Vegan’s Savor

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The first time I saw “chi chi chi  chia ♪“commercial, I thought what an annoying commercial and hated the scene of chia sprouts growing on the animal shape planters.  I had never thought the “chi chi chi  chia ♪“ is about that Chia, and that chia seeds have a lot of health benefits.

Chia is an edible seed and a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. They have recognized chia’s exceptional energy and stamina supporting attributes. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.

Weight Control Tool: Chia seed is very popular as a weight control food in Japan because their unique gelling action keeps you feeling full for hours. When a chia seed is exposed to water, it forms a coating of gel, increasing its size and weight. So the increased volume helps your body think it is full.

Good source of Fiber: Chia seeds are extremely high in fiber (one tablespoon of chia boasts 5 grams of fiber!), but easy to digest since each seed is coated with soluble fibers. So you don’t need to soak them in water like soybeans or grind them down to powder form like flax seeds.   You can eat them raw. You can add to your oatmeal, pancake, rice or noodles.  I personally put it on everything since it has no strong taste to interfere with other flavor.

Good Source of Protein: Chia is one of the highest plant-based sources of complete protein. Usually protein from items like peanut butter and some beans are incomplete.   However chia seeds contain all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own and must be eaten. So,  Chia seeds are  excellent for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, and minerals work together to make sure you have steady, never jittery energy.

Stabilize blood sugar: Chia seed is a known nutritional food for athletes because not only does it provide steady energy, but it also balances blood sugar levels. Chia seeds readily dissolve into the water, creating a substance that looks like gelatin. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia seed. Researchers believe that this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when Chia seed is consumed, thus creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes and slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar helps with endurance and metabolic rates, which is beneficial for athletes and others”.

This gel-like texture is the vegan’s best friend. We use soy milk, soy, beans, almond milk, and/or coconut milk to make a vegan dish creamy. The chia seeds add thickness to your vegan creamy sauce. Of course you can use for dressing, dips, gravy source, ice cream, jam too! Chia seeds can be used as an egg substitute for this purpose, I highly recommend grinding them down to a fine powder.) You can use 1 tablespoon of chia seed and 3 tablespoon of water for 1 egg substitute.

You may also use chia seeds for oil or butter replacement. I don’t recommend that you replace all the butter or oil for chia seeds, but maybe up to half of them can be replaced with chia seeds.  You can bake cookies, cakes, muffins with chia seeds. You can use them for pancakes and waffles too!

Highly nutritious, easy to use, and good for kids and pets, chia seeds should be your must-have condiments like salt and pepper at your kitchen. They are easy on your budget as well!

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