Surely you have seen them before. They look like tiny pebbles, black or white, and health addicts love to sprinkle them on top of every meal. Sweet, savoury, breakfast, lunch, or dinner! While chia seeds might be small, they carry all kinds of nutrients. They’re rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, and magnesium, so they’re good for your stomach, heart, and mind. They’re also a smart addition to your diet if you’re vegan or vegetarian.
Their healthy super powers have been known for ages. The first records of chia seeds date back to 3500 BC and it is believed that the Mayan and Aztec warriors used to eat them before battles for a quick dose of energy. (Fun fact: chia means strength in the Mayan language!) The seeds had their place in all aspects of the ancient life, from medicine to religious rituals. Unfortunately, because of their religious significance, chia seeds were banned by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century and their future seemed uncertain.
It is only recently that they’ve been rediscovered as a superfood and become the latest trend in healthy living. Suddenly many tips and recipes are popping up all over the internet, from wellness blogs to Pinterest, an occurrence that the Aztecs wouldn’t have believed!
The new interest in chia seeds brings a fresh point of view as well. Recipes are made to look good on menus of cool cafes, to be prepared in a few minutes at home, or brought to office when we’re in a hurry. Once a rare commodity found only in specialised health food stores, chia seeds are now making an appearance in supermarkets and our kitchens. When you go shopping, you can find two kinds of these seeds – black ones and white ones – which might seem confusing but their colour is in fact the only difference. Depends on your aesthetic preference more than anything else!
Chia seeds are all over amazing. One of the most impressive qualities of chia seeds is the fact that they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. When they do come into contact with water, each seed forms a gel-like surface. The final product can be used instead of jelly or eggs in cooking, or most often to make delicious puddings with virtually endless flavours, options, and combinations.