Previous
Next

HOW TO PROPERLY COOK WITH CHIA SEEDS

HOW TO PROPERLY COOK WITH CHIA SEEDS
Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a little confused as to how BEST to eat chia seeds.

But first, why are Chia seeds so very special? They feature regularly in my diet and I notice a difference if I don’t have it for a while.  Don’t take my word for it…read these 7 Fun facts about Chia Seeds

  1. The richest source of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids.  85 times more than olive oil.
    Omega 3s are important for a healthy heart, blood circulation, cellular structure, inflammation and effective brain function.
  2. Balance electrolytes +  Hydrate the body. Perfect for a post work-out to hydrate the body and replenish your system
  3. Stabilise blood sugar levels. Important for diabetics or those with insulin resistance
  4. Good levels of Omega 6 + 9
  5. High antioxidant levels – triple that of blueberries. Fighting free radicals that attack the body from almost everything in our modern lives. Toxicity is rampant.
  6. High in calcium. Also includes trace minerals to assist in the absorption of calcium, good for healthy bones and joints. It’s not just dairy that provides calcium, in fact other sources do a better job!
  7. Twice the protein of any other seed or grain. We need protein. Full stop.

********

Now, back to my earlier point – how is it best to eat chia seeds? I was once told that due to the delicate omegas (fatty acids) present, chia seeds should not undergo any heat. I, therefore, NEVER cooked/baked with chia. But it still left me confused, I’ve seen countless recipes where chia seeds are baked into breads, muffins and more. So which is it? Heat, or no heat?

As luck would have it (or a helping hand from the universe!) an email from The Chia Company landed in my inbox filled with fun facts about chia based on their own research into its functional properties. Too easy. Time to share it with you.

First up, it’s important to note that:

  1. Chia does not need to be milled before ingestion
  2. The seed coat is hard enough to protect Omega 3 and 6 and other nutrients from oxidation, but soft enough to be easily degraded by the pH in our gastrointestinal tract. This means that chia can be eaten as a whole seed, direct from the plant, just the way nature intended (- a little side note, The Chia Company therefore doesn’t spray their crops at all).
  3. Chia retains Omega 3 during heat treatment, pasteurization and high pressure processing.

But what I was really excited to read was the results after various cooking and processing tests to check the stability of nutrients:

  • Boiling chia seed a-OK at approximately 100c – as long as the seed is not boiled for long periods of time, the seed coat would not break and Omega 3 inside will not be exposed.  However, boiler beware – if it’s boiled for a long time, it will likely break the seed coat and the exposed oil will start to deteriorate.  If adding chia to soup – add towards the end of the boiling period.
  • Baking chia seed is also fine as this is indirect heat.
  • Avoid frying chia seeds. Frying can reach temperatures up to 400c and this will damage nearly all nutrition.
  • Soaking chia to form a gel is great for easy digestion
  • Chia retains Omega 3 during heat treatment, pasteurization and high pressure processing.

So there you have it. A huge thanks to The Chia Company for setting the record straight.

Here is one of my favourite chia treats – a delicious mango + coconut pudding.

And here are some great ways to Bake with Chia.

Enjoy. Saha to you.
Claire x
Image: crunchybetty.com


Comment...

One Comment to “HOW TO PROPERLY COOK WITH CHIA SEEDS”

  1. So, I’m new to the chia craze. I love all the benefits, but one thing I found out is that raw chia has very, very tiny amounts of arsenic and something else toxic (can’t remember what right now, I think it was uranium or something like that) in them when they are raw. Therefore, I want to always cook them before using them. I was looking to make chia seed pudding with chocolate almond milk… Would it be a safe thing to boil or heat the almond milk, add the chia, then put them both in the fridge after a bit? That way it could be cooked, and still be used in the pudding.

    Any thoughts or advise on this?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter




Join The Wellness Project

Get free weekly insights & inspiration
  • Get your FREE ebook: 21 Days to Free Your Mind, Fuel Your Body & Feed Your Soul