Chia, (pronounced “CHEE-ah”) a nutritious seed,
not to be confused with
Chai, (pronounced to rhyme with “pie”) a centuries-old beverage consisting rich black tea, milk, a combination of various spices and a sweetener.
I am amazed at the creative ways people think of to make money. Introducing U.S. presidential candidate Chia Planters. These are porous clay head statues of Barak Obama and Mitt Romney (Chia Obama and Chia Romney) packaged into kits that also contain chia seeds to plant on the heads of the candidates, water and watch grow!
Does anyone really spend their good money on such foolishness? Well, perhaps it would become a conversation starter. But is it really something you’d want to display?
On second thought, instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on campaign ads, why don’t we just settle the 2012 presidential election by tracking the sales of each chia kit?
I have never had a chia kit of any kind, although Chia Pets were popular in the 1970s. Back then, it was a clay puppy, lamb or other animal upon which you planted the seeds.
Chia seeds are actually an extremely nutritious food, being rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The plant from which the seeds are harvested is an annual herb.
|Salvia hispanica, from which chia seeds are harvested.|
Chia seeds are traditionally consumed in Mexico and the southwestern United States, but are not widely known in Europe. Today, chia is grown commercially in its native Mexico, and in Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Australia, and Guatemala. In 2008, Australia was the world's largest producer of chia
Chia was widely cultivated by the Aztecs in Mexico and was described and pictured in Aztec records.
Here are some ways to use this nutritious seed (other than planting it on a clay figurine that looks like our presidential candidates!)
--Mix 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds with a quarter cup of water to make an egg substitute for baking cakes and cookies.
--Mix seeds with yogurt.
--Add seeds to soup to thicken.
--Grind seeds and mix with flour, milk and eggs to make pancakes.
--Add seeds to salad dressings.
--Eat Chia seeds whole and raw as a snack.
--Make Chia Pudding by adding whole seeds to milk, nut milk or soy milk.
--Blend chia seeds into smoothies.
--Add chia seeds to beaten eggs, soak for 10 minutes and make an omelet.
--Add ground chia seeds to flour when making bread.
--Make chia pan bread by combining chia seeds, eggs, milk, flour and baking powder. Cook in a heavy based pan with a lid on.
--Add whole chia seeds to a cake batter to make a heavy poppy seed-like cake.
--Add seeds to stews to thicken.
--Make a thin batter of ground chia seeds and milk and cook in a slow oven to make crackers.
--Sprinkle seeds over a salad.
--Pureed fruit, chia seeds and a little fruit juice is a good topping for ice cream.
--Stir whole seeds through cooked lentils.
--Cook brown rice in vegetable stock and stir chia seeds through when rice is cooked.
--Top a cheesecake with chia seeds soaked in fruit juice to make a gel topping.
--Add whole or ground seeds to cookie mixes.
--Mix ground seeds with ground beef to make meatballs.
--Cook brown rice in apple juice, add grated apple and stir whole chia seeds through the mixture for a tasty dessert.
--Toasted ground chia seeds mixed with honey and cinnamon makes a wonderful base for cheesecake.
--Add whole seeds to granola.
--Sprout the seeds and use in salads.
--Mix ground seeds with butter or peanut butter for a nutritious spread.
--Cinnamon, ground chia and butter is great on hot scones.
--Spread a mixture of honey, cinnamon, dried fruit and ground chia on to filo or puff pastry sheets, roll up and cook in a hot oven.
--Mix the seeds, whole or ground with Nutella.
--Add ground seeds soaked in an egg to bind a hamburger mix.
--Soak chia seeds in milk and mix through hot oatmeal.
Have you eaten chia seeds? If so, how do you use them? And have you tried chai tea?