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The Chia Seed: A New, Old and Raw Alternative

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The Chia Seed: A New, Old and Raw Alternative

By Blythe Metz

Photos by Carla Cummings http://home.earthlink.net/~carlacummings/


The chia seed is an exceptionally nutritious and versatile food. This small black seed, made famous in the 1980s by the Chia Pet, tops the charts for foods with high levels of bioavailable omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium and more.

By itself, the seed is generally flavorless but when mixed with water, it becomes a gel-like substance that can be dressed up or down. Given that it is packed with power and nutrition, chia seeds are an easy ingredient to add to recipes to as a base for tasty and nutritious meals. Chances are that with time, you may even develop a special taste for the raw seed.

Chia seeds are no newcomer to the field. As early as 3,500 BCE, chia seeds were a significant part of the diet of the indigenous peoples in Central America, particularly the Aztecs and Mayans. The Aztecs used chia seeds as a grain, or mixed it with water for a beverage. In addition, these potent seeds were used to prevent infections and stimulate healing when used as the base of a poultice for application on wounds and injuries. Chia was used medicinally to treat constipation, sore throats, and colds and was even offered to the gods in religious rituals. For all these reasons, it became valuable enough to be traded as currency.

As the Aztecs well understood, chia seeds (because of their mucilaginous fiber content) help keep our digestive tracts functioning optimally. With proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, we sleep better, shed unnecessary weight, and feel physically and emotionally lighter, partly because we are not weighed down by undigested food in the colon.

 

It is believed that the chia seed disappeared from popular use for a time partly because the European conquest of the Americas suppressed many of the agricultural and religious practices of the Aztecs. Luckily, and perhaps due to the raw and natural food movement, the seed is making a comeback. From savory chia seed sandwich wraps to chia popsicles, the rediscovery of this nutritious staple crop is surely transforming tummies across the country.

 


Here are a few simple raw food recipes to help you incorporate chia seeds into your own diet. Enjoy!

*Raw Chia Porridge

Yield: 4-6 servings

 Ingredients

Chia base

¼ cup chia seeds

2 cups water

Directions
Pour chia seeds into glass bowl then cover with water and stir. Let stand for twenty  minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture reaches a light, gel-like consistency, the porridge is ready for consumption. Because the gel-like mixture lacks much flavor, you can sweeten or spice this up by adding in fruit, spices or nuts (see below). This base will last in the fridge for a week in a covered glass dish. If it becomes too thick, add more water.

Add to chia base:

1 ½ cups fruit of choice: Fruits such as mangoes, grapes, berries, apples, kiwi, oranges, bananas, peaches, kumquats, and pineapple work well as chia porridge additives.

Optional: 1 Tbsp maple syrup, or raw agave;

Optional: chopped germinated walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds;

Optional: dash of cinnamon, ground clove or nutmeg.

 

Directions for spicing up the chia:
Cut up your fruit of choice and stir it into the chia seed porridge. Mix and match fruit with maple syrup or nutmeg, cinnamon, or ground clove. Sometimes I put a few drops of my pink grapefruit organic essential oil.

 

Chia popsicles

Ingredients

¼ cup chia seeds

2 cups water

2 cups berries, mango or peaches

 Directions

Pour chia seeds in glass bowl, then cover with water and stir. Let stand for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Purée the fruit in a food processor. Once the base fruit is puréed, you can stir in diced grapes, kiwi, or pineapple to give the popsicle more texture and color.

Stir fruit and chia seed mixture together in a glass bowl with a pour spout. Pour into do-it-yourself popsicle makers, found at any kitchen store. Simply freeze in popsicle trays.

 

 Chia Fruit roll ups:

* Dehydrator required

Ingredients

2 cups puréed fruit of choice (I prefer apples or mixed berries.)

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together puréed fruit and seeds. There is no need to pre-mix the seeds with water this time. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Using a dehydrator, place a teflex sheet on the dehydrator tray. Spread the chia and fruit mixture onto the teflex sheet on the dehydrator tray, in a thin layer.

Dehydrate for 6-10 hours at 105°F.

It will become the texture of a traditional fruit rollup, but much healthier.

Peel right off the teflex sheet and enjoy. Dehydrated fruit becomes very sweet, so this is a tasty treat for you and the kids.

I take these everywhere I go because they contain nutrients that keep me satisfied and sustained.

For a video demonstration on how to make fruit roll ups, or to learn more about dehydrators, go to www.BlytheRAW.com

 


Savory Chia Wrap

* Dehydrator required

Ingredients

¼ cup chia seeds

3 tomatoes

1 avocado

1 Tbsp oregano or 2 sprigs fresh oregano

1 Tbsp olive oil

dash of sea salt

dash of pepper

Directions

Put all ingredients in the food processor with the chop tool and purée until smooth.

Place a teflex sheet on the dehydrator tray. Pour contents unto tray and smooth into a thin layer. Dehydrate for 10-12 hours at 105°F.

Flip sides, remove teflex sheet, and dehydrate for 7 -10 hours on the other side.

 

This will create a wonderful wrap that you can fill with anything from sliced avocado and turkey, to sprouts and bell peppers.

For a video demonstration on how to make wraps and breads in the dehydrator, or to learn more about dehydrators, go to www.BlytheRAW.com

 

Side note on dehydrators–dehydrators use very little energy. I’ve noticed no difference in my electricity bill after incorporating dehydrating into my weekly routine. I also make several things at once in the dehydrator, cutting down energy use.

 

 

For a source of pink grapefruit essential oil, visit: www.BlytheRAW.com.

~Blythe Metz is an accomplished actress, writer and producer with a passion for helping people and earth. Her new show about Live Foods, Natural Beauty, Environmental Consciousness and Eco Fashion airs live weekly, Fridays at noon (PST) www.Ustream.TV/BlytheRAW

B. RAW Body, Blythe’s line of Organic and Wild Crafted essential oils and body butters are available on www.BlytheRAW.com.

Photos by Carla Cummings: http://home.earthlink.net/~carlacummings/

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  1. Mahachiaseeds says:

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    email your name, address, contact 2 find out
    the cost and availability in stock.
    mahachiaseeds@gmail.com

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