Chia Seeds: Tips and Tricks with Mamma Chia

Before I embarked on my gluten free diet thanks to a celiac disease diagnosis, the only "chia" I knew of were the pets with grass for hair. (Anyone whose ever heard of the "Ch-ch-ch-chia" theme song on the chia pet commercials can probably relate to my childhood memories!). The one thing more love-able than plant pets, though? Delicious, nutritious food. And chia seeds prove to be just that.

Chia powered breakfast and attire!
Chia seeds, in a nutshell (food pun intended as usual), are small seeds that will expand and form a gel when combined with liquid. The longer they sit, the thicker a paste the chia seeds will form. Because of this, chia seeds can not only act as egg substitutes in baking, but also as bases for pudding, (oatless) oatmeal, smoothies and dozens of other foodie delights!

Beyond their versatile taste, they also are a powerhouse of nutrients. When compared gram to gram, chia seeds respectively provide more omega-3, antioxidants, calcium, potassium, protein and fiber than salmon, blueberries, milk, bananas, soy beans and flax seeds.  Basically chia seeds prove that good things come in small packages. Very small packages in this case.

Big punch in a small package!
Chia seeds can be purchased dry or already mixed in with a variety of liquids. For instance, one of my favorite pre-packed snacks is a Chia Squeeze by Mamma Chia, which mixes chia seeds with fruit and vegetable juice. I love having both versions on hand. Dry seeds lets someone new to chia sprinkle only a spoonful over yogurt or cereal in the morning, while premixed varieties can be quick, tasty fuel. A chia lover like myself has tried mixing the seeds into any and every kitchen concoction, but I do have a few favorite combos.

First, no bowl of oatless oatmeal is complete without a tablespoon or two of chia seeds mixed in. Not only does it add a crunchy texture, but the chia seeds will also up the oatmeal's staying power. And if you fall head over taste buds for a thick porridge, chia seeds are the key. The ending result? Creamy. Fluffy. And dense enough to fly your spoon as a vertical flag. If you prefer a thinner consistency but still want the nutrition boost, just add more liquid. The more chia seeds you add, the more water or milk will be needed!

A few of my favorite breakfasts...
Anyone who has seen my Instagram also knows that I'm addicted to thick, creamy smoothie bowls every color of the rainbow. What they may not know is that a tablespoon of chia seeds (or a couple spoonful of Mamma Chia's Vitality drink) accompanies the fruit and veggies in my blender. Now that I'm rocking a Vitamix (my self-given reward for surviving two years of college with a 4.0!), I don't bother grinding up my chia seeds before adding them to my smoothie mixture. For those using a less powerful blender, however, you can grind up the seeds in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender. Chia powder + smoothie ingredients = a smoothie bowl true to the "smooth" name!

When I'm craving a snack or a breakfast on-the-go, chia seed pudding (perhaps the most obvious use of chia seeds) win the day. As I mentioned in my coconut milk cheat sheet, chia seed pudding is a creamy, refreshing and protein-packed goodie that can be personalized for each individual. If you want to try making you own, I suggest a liquid to chia seed ratio of 2:1, adding whatever spices, yogurt and fruits desired. Leave it to rest for at least 2 hours (I love leaving it overnight) and presto! Pudding free of gluten, dairy and most other allergens! If I'm feeling lazy or busy, I'll pour a Chia Squeeze in a bowl, throw on some toppings and devour!

And some chia-tastic snacks!
My final favorite chia use? Granola! (What a surprise considering my addiction, right?). I usually add a fourth of a cup of chia seeds to my homemade granola. Not only does it help form clusters, but it also packs a punch of crunch! When I have one laying around, I'll use a Chia Squeeze as the granola base for its fruity taste and, in most flavors, the included vegetable puree. Granola that tastes good and does good - nothing better for this gal!

When I was younger, Chia pets held all the magic. They had growing grass for hair after all! Considering I devour at least a couple tablespoons of chia seed a day, though, I think chia seeds are the new magic wands. They're versatile. They're packed with nutrients. And they can help make one killer breakfast or snack. Can you say, "De-de-delicious?"


*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's Link Party!*

*I received these products without charge to review, but my opinions are all my own!*


Have you ever eaten chia seeds? Have you tried any Mamma Chia products? Comment below!






Comments

  1. I've used chia seeds in pita bread using a recipe from the "Faithfully Gluten Free" blog
    ("Gluten Free Pita Bread", http://www.faithfullyglutenfree.com/). I'm not sure they were the "secret ingredient", but the recipe works well. Form the rounds by hand, and bake in a hot oven: they puff up nicely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds delicious! I'll definitely check them out!

      Delete

Post a Comment