Chia seeds are typically small ovals, with a diameter of approx 1 mm. and are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white. Chia seeds typically contain 20% protein, 34% oil, and 25% dietary fiber. The oil from chia seeds contain a very high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acid - approx. 64% in the oil. Chia seeds contain no gluten.|
Currently, chia seed is traditionally consumed in Mexico, the southwestern United States, and South America, but is not widely known in Europe. Jesuit chroniclers referred to chia as the third most important crop to the Aztecs, behind only corn and beans, and ahead of amaranth. Tribute and taxes to the Aztec priesthood and nobility were often paid in chia seed.
Grinding chia produces a meal called pinole, which can be made into porridge or cakes. Chia seeds soaked in water or fruit juice is also often consumed and is known in Mexico as chia fresca. The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are used in gruels, porridges and puddings. Ground chia is used in baked goods including breads, cakes and biscuits. Chia sprouts are sometimes grown on porous clay figurines which has led to the popular (U.S.) cultural icon of the chia pet.
Chia seeds can be easily incorporated into ones diet and can be used with many other foods and beverages. Chia's hydrophilic structure holds water, so when mixed with sauces, drinks, yogurt, salad, dressings, cream cheese, jellies and preserves, salsa, hot/cold cereal, dips, puddings, soups, etc., it displaces calories and fat without diluting flavor. In addition to extending foods by 50% - 75% calories and fat have been reduced without compromising flavor, with an ingredient that is 90% water.
Chia Seed. Once valued so much that it was used as currency, this unique little seed has exceptional nutritive and structural benefits.