Today is National Chia Day, now celebrated every year on March 23. Chia seeds have been around for more than 3,500 years but only received the spotlight in 2016. They are small, mighty seeds known as one of the rare superfoods on the planet. You might recognize them if you owned a chia pet in the 1980’s. Those same seeds that grew on your chia pets are the same seeds that make for delicious recipes filled with nutrition.
Chia seeds are packed with nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to proteins, fibers, and omega-3 fatty acids, etc. These ‘magical seeds’ were first found to be the fuel for ancient Mayans, Aztecs, and Tarahumara Indians.
Chia seeds originated from the minty desert plant Salvia hispanica, which is native to southern- and central Mexico. Fast forward to the 20th century, Dr. Wayne Coates from the University of Arizona, in his research of ancient plants, came across chia seeds in the 1980s and was blown away by their loaded nutritional profile. However, it wasn’t until 20 years later, when the vegan lifestyle started to gain popularity, that the hunt for plant-based proteins brought chia seeds into mainstream awareness.
Use this day as an excuse to eat more chia seeds, and possibly make them a staple in your regular diet. Add them into your oatmeal, casseroles, beverages, your dessert dishes, and anything you can pair their neutral flavor with.
Reasons why you should add more chia seeds into your life:
Chia seeds vital nutrients
Chia seeds contain eight times more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, 10 times more calcium than milk, and 25 times more fiber than flaxseeds.
They are free of food allergies
Chia seeds don’t care if you are any kind of food-intolerant. They contain everything necessary to digest the nutrients they come with, are gluten-free, and vegan-friendly.
They are the epitome of recipe versatility
Chia seeds are neutral in flavor, which means there’s no limit to the amounts of foods and drinks they can be added in. On top of it, they can be used as a thickener in creams and puddings and pureed into baby foods.
For a yummy strawberry coconut chia pudding try this recipe from Mommypatomus.com. It’s sweet, toasty, and creamy.
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 oz freeze-dried strawberries or fresh strawberries
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp chia seeds
- pinch sea salt
- toasted coconut flakes (optional topping)