Chia is widely known in Latin America and has been consumed as a nutritive medicinal food and beverage since the time of the ancient Aztecs. More recently, it has become popular for its antioxidant and fiber content and as a high mucilage super food that provides Omega 3 fatty acids. It is best eaten with cereal, added to smoothies, or made into fruity beverages.
The chia seeds are used not only when crushed as food and for the making of mucilaginous poultices, but also for the preparation of a mucilaginous drink, prepared by adding a teaspoonful of the seed to a tumblerful of cold water, allowing it to stand for half an hour, sweetening and flavoring to taste.
It is a source of Omega 3 fatty acids and a known source of linolenic acid, and has become an increasingly popular source of fatty acids as the concern over fish intake rises due to sustainability issues and potential heavy metal toxicity. Chia contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and a soothing source of mucilage that can be drunk or made into a gruel or pudding to soothe the stomach and digestive tract. The seeds dissolve into water, forming a jelly like substance due to its extreme hydrophilic properties (it can absorb 12 times its weight in water). This makes it a perfect substitute for flax seeds in many instances and a great addition to smoothies and baked goods that call for gels or thickeners.
Uses And Preparations
Dried seeds made into a pudding, gruel (less viscous porridge), a beverage such as a smoothie, added to food, or for baking.