I’m not really sure what the proper etiquette is when you have taken a long hiatus from blogging and then one day you decide to come back to it. Do you offer an explanation? An apology (to the 40 people out there that read this..”thanks!” and “sorry!”) or do you just hop back on, pretending like nothing happened?
Just so you know, in case anyone out there is concerned. Nothing happened, life just kind of got in the way….and I think also, writers block. The only time I can ever remember having writers block was in school. Basically whenever I had to write a paper.
Some of you may already know this about me, but when I find a new product that I like, I kind of get a little obsessed about it (hello, Camelbak water bottles.)
Enter, my newest obsession:
Not the actual “pet”. Chia seeds have been gaining popularity over the past year. I see all over my Facebook New Feed about my “friends” eating them or some page I am a fan of offering up some chia seed recipe and I finally snapped to the trend and bought some. Mostly because there was a 4 lb. bag of organic chia seeds being sold at my Costco and let’s be honest, I just couldn’t resist anymore.
So what does one do with 4 lbs of chia seeds? Well, first I started researching why I should eat them. 1) They are good for your body. Like, REALLY, SUPER good for you! Like better-than-superfood, good for you.
And here is why, this little seed, the one that you used to make into a gel and slather all over your terra cotta sheep, can do all of the amazing things above….because it is LOADED with all kinds of nutrients and trace minerals and trumps so many of your typical superfoods with health benefits.
and also know to the Aztec Indians as “running food”…and is infiltrating Wall Street; as a nose candy replacement, opting for a chia-enduced energy boost instead
So, good things in that little seed, I’ll eat it. Are there any possible side effects? A few but nothing I am too concerned about (but those with high blood pressure should talk to their dr. first before diving into the wonderful world of chia.)
A few other side effects:
- Possible excessive flatulence from an increased fiber boost (hmmmmmmm)
- If you have reaction to mustard seed you also may want to be a bit hesitant to try chia seeds as some people have been known to have a reaction (I’m assuming similar proteins are found in both.)
Now, how do I use it?
Well, you can use it as a replacement for egg or flax in a recipe.
- Replace 1 egg with 3 TBL water+ 1 TBL chia seeds (let sit for 5+ minutes to form a gel. Make sure ALL seeds are soaked)
Or you can toss it into smoothies, yogurt, muffins, pancakes…which, I have done all of and have served all of to both boys who DEVOURED everything they went into. They take on the taste of anything they are in so they don’t screw with the taste of what you are eating. They turn in to this weird gel-like, soft seed when moist and you can’t really tell you are eating them. Keyword here is moist (my husband hates that word). I noticed that everything I baked didn’t get all crumbly the next day. It was almost like a regular gluten-laden recipe.
Also, chia seeds make everything polka-dotty and that is fun.
The first chia recipe I made was this chia blueberry muffin recipe. It called for Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free all purpose flour. Only because they carry it at my Costco. Costco makes life so much easier, doesn’t it?
Outcome: I was surprised how good these muffins were. Possibly a little too sweet with 1/2 of sugar and a 1/2 cup of applesauce, but the little guys didn’t mind. They scarfed them!
Next, I got really ballsey and decided to adapt my pancake recipe so it could get a little energy boots. I was surprised how easy it was to adapt and I learned that cooking with chia seeds was not that hard at all.
and so I will share my recipe with you that I created for some Energy Boosted pancakes
Gluten-Free Chia & Blueberry Pancakes
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free baking mix (we used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 1/2 TBL sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon (optional, but Matt thinks the cinnamon makes them tastes like donuts!)
1 TBL applesauce (I used this to cut down on the butter)
2 TBL melted butter (or coconut oil*)
3 TBL water
1 TBL chia seeds
1 1/2 cup milk (we use rice, but have also used coconut and almond with great results)
1/3 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh, either work well)
1) Mix chia seeds and water, let sit for at least 5 minutes stirring maybe once to submerge all of the chia seeds. You want it to form a gel-like substance.
2) While the chia seeds are soaking, preheat griddle to about 300 degrees and
3) Mix flour mix, sugar, baking powder, salt xanthan gum (and cinnamon) in one bowl
4) In a separate mixing bowl, combine the milk, egg, butter, applesauce and chia seed gel (if it is not a gel, wait it out a few more minutes…and gosh you are a fast measurer!) Mix 3-4 minutes.
5) Add dry to wet and mix until combined.
6) fold in blueberries and cook on griddle (or pan, we used a pan for 5 years until my BFF got me a griddle for my past birthday. Isn’t it great that BFF’s know just what you need and want.)
This recipe makes approximately 18 pancakes…give or take a few (poured from a 1/4 measuring cup)
Now, here is my caveat…I live at approximately 5,400 ft. in the atmosphere and this factor severely effects any sort of baking I do. Mostly, it makes me a shitty baker. So, here at 5,400 ft. I found that this recipe works well for me, if you try it at any other altitude, let me know how it works out for you.
Outcome: I now know this recipe by heart because a certain almost 4 year old requests them for breakfast (and sometimes lunch and dinner…and often as a snack) on a daily basis. Daily. I do not make them on a daily basis, but we are probably on a 4x a week schedule. Apparently, they are that good.
Here are a few other ways I have used chia seeds in the past few weeks:
- I toss them into plain Greek yogurt, mix with organic fruit spread and a bit of honey (I have a bit of a sweet tooth). If you eat it right away they add a little, tiny crunch. If you let it sit, they swell up and just feels like you’re eating a soft raspberry seed or something like that.]
- Grant and I make smoothies often. We don’t measure anything, just scooping and dumping ingredients as we see fit. Our newest favorite contains the following: Greek Yogurt, 1 banana, cup or so of organic frozen peaches, 2 cups or so of organic frozen cherries, 1 avocado, 1 TBL chocolate whey protein powder, 1 TBL chia seeds, 1 tsp of some green, powder, mineral/vitamin supplement stuff, non-dairy milk. Blend this on high until smooth (hence, smoothie). You could probably skip the green, powder, mineral/vitamin supplement stuff (since I I am very specific on what that is) or replace it with your own powder vitamin supplement stuff.
- You can also make Chia pudding, chia drinks (Chia Fresca is a famous Mexican energy drink), pizza crust, add it to eggs or bread, jam, or even brownies (man, you can put everything in brownies.) Search “Chia recipes” on Pinterest and just see what comes up. Just make sure you do it with an open mind, the some of the concoctions look interesting.
In summary, chia is good for you and you should eat it. Ch, Ch, Ch Chia!