Chia seeds

susytwoFebruary 23, 2011

Is anyone here using chia seeds in their diet? A friend introduced me to these on the weekend, and since then I've done a little bit of reading online, and is sounds like these would be even better than flax seeds, in my diet.

Compared to flax seed, they are higher in omega3, protein, iron, and fiber. Longer shelf life, and you don't need to grind them.

I bought a small bag today to try. I'd like to know if anyone else has any experience with them... aside from sprouting them as chia pets =)

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caliloo

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia....

:-)

Alexa

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 12:17PM
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jessicavanderhoff

Bwahaha. I, too, thought we were going to talk about chia pets.

Surely there's someone helpful around here. . .

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 12:52PM
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Teresa_MN

These are delicious! My friend Loretta makes them and would bring them to the Farmer's Market whenever I worked for her. She came up with the idea for one of her grandkids due to their dietary restrictions. I like them because they are dense, filling and not very sweet.

Loretta's Seeds & Grains Bars

3 cups Oatmeal
1/2 cup each: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax and ground Chia seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
2 cup plain soymilk
Heat the oven to 350 and spray a cake pan.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Blend up all of the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet into the dry, mix and dump the whole thing into the cake pan. Spread it out evenly and bake for 35 - 40 minutes.
The best way to eat this is warm with plain yogurt and a couple spoons of fruit spread.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 12:53PM
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lucypwd

I was glad to see this post as I recently bought a bag. I've added them whole to oatmeal - not so great, and added them to the kids smoothies from the vitamix - great..no detection(g). I would love to hear what others are doing.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 12:57PM
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chi83

I love them. They do become slightly gelatinous in liquid so it can add some interesting texture if you let it sit for a bit.

I like to make pudding from them by mixing the seeds with some sort of nut or coconut milk and letting it sit for a few minutes. It's sort of like tapioca pudding but much healthier for you.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 1:08PM
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mustangs81

I have been eating/drinking?? chai seeds on and off (when I remember) for about a year. I add a scoop to a glass of whatever I'm drinking before a meal. They don't have a taste so it doesn't overpower my beverage. A customer in the health food store was getting some; she shared with me the benefits including expanding in your stomach for the full feeling.

I can't say that I have taken chia consistently enough to detect clear benefits but there were no side effects and from what I have read in numerous articles, it can't hurt.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:39PM
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grainlady_ks

I buy chia seeds 5-10 pounds at a time and have used them on a daily basis for many years. They are one of my many "health nut" things....:-) There is always a jar of chia gel in the refrigerator (1/3 c. chia seeds to 2 c. water).

If I could only take one food item with me in an emergency, I'd grab my chia seeds.

I also use a LOT of flax, so both flax and chia have a place in my regular food preparation.

I add chia gel to breads and baked goods, my mid-morning shot of Very Veggie (similar to V-8), smoothies, oatmeal or other cooked cereal.... Added to whey lemonade (whey drained from homemade kefir + water, lemon juice and sweetener of choice if you'd like)- a real thirst quencher in the summer. Or added to coconut water - another great thirst quencher. Much better for you than sports drinks.

Chia gel added to yeast breads (1/3 to 1/2 cup per loaf) helps keep the bread "fresher" longer because the gelatinous mixture holds moisture in the crumb, rather than the moisture migrating through the crust during storage. They look like large poppy seeds in the bread.

Add some chia gel to your pancake/waffle batter, or your French toast batter.

You can add chia gel to any cookie batter for extra fiber and nutrition. Mix about 1/2 c. gel per dozen cookies the recipe makes. Bake as usual.

Add 1 teaspoon or more of chia gel to each serving of your favorite pudding.

I would highly recommend the book, "The Magic of CHIA" by James F. Scheer. The recipe for Chia Fudge is adapted from the book.

Chia Fudge

3/4 c. maple syrup (I've also used agave nectar)
1 c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1 c. almonds, chopped or ground
1/2 c. sesame seeds (I've also used kasha)
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. dry chia seeds
1/4 c. Hershey's 100% Cacao Cocoa (Special Dark)

Mix maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla. Add cocoa powder a little at a time. Mix until well blended. Mix all nuts and seeds together and add slowly to the chocolate mixture. Form into small balls (or spread in a pan sprayed with cooking spray or lined with Reynolds Wrap "Release" non-stick foil and cut into small squares). Roll in unsweetened coconut if you'd like. Refrigerate at least 1-hour. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

We use these as high-energy treats. Great for when we travel or have to eat on-the-run.
---------------------------------------------------

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(source - www.Dancingalgae.com)
2 cups Spelt Flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups Chia Gel
1 cup grated carrots, carrot pulp, or finely chopped zucchini
2 tsps Baking Powder
A pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
1/8 tsps Stevia Powder or 12 to 15 drops Liquid Stevia (concentrate).
1/4 cup raw honey (optional - or agave nectar)
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut oil or soft butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
8 oz. Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate Chips or Carob Chips

Pre-heat oven 350�F/176.6�C. Mix flour, baking powder, Stevia powder, and salt in food processor; warm coconut oil and honey. Add to flour, eggs, and vanilla. Add veggies, chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix well. Let age for 20 to 30 minutes.

Using a teaspoon, place on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake at 20 to 25 minutes or until firm.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy!!!

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 5:10PM
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susytwo

They certainly do expand. I added a tablespoon to my afternoon smoothie today, and I could not finish it! The half smoothie remaining is now in the fridge, and has become quite thick.

chi83, great idea of adding it to nut milk for a pudding. I'm going to try that.

I think I may still grind them before adding them to my morning muesli, which is what I'm currently doing with flax.

teresa mn, thanks for the recipe. I read somewhere that you can replace some of the oil with chia gel when baking. I'll put that on my to-try list, the next time I make muffins.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 5:11PM
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dcarch7

Just wondering.

