Chia seeds have recently become very popular and for good reason! Recommended by all nutritionists, chia seeds contain very high levels of omega 3. They are also rich in calcium, anti-oxidants and amino acids. They can be used to help with weight loss as they have very few calories and contain no gluten.
Chia seeds were approved by the EU in 2009 allowing up to 5% of a bread product's total matter.
According to the USDA a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fibre and 4 grams of protein. The seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese, similar in nutrient content to other edible seeds such as flax or sesame.
Chia seeds can be used in a number of ways. They can be eaten whole or crushed and added to other foods as a topping in salads or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, energy bars, yoghurt or used a thickening agent. They are ideal for baking and adding to bread. They can also be sprouted or made in chia gel which can be drunk as it is for a health boost or mixed into other foods. Crushed or soaked seeds will release the most Omega 3.
To use as a thickening agent when cooking, start with 1-2 tablespoons of whole seeds and stir thoroughly. Then turn down the heat and wait for a couple of minutes to the chia to take effect.
How to make Chia gel:
Use 1 part seeds and 9 parts water.
Put the water in a clean container and slowly stir in the seeds.
Wait 5 min then stir again.
Wait 10 min then stir for the last time.
The gel lasts up to 14 days in the fridge.
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