concepts and a few recipes. Just remember, with chia you can’t go wrong. Throw it in anything. Play around with it. Even try it plain.
I add about 1/3 cup seeds to 2 cups water in a jar. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Shake about 2 times while waiting, to prevent clumps. Stores in fridge for 2 weeks. I will make a mason jarful and keep it handy to throw in smoothies or even eat a spoonful on the run. Amaze your friends. Well, amaze might not be the right word for their reactions when they see this slime in your fridge.
1/4 cup chia gel = 1 egg; suitable for baking!
If your soup or sauce is too runny, try stirring in some chia to thicken it up instead of flour or cornstarch.
Bread: Google chia bread for all sorts of recipes. I like to use a magic bullet or vitamin to grind chia seeds into chia flour and then replace maybe 1/3 cup of the flour in any bread recipe I am baking.
Chia Seed Muffins:
1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup sour cream 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/3 chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda; cinnamon sugar for the top (or go fancy and make strudel topping!)
Preheat oven to 375º. Cream butter and sugar, blend in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, dry chia seeds, salt and baking soda, then add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.
**This is a great basic recipe. Feel free to throw in blueberries or chocolate chips, banana and nut, whatever.
If you want to go crazy with the super food, check out Dr. Oz’s Chia Pumpkin Muffins. Dr Oz told Oprah that 1 muffin has more magnesium than 10 heads of broccoli and as much calcium as 2 cups of milk.
Cookies: I will replace one of the eggs with chia gel.
No bake-cookies: 2 cups rolled oats, 1/4 cup chia seeds, 3 Tbs cocoa powder, 2 Tbs agave or sweetener of choice, 1/2 cup water**Optional, stir in some chocolate chips, dried cherries, chopped nuts, and/or coconut for variety.
Combine everything together and roll into balls, about 1 Tbs each. Place on waxed paper (layer if you need to) and chill.
Cocoa-Chia Brownies: 2 cups sugar, 1 cup flour, ½ cup cocoa, 1 cup walnuts or pecans, 1 ½ cups Chia Seeds, 4 eggs, 1 cup butter, melted and cooled; 2 tsp vanilla
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and stir well. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl and gently mix until flour is well incorporated. Pour into greased 9×13 inch pan.
Bake at 325°F for approx. 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Egg Batter: Add chia gel to anything that you dip in egg before cooking, French toast, fried chicken, zucchini sticks, anything
Soups and Sauces: I throw it into every soup or sauce I fix. If you need to hide it in a smoother recipe, grind it into chia flour first, or blend the gel until smooth in a vitamix or magic bullet.
Chia Herb Couscous: 4 tsps butter, 2 medium green onion chopped (white and green part), 2 cups chicken broth, 4 tsps chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 Tablespoons chia seed, 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous, salt to taste
Melt butter over medium high heat. Cook the garlic and white part of the onions in the butter until the onions are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chia seeds and lightly toast for about 30 seconds. Stir in the couscous, salt, and dried basil (if fresh, hold off for later). Add the broth to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes. When ready to serve, take a fork and fluff the couscous. Stir in the fresh basil (if fresh is used), green onion, and the Parmesan cheese.
This is probably the fastest way to enjoy a healthy dessert, it sets almost as fast as Instant Pudding Mix!
Banana Pudding:One of my favorite treats since starting the 30 Day Raw Food Challenge; I swear it tastes like the filling from Banana Cream Pie, if you keep your eyes closed.
Blend two very ripe bananas in a blender or magic bullet with maybe a cup of water, 1/4 cup chia seeds, a tsp or two of vanilla, and your sweetener of choice, to taste (I like agave or honey for this recipe.) Blend till smooth. Place in fridge to gel. Alternatively, you could make the gel ahead of time and omit the water in the recipe. This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Make chia gel with chocolate syrup instead of water and you have a healthy treats your kids will eat. Seriously, mine fight over it.
Mix with fruit juices and agave or stevia for a sweet treat. You can also blend the “pudding” till smooth if the texture bothers you and then put it in a cuisinart ice-cream maker for a frozen dessert.
For a tapioca-type effect, blend chia gel with raw cashews, vanilla, and agave.
You may have noticed a lot of pricey chia drinks at the health food stores; a few are even popping up in mainstream grocery stores. It makes sense. Chia is excellent in promoting hydration in the body. You can make chia drinks at home easily for a fraction of the price.
1 Tbs chia seeds, 1 cup natural apple juice, 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice. Ice.
Add seeds to apple and let soak at least 30 minutes so it makes a really soft jelly. Add lemon and ice and blend for a refreshing slushy. Or, don’t blend, and add filtered water until you reach the consistency you like.
Agua Fresca de chía (Chilled chia water)Best prepared just before serving. The longer the chia seeds are in the water, the thicker and more gel-like the beverage becomes.
½ cup lime juice, 1 cup sugar OR 1/4 to 1/3 cup Agave to taste, 10 cups water, 1/3 – ½ cup Chia Seeds; several sprigs fresh sage or mint for garnish
Pour lime juice and sugar into the water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chia seeds and shake or stir vigorously.
Garnish with the sprigs. Serve in tall glasses over ice.
I hope these recipes help get you started with chia! Chia has made my life better and my family loves it too.
FYI: Chia has 137 calories in 1 oz of dry seed.