Chia Seeds Aztec wonder seeds

Chia seeds were regarded by the Aztecs as being so nutritionally complete, they could virtually live off of them.  The seeds were used in ceremonies and also as currency.  Chia seeds are much more than an ancient Aztec ritual, they are nutritious and full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber and are considered a near-perfect food source and are also known as a “superfood.” Just one ounce of seed contains approximately 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat and 11 grams of fiber.  It also contains other minerals typically found in similar seeds such as flax. But because of the high anti-oxidants the chia seeds do not spoil as quickly flax seeds can. When the seeds are soaked, they can absorb up to twelve times their weight in liquid and become gelatinous. Once consumed, they can form a gel in your stomach which can slow down carbohydrates and sugars and the gelled seeds also help keep your electrolytes in balance. The seeds are also thought to help build muscle and are ideal for athletes.

Uses for Chia Seeds Chia seeds can be used a number of ways.  They can be ground up and added to breads, cereals, porridge and baked goods to add nutritional value.  You can sprinkle a teaspoon of chia seeds into your favorite agua fresca, juice or lemon water and let them soak for about ten minutes.  They will become gelatinous and they add a nice texture to your drink. The seeds can also be sprouted and used in salads, sandwiches or as a garnish.  (The seeds are sprouted on what is known as a “Chia Pet” in some regions.) Chia seeds are often mixed into Pinole.