The Wonders of Chia

by HEAB on May 9, 2009

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

I first read about chia seeds over at Mizfit, and after my Chia Fairy sent me a bag, it’s been a love affair ever since.  After reading my mother-in-law’s book, Chia, Rediscovering a Forgotten Crop of the Aztecs by Ricardo Ayerza Jr. and Wayne Coates, I wanted to share the following chia facts with you:

  • Chia is an amazing plant-based low sodium source of omega-3 fatty acids. The seeds have an oil content that ranges between 29-33%, and their oil contains the highest percentage of alpha-linolenic acid known (62-64%).
  • A study conducted in the UK to determine potential food allergens of chia found no evidence that chia exhibited any allergic response.  This was the case even with individuals having peanut & tree nut allergies.
  • Chia seeds posses 19-23% protein, higher than many other cereal grains including wheat, corn, rice, oats, & barley.  1 TBSP contains 6 grams of protein.
  • Chia seeds are free of gluten and a good source of B vitamins.
  • Chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, & copper.  In fact, chia seeds contain 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus, and 4.6 times more potassium per 100g of edible portion than does milk.
  • Chia seeds have 6 times more iron per 100g of edible portion than spinach, 1.8 times more iron than lentils, and 2.4 times more iron than beef liver.
  • Chia seeds demonstrate strong anti-oxidant activity.
  • Chia seeds are high in dietary fiber. They are made up of 5% soluble fiber, which appears as clear mucilage when placed in water. Clear mucilage = pudding like oats & extra thick smoothies. 1 TBSP of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber.
  • Unlike flax seed, you do not have to grind chia seeds to reap the benefits.

Um, hello.  What are you waiting for?!?  Can’t find them in your area?  Well, you can click here or here to order some of these little miracle seeds.

Many of you have asked me how I make my blended chia oat bran.  Well, I have been Vita-Mixless all week but still managed to make some pretty amazing bowls of chia oats.  Here’s my process:

Cook 1/2 cup oat bran with 1 cup of water on stove-top for 1-2 minutes:

Pot O' Goodness

Pot O' Goodness

Stir in 2 TBSP of chia seeds, 1 scoop Jay Robb rice protein powder (30 grams), and 1 cup hot water.

Sexy Hot Oats :)

Now my oats are Sexy Hot :)

Eat right away, or if you prefer thicker oats like me, allow the chia seeds to go to work for 15-30 minutes.  You can reheat if you want, but I never do.

Look how thick it got!

Look how thick!

The stats for this bowl, including 1 TBSP of almond butter (just to show you how much goodness it contains): 441 calories, 22.5 grams of fat (37%), 56.4 grams of carbs (37%), 48.9 grams of protein (32%), 21.6 grams of fiber, 71% of your daily iron, & 30% of your daily calcium.  The perfect breakfast in my mind…and in my belly. So very filling!

Yesterday was our last full day in Arizona, and it was 96 degrees.  I was saying how disappointed I was that I did not have my bathing suit since we had access to a pool, and I’d like to share CD’s suggestion with all of you…

CD’s Random Comment of the Day:

Heather Pie, you can wear my bathing suit…Wow, how very generous of you CD. (Yes, I’m his Heather Pie)

Oh, and thanks to all of you who voted in my poll yesterday. Just so you know, Pa did in fact kick Jay’s ass. ;)

Happy Mother’s Day 

Love you Mom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 42 comments }

Andrea@WellnessNotes May 10, 2009 at 9:50 am

Well, you have convinced me! I’ll have to try some chia seeds! :)

Briana in Tucson May 10, 2009 at 9:51 am

Your chia oats look soooooo good. Pardon me while I wipe the drool off the keyboard.

I hope you and CD had fun in AZ! Come back anytime!

glidingcalm May 10, 2009 at 9:57 am

sorrry you didn’t have a bathing suit!!! that looks like an amazing pot of oat bran. thanks so much for the tutorial and nutr. stats!! i bet that keeps you going for a long while!

ksgoodeats May 10, 2009 at 10:17 am

I knew Pa would be triumphant! I knew chia was some sort of miracle seed but I had no idea about ALL of that! Thanks for the 411 :)

Enjoy your last day and have a safe trip back!!

Shelby May 10, 2009 at 10:25 am

LOVE Chia Seeds! I need to buy some more though, I’m all out =0

Your oats look so thick and amazing. I need to re-create that. And those stats! So much protein and healthy fats! Mmm.

