Today, I have a guest posting on Dine off the Page. C is for Candace Simar and Chia! Take it away, Candace.
Remember the Chia Pet? Wetting the clay figurine and pressing black chia seeds into the damp grooves created a most unusual table decoration. One year our son received a clay man and the seeds grew into a grassy fur beard. They’re still available at the local Walgreen’s.
Recently health magazines tout the benefits of consuming chia seeds. After all, they come from an edible desert plant, Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico. Folklore dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures promoted the energy boosting power of chia seeds. “Chia” means strength, and the seeds contain a concentrated dose of omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
Chia seeds are absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds that must be ground). Two tablespoons pack a whopping 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. Not too bad for only 139 calories. Chia is categorized as an unprocessed, whole-grain food.
My family enjoys their mild, pleasing flavor. I sprinkle them on cereal, sauces, salads, hotdishes, smoothies, yogurt and baked goods. They are great added to pancakes or waffles, or just stirred into juice. It’s nice to find an alternative to fish oil supplements for the omegas. The other nutrients are an added bonus.
Why not give them a try? You’ll find them in the health food aisle of your local grocery store or health food store.
Candace Simar is the author of the Abercrombie Trail series, historical fiction set in Minnesota in the 1800’s during the days of settlers and Sioux uprising. She also co-wrote a book with her sister Angela Foster, Farm Girls, poems and essays on growing up on a farm in Minnesota. Candace is working on more stories and novels set in the midwest.