Ten uses for chia

I have heard a lot about chia seeds in the past few months and it was with great excitement (and a bit of nervousness) that I finally bought a packet of chia seeds for my local supermarket.

Chia contains omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, calcium, potassium, iron, fibre, minerals and nutrients, and is gluten and dairy-free.

I have heard that chia is good for a number of things including:

  • reducing inflammation
  • lowering cholesterol
  • aiding in weight loss
  • protecting the body from free radicals and cancer
  • improving brain performance
  • boosting strength and endurance
  • reducing stress and
  • aiding with digestive health

Just google “chia seeds” and you will see for yourself that it is being touted as nature’s wonder food with a wide range of uses and benefits.

Chia Gel

I decided to try the white seeds and started off with the simple chia gel, which can be made by mixing 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

After stirring rapidly for about 2-3 minutes (you can use a hand whisk or shake the mixture in a bottle instead), the mix was ready.

This is what it looked like:

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The chia gel can be eaten on its own, used in smoothies and drinks, mixed into juices, salad dressings, porridge or soups.  

You can also use chia gel as a substitute for eggs!

Chia seeds

You could also use the chia seeds on their own, and sprinkle them over salads, pastas, in cereals and stir-fries or add them to cakes, and desserts.

It is a simple and easy way to fill yourself up and add some nutrition to your meals.

I’m hoping to use a lot more chia in my cooking and would love to hear what your favourite chia recipes are? 

 

Mint & Lychee Drink

This cool and refreshing summer drink is perfect for hot weather and is so easy to make.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3-4 springs fresh mint
  • 2L lemonade
  • 2 tins (560g each) pitted lychees

Method:

1. Pour the lychees, lemon juice and mint into a blender and blend until all ingredients are crushed and well blended.

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2. Refrigerate until cool.

3. Pour lychee mix into a large jug and add lemonade.

4. Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.

For a cocktail version, add some vodka to the mix!