Too bad about the swim suit. Enjoy your last day though!!!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) May 10, 2009 at 10:55 am

Such a wonderfully informative post. Remember that to maintain the benefits of the omega 3′s its best to keep them from getting too heated. I enjoy my chia seeds as evening snack with apple sauce. Helps keep things moving ;)

Greta May 10, 2009 at 11:23 am

Those oats look delish! You’ve now inspired me to add something ELSE to my list of new foods to try in the morning bowl.

I’m a little skeptical about the comparison between chia and dairy, though (no offense to you or your mother-in-law) – 100g of chia seeds is about 3/4 cup – and that’s a lot of chia seeds! Regardless, next time I’m out at the grocery, I’ll pick a bag of these little guys up.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Jen May 10, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Man, I need to find me some chia seeds, stat!! Those nutritionals are insane!

The BF calls me Jennifer Pie, haha. It stems from an incidence of him sleep-talking and mumbling “Jennifer Pie is my favorite pie in the whole world”. And then I burst out laughing and was dying to tell him about it the next morning! The nickname just stuck. :P

I loveee these random comments of the day!

Pearl May 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

i love the post about chia! :) i think it’s so great that you can just add it to a smoothie and make it a delish chia pudding!

happy mother’s day to your mommy!

Erin May 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for all the chia info. I know they’re popular for thickening, but I didn’t know what the exact nutritional stats were. It sounds like quite the powerhouse! And those oats look great.
Thanks for the Lululemon info, I looked them up and you are right, they are expensive! But they do look great.

Emily May 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I read some good things about Chia seeds in the ADA mag this month. I love the benefits, and how thick they make your oats!

How very generous of CD to offer you his suit, haha. 96 is really hot! It’s so cute that he calls you Heather Pie. :-)

Yeah, Pa Ingalls!

Sweet and Fit May 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I really need to jump on this chia seed bandwagon – I want my oats to look lie that!

janetha May 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm

thanks for the info! such a great post. i linked back to it. thanks!!

Erica May 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Thank you for the info- I still haven’t tried the chias! hahahhaha…very generous of CD! Happy Mamas day to you (you have puppies so you’re totally a mama ;) )

Danielle May 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Wow I have NEVER heard of chia seeds… thanks for all the info! Can you buy them just anywhere?

aigirl14 May 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Haha chia seeds almost sound too good to be true! Can you taste them when you blend them into oatbran? I laughed out loud when I read “Heather Pie”…too cute. :)

jess May 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm

WOW 21 g of FIBER?!?! Holy smokes! I’m going to look for these at Whole Foods this week. Do you think I can add them to steel-cut oats? (Those are my fave right now)

CurlyTop May 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Heather Pie,

Looks like you’ve def. done your research! Chia seeds here I come.

Have a wonderful Sunday darling!

With Love,

Emily

Diana (Soap & Chocolate) May 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Hi HEAB! I have been on vacay the past week so I’m ready for some detox eating, and it sounds like chia would be a good place to start! Miracle food indeed! Hope you are having a lovely weekend. :)

Coconutgal May 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm

That’s right Heather, keep the chia oats-a-comin! So good for you! I love the volume they create! This is funny you mentioned re-heating because I was JUST gonna email you back about this and be like “it seems like they would be cold if they sat for 30 mins” but then I saw your post :-)
Do they get cold? Or is it like luke-warm?
So many possibilities with these guys… they work so well cooked in with grains and so healthy too! (I wonder what they’d do in a soup/stew?)
Bummer about your suit, did you just forget to pack it? (Jay Robb and his sexy muscles musta been taking up too much space in your suit case!!)

psychoj1 May 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Love your breakfast–awesome stats too! Happy Mothers day-LOL to his comment!
<3 jess
xoxo

Becky May 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Hey Heather, I just started reading your blog and I love it! The info about the Chia seeds is very interesting…can you find them in any stores or just online?

Reading your ‘about me’ and previous posts, I find that I can relate to you on a lot of things. The ‘need to go running to burn the calories’ (I’m also getting used to the idea of just doing yoga, or just hiking/walking and being OK with it). Eating REAL foods….I just got rid of my Splenda addiction! I love your philosophy of eating and health and wanted to let you know you are an inspiration to me and many others I am sure!

Becky May 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Oh and to add to my last comment…you should move out here to Colorado! I love it out here!

Emma May 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Thanks! I actually just went to WF and bought some, not knowing what to do. Now I have an idea… tomorrow’s breakfast is going to be great.

