Chia is a funny little creature. Each seed is minute and en masse it looks like a load of grit!! Get past that and you can fall in love with this powerhouse of goodness. One of its attractions is its love of water. Soak it for just a very short time and it slurps up water and becomes gelatinous, ideal then for using as a base for smoothies and delicious raw chocolate puddings J
Chia is an ancient Aztec and Mayan superfood, once prized and used as a currency!! It is relatively new on the health scene here but fast becoming a firm favourite, despite only being approved as a “Novel Food” by the FSA **
As it holds so much water it is a great way to hydrate you and your cells and with its high fibre content, is good for encouraging a smooth running digestive tract. It is also rich in protein and a variety of nutrients including calcium and omega 3 and 6 Essential Fatty Acids. What’s not to like?
Even though it is good to go after soaking for as little as 20 or so minutes, I still prefer to soak it overnight. I feel then that it is well and truly saturated!!
On a practical note, despite being water-loving, chia seeds are headstrong little critters, preferring to float, so need a little coaxing to do their job properly. I have in the past left a bowl of chia overnight and found in the morning a small island of dry seeds floating happily on an otherwise gelatinous gloop!! So, when you put them in water, encourage them in with a finger or fork, and perhaps revisit after 10 minutes or so to make sure that they are behaving!!
I make a chocolate chia pudding by adding avocado, banana, a little raw chocolate powder and cinnamon and top it with organic raspberries and blueberries. A rather decadent breakfast for a Sunday morning
** A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997. Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes, an independent committee of scientists appointed by the FSA. Chia seeds are approved only as an ingredient in bread making, to represent no more than 5% of the total ingredient content. Personally I wouldn’t put them within a mile of a working oven, as heat will damage their Essential Fatty Acid content. I wonder if that comes under the FSA assessment?