Mother nature designs many seeds to pass thru the digestive system.

I have no suggestions as to how you can find out for sure. :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 5:36PM
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Teresa_MN

susytwo - I bet the gel would work. Some applesauce might work also in place in some of the oil. I talked to my friend Loretta. She now adds a touch of salt to the recipe. And she will mix and match the nuts depending on what she has on hand.

dcarch wrote: Mother nature designs many seeds to pass thru the digestive system. I have no suggestions as to how you can find out for sure. :-)

Please do not share any experiments on that topic here. I will let my imagination run wild on that topic! :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:07PM
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grainlady_ks

Unlike flax, chia seeds do NOT need to be ground to get the health benefits. Our bodies can easily digest chia seeds - grinding doesn't make them more bioavailable.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:37PM
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Teresa_MN

Grainlady - that's good to know about "not" having to grind the chia seeds. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 10:26PM
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cynic

I have never heard of Chia seeds other than for "pets". Interesting. Leave it to Grainlady to not only know about it but also be using them! :) Won't you be my neighbor? You'd like it here!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:19AM
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sbruce2008_yahoo_com

I recently have heard a lot about the chia seeds & bought a bag of them. I have been eating them for 3 days now & drinking water & iced herbal tea like it's going out of style. I was wondering about others experiences with the chia seeds? I've read numerous places as well as in the Chia Seed Diet book that the seeds are supposed to fill you up quick, help you stay full longer & give you lots of energy. I love the seeds for the nutrition & for these benefits, but for me they have actually done the opposite of what they're supposed to. Did I get a bad bag of seeds, since they don't gel up right away, it takes about 1/2 hour. I actually have been more hungry after having a chia meal & I've been tired a lot since starting using them in my diet. I really want them to be something I could use everyday, cuz I like the crunch of them in a peanut butter sandwich & in my yogurt & the healthiness of them is quite appealing! Looking to get feedback from others. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Interesting Steph. I don't know the answer but I hope someone does. I have some in the refrigerator I need to start eating.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:00PM
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grainlady_ks

steph-

You don't say how much you are using at any one time, but I suspect if you are using them dry, that can actually have a dehydrating effect; so if consuming them dry use only a small amount of chia seeds at a time - up to 1/2 teaspoon. The sensation of hunger (especially soon after eating) can also be an indication of need for hydration. Try switching to the gel form and incorporating it into your drinks, cooked cereal and baking for awhile and see if you get different results.

When making them into gel (1/3 c. chia seeds to 2 c. water, or if that's too thick for you, try 1/4 c. to 2-1/2 c. water), it is my understanding that it increases the nutrients in them if you allow them to sit (refrigerated) for at least 12-hours before using. This allows them to completely hydrate. They will keep for several days as a gel if refrigerated, and you can also freeze the gel in cubes (although I've never found a need to do this myself).

Always mix dry seeds into the water, not water to the seeds, or else they clump. If you want to use them as gel, but sooner than a 12-hour soak, add them to water, stir, and let them sit for 5-minutes and stir them again (I use a small whisk for this). Allow the mixture to set up for at least 15-minutes. That's about the minimum amount it would take to hydrate them for using as gel. So no, there is nothing wrong with your chia seeds.

Sorry to sound gross on a cooking board, but if you suffer from chronic constipation (one bowel movement or less per day) you may want to start out slowly using chia seeds, and increase it gradually in your diet. Try about 1/4 c. of gel per day and increase it up to 1 c. per day over a 6-week period. That "sluggish feeling" is probably from an inactive digestive system and a LOT of fiber not being processed properly. This is good general advise when adding any kind of high-fiber food to your diet, not just chia seeds.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:25AM
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Charcuterie

Sorry I don't have any recipes for using Chia. I just use them in smoothies. Keep in mind you don't need to use water to gel chia, try cranberry juice, apple juice, buttermilk, almond milk etc. You might try pureeing some fruit with added water, adding the chia seeds and using that mixed into yogurt or oatmeal.

I completely agree with grainlady about the hydration issue. Chia seeds can bind up to ten times their own weight of water into a gel. If you aren't consuming enough liquid with them then they can bind up your stomach juices, including your digestive enzymes. They can even suck water from your body as they pass through your intestinal track. Having your enzymes unavailable and your water level reduced could definitely cause you to feel tired. It could even make you feel hungry from the added energy needed to produce more enzymes.

Grainlady how much do you pay for your chia? I buy it online from a place called Alive and Aware because it is astronomically expensive in my area. 6lb for $28 with free shipping was the best price I could find online.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:24AM
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grainlady_ks

Charcuteria-

It's been awhile since I ordered chia seeds, but the last time I got them it was from The Raw Food World (www.therawfoodworld.com.) via Amazon.com. Can't remember what I paid, but they are $32.95 for 5-pounds ($6.59 per pound) on their web site. They have a 14# bag available on Amazon.com $64.95 ($4.64 per pound). You got a bargain for 6-pounds!!!

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:19AM
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Charcuterie

Alive and Aware sells through Amazon too, here is the link if you're interested. They also sell a 5 lb bag of certified organic chia seed for $35, also with free shipping.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alive and Aware 6lbs Chia

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:30AM
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sager66

"Is anyone here using chia seeds in their diet?"

Small containers of blended pudding is one way to spread the consumption of both chia seeds and coconut oil throughout the day.

3¼ cups warm water
1 package Kroger sugar-free vanilla or chocolate pudding
2 tablespoons (or your preference) warm virgin coconut oil
6 ounces Kroger CARBmaster vanilla dairy blend (yogurt)
2 tablespoons chia seeds

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 4:55PM
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cookie8

So how long would these be good for?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:31AM
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