Elizabeth May 10, 2009 at 8:00 pm

I think chia seeds are so interesting! I had never heard of them until Abbie started talking about them. The info about them is pretty amazing though!

I’m glad you had fun in Arizona even though you didn’t have a bathing suit! Good thing CD loves you enough to let you borrow his.. :)

Hope youre having a great weekend!

Kristie May 10, 2009 at 8:47 pm

I actually just bought my first (tiny) batch of chia seeds the other day! At a bulk food store. I was super excited to find them! They’re a wee bit pricey though so I just got a tiny scoop to test drive first. I’ve been meaning to do a bit of research on them to figure out just what is so darn special about them so this post could not have come at a more perfect time! I think I just might have to make a chialicioius bowl of oats tomorrow morning for some good ol breakfast chow down. Thanks for condensing all of the great chia benefits in one handy dandy post Heather! :)

kombuchadove May 10, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Ahh, now I have some chia inspiration! I never used it but am egar to try… thanks for the nutritional info! :-)

Jenn (eating bender) May 10, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Miss Heather,

Oh. My. Goodness. Heck yes I oughta live in AZ someday…and YOU ought to, too :) I know, I know, you have your sights set on Colorado. But how can you pass up this gloriousness?!

You certainly have been having some amazing adventures. Between spa trips, Whole Foods (love that one!), and raw restaurants, I am in awe of your trip! I’m so glad you’re having a good time!!

Thank you for all of the information about chia. I saw it at WF last time I was there and was tempted. I think I will have to get some once I clear out some of my stockpiled food. I need to start thinking about the fact that I’m moving in about a month!

I hope you had safe travels back to Tennessee. Glad that you enjoyed yourself in the Arizona sunshine!!

Vicki May 10, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Love to hear the info about the chia seeds! I’m afraid the only image that came to mind was the Chia Pet…and the growing hair! Guess I’m pretty naive!

Anyway, has anyone tried them in smoothies? Do they add a lot of texture or do they blend in pretty well? Will definately try the oatbran for me but with the kids I do the smoothies and sneak in all the goodies (like omega-3 liquid, concentrated greens and vitamin C powder!).

Love your blog, Heather!

yogiclarebear May 10, 2009 at 11:07 pm

im going to look for the chia seeds when i shop in the city later this week. thank you for all the information! here are a few recipes i found on recipezaar

http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes.php?foodido%5B%5D=23340&srwci=Show+Recipes+with+Checked+Ingredients&check_all=Check+All&uncheck_all=Uncheck+All

seems like they are used in a lot of gluten free stuff. thanks again for the info heather! have a great monday.

Sarah May 11, 2009 at 12:38 am

I just like the word “mucilage.” Hee hee.

Chris is so funny, though not very helpful!

Glad you made it home safe and sound. It seems like you guys had such a great trip!

Ashley May 11, 2009 at 4:56 am

Chia rocks. And I love how thick and delicious it makes your oats look! I’ll need to try them in oats… I haven’t done that yet (silly me!)

ttfn300 May 11, 2009 at 7:21 am

that is one packed bowl of oats!! i need to buts open my package :)

ttfn300 May 11, 2009 at 7:21 am

… of chia seeds

lol :)

gina (fitnessista) May 11, 2009 at 8:23 am

i have a bag of chia seeds in the pantry that i haven’t touched yet.. i’m going to do it, you’ve convinced me
looks like you guys had a great trip to az! i want to go back soon– let me know when your next trip is and hopefully we can get dinner again :D i think the pilot and christian dior would get along well
hope you have a great day!

Trish (girlatgym) May 11, 2009 at 11:52 am

oh Heather pie – that’s so cute! :-)

Gena May 11, 2009 at 11:52 am

I love that you have become the minister of chia seeds!! They ARE a wonderful food :)

coco May 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I really need to try chia seeds soon! it looks so yummy~ :)

Annabel www.feedmeimcranky.com May 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Whoa thanks for all the info. on chia seeds! They do seem like quite the lost treasure!

Hangry Pants May 12, 2009 at 7:51 am

Hather Pie is so cute! I am just Heather Feather to everyone!

Love chia too. Have it in my muesli a lot and love it!

yogiclarebear May 15, 2009 at 12:09 am

i just found chia seeds today! they are kindof black? cant wait to try them. do they have a taste heather?

eatmovelove August 12, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Oh my goodness – thanks for linking me here HEAB – I can’t believe what a nutritional all-star these are…I would never find them around here :( ..bah…no negativity though, nope. maybe one day I’ll find the suckers.
:)

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