Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Chi-Chi-Chi-Chia… Dieter’s Dream Food!

by Kristen Suzanne in chia seeds

I recently featured chia seeds in my monthly email newsletter. (Not signed up for my newsletter yet? You can do so at www.KristensRaw.com). I received so many wonderful emails as a result that I decided to feature it here, too, along with a third Chia Fresca Breeze recipe. (It’s scrumptiously fun!)

Chia is called the “Dieter’s Dream Food,” and there is no shortage of the attention they’ve been getting lately through TV, newspapers, and magazines. And, I’m here to tell you, it’s not because they make cute little animal-shaped plants (although that is cool!). Chia seeds are being praised for many things including their fantastic nutrient profile, which proudly boasts iron, boron, essential fatty acids, fiber, and more. Add to that the claims that they may improve heart health, reduce blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, help people lose weight from giving them extra stamina, energy, and curbing hunger, and you might become a fan of these little guys, too. They’re superstars in my book.

There is more to the story of chia seeds though. They have an amazing history dating as far back to times where they were a staple of the Aztec and Mayan diets. Even the Aztec warriors relied on them. According to Andrew Weil, M.D., “Chia is undergoing something of a renaissance after centuries of neglect. It was a major crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C. and was still cultivated well into the 16th century, AD, but after the Spanish conquest, authorities banned it because of its close association with Aztec religion (Indians used the seeds as offerings in rituals).”

Chia seeds are extremely versatile. They can be used in place of flax seeds in any recipe, you can sprinkle them on salad or cereal, eat a spoonful straight out of the jar, roll your banana in them, or make one my favorite recipes…Chia Fresca, which is a very common drink in Mexico and Central America. It’s positively perfect for spring and summer.

When you consume chia seeds in a drink like Chia Fresca, they take on a fun and groovy texture because of the slightly gelatinous composition they embrace. Well, I’ve added a little sassiness to the basic recipe and thought I’d share it with you. In my latest email newsletter (again, if you’re not yet signed up for it, do so here), I shared two wonderful recipes, Chia Fresca Breeze I and II. I’m addicted to them. When I first created Chia Fresca Breeze I, I drank it down and went straight back into the kitchen to make another. Later that night, wanting more, I came up with Chia Fresca Breeze II. They’re so refreshing, delicious and light. Make sure you try them for yourself. In the meantime, here is my third delicious recipe, Chia Fresca Breeze III. I’m sipping one right now and it’s wonderful.

Chia Fresca Breeze III
Yield 1 serving
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 cup water
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
2 teaspoons Raw agave nectar
dash powdered ginger
Stir all of the ingredients together in your favorite drinking glass and enjoy. I like drinking this with a straw so I can stir the beverage between sips to prevent the chia seeds from all settling in the bottom of the glass.


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