Our resident foodie, Elizabeth Blake, forwarded me this article (http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2014/1/6/9-ways-to-use-chia-seeds?xid=DISH010914WaysToUseChia)¬†because she knew that I am a chia fan. ¬†The team is always making fun of me for it, because chia seeds are a bit off the wall. ¬†In fact, my kids openly mock me with “Daddy eats chia pets!” before dissolving into laughter and running out of the room.
I probably deserve the mocking if I am being honest. ¬†I mainly eat chia in one of two ways:
1) Classic Chia Fresca. ¬†This is when you mix chia seeds with water, lime juice, and some sort of sweetener (I like agave nectar but sugar, brown sugar, and honey work well, too). ¬†I got hooked on this after reading Born to Run. ¬†The heroes of the book drink it all the time and run 100’s of miles. ¬†I drink it before and during long trail races (but unfortunately it hasn’t turned me into a champion like the guys in the book…)
2) Mixed in with plain greek yogurt. ¬†I eat a lot of plain greek yogurt; my favorite is Fage 2%, though I also like Chobani and Oikos. ¬†It can get a little boring, though, and the chia gives it an extra crunch and also lots of extra nutrients (just be sure to eat it right away– otherwise the seeds get ¬†pretty soggy and the experience is nowhere near as good). ¬†I could accomplish the same thing with granola, but I often eat low-carb and so chia is much better.
The reason I deserve the mocking is that in each case, the chia looks pretty gross. ¬†It becomes almost gelatinous in the Chia Fresca, and just kind of blends into a seedy paste when it comes to the yogurt (in an ugly brown color to boot when I mix in cinnamon, which I often do…).
But what are you gonna do? ¬†It’s a superfood and I like it, so I am game for a little mocking. ¬†Some of the ideas in this piece give me hope that I can add some variety to my chia life and perhaps even do it while minimizing the mocking. ¬†A couple quick thoughts on the suggestions:
– I love the pancake idea. ¬† I already sneak in protein powder or pumpkin puree without even telling them! ¬†They would notice whole chia seeds but maybe I could grind them up in the food processor first? ¬†hmmm….
– My younger daughter already makes jam. ¬†It’s delicious, but a bit of a nutritional disaster. ¬†Using chia ¬†as the thickening agent helps with that and delivers a TON more nutrients than regular jam. ¬†I will try this with my daughter and let you know….
– Smoothies and Agua Fresca are what I already do. ¬†If you can get over the weird appearance, they are great. ¬†Perfect for a quick breakfast or healthy snack. ¬†Trust me.
– The salad dressing I just have to try– maybe a proxy for poppyseed?
– I am hoping Elizabeth will test them out in some of our recipes that call for breading– I am intrigued
– The pudding is a wild card. ¬†I just got my girls into almond milk (only chocolate, but hey, it’s a start). ¬†So I want to mix up the chia with the chocolate almond milk and maybe try to convince them it’s special chocolate pudding. ¬†I cannot tell them it’s chia or else they will balk. ¬†Stay tuned….
– I am skeptical of the egg thing. ¬†Gotta draw the line somewhere! ¬†Plus I LOVE eggs…
Bottom line is that chia is a weird but pretty cool and super healthy food. ¬†It’s worth trying to weave into your diet in some way. ¬†It is getting easier to find in mainstream channels, but I still buy mine in bulk from Amazon, so you might check that out.
If anyone has any more great chia recipes, please share them back with me and the group!