“Ch-ch-ch-chia”. Growing up, I loved the chia pet commercials! How cool to have fun ceramic characters that grow crazy green hair. But wait, flash forward a few decades and now it’s trendy to eat these black seeds that were smeared all over these clay figurines. Recently my kid’s Great Grandma actually got them a chia pet! Yes, they have a hip, thoughtful Great Grandma. I think it’s time to pull it out of the closet and watch the magic happen! What do you think? I’ll keep you posted on that!
I was first introduced to chia seeds a few years ago by a friend who read the book, “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal. In his book, he talks about, well, running. I love to exercise, but I am pretty darn sure I was NOT born to run. I am better off with anything other form of exercising than running. My friend’s biggest take away from this book was the chia energy drink. Basically, it’s water, chia seeds, lime juice, and a little honey for a touch of sweetness. She likes this drink, but truthfully, I had a tough time taking it down. The seeds quickly gel up. So if you like a crunchy, jelly texture, then you’ll love chia drinks. Otherwise, like me, you are better off finding different ways of enjoying these tiny nutrient-packed seeds.
Chia seeds are a whole grain food that our bodies can absorb as seeds, unlike flax seeds, which are better absorbed when ground. Two tablespoons has 137 calories, 4g protein, 9g fat, 11g fiber, plus omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and other minerals. In other words, they are chalk full of goodness! No wonder chia seeds have so much hype.
I take any opportunity I can to add chia seeds to my family’s meals. They have a very mild flavor and so can easily be sprinkled onto salads, sauces, oatmeal, cereal, quinoa dishes, and made into jams. How do you eat your chia seeds?
Notes about the recipe:
This is such a quick and easy recipe. I love to have this on hand for nut spread sandwiches. Making your own chia jams is one way to cut out some added sugar to your diet. If you have fresh berries, you can skip making jam all together and just smear some nut butter onto bread and top it off with fresh berries for a delicious PB and berry sandwich. Or in 5 minutes or less you can have your own chia jam. Frozen berries work really well, if not better, for this recipe. For this posting, I chose to use fresh berries, well because, they just look prettier for the pictures! If you use frozen berries, don’t add water. I have found that frozen organic blueberries or raspberries are perfect for making chia jams! Really, any fruit can be cooked to a reduction, so go wild! I can’t wait to hear which chia jams you create!
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- In a small saucepan, heat raspberries over medium-high heat.
- If using fresh raspberries, add 1 tablespoon water.
- As berries begin to cook, reduce heat to a simmer and mash berries.
- Cook to a slight reduction.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in chia seeds and lemon zest.
- Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.