What do chia seeds look like
Chia seeds: this is how you prepare the power grains
What are chia seeds and where do they come from?
Superfood chia seeds
At first nobody knew them, now they all want: Chia seeds. The small, dark gray grains have blossomed into real superstars within a few months. Fitness foodies swear by them, and Hollywood beauties even more so. Where do the power grains actually come from?
Chia seeds are small grains that come from the Mexican desert plant Salvia hispanica. They are available in black, white and brown. Mayans and Aztecs have sworn by the healing powers of the small power packs for over 5000 years. They are especially popular with running boats because of their invigorating effect. According to Mexican folk medicine, just 1 teaspoon should be enough to supply a person with numerous nutrients for 24 hours. But what is the real deal with the edible seeds?
How healthy are chia seeds? The nutrients at a glance
The seeds have five times as much calcium as milk and three times as much iron as spinach. They are rich in antioxidants and contain loads of valuable fats. The small grains are considered superfoods, are supposed to make you healthier and fitter - they are therefore not unique. Acai berries and goji berries are also said to have the above properties. What actually makes them unique is their high fiber content. With 34 g of fiber per 100 g of seeds, the grains themselves throw fiber boosters such as kidney beans (21 g / 100 g) or lentils (16.9 g / 100 g) out of the running.
Seeds and other pseudograins
In addition to amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa, the small power seeds also belong to the group of so-called pseudograins. They are high in starch, protein, fats, and minerals and can be used like most grains. The only difference: they cannot be baked on their own. So they cannot be processed into bread and cakes in their pure form, but must be mixed with wheat, spelled or rye.
Where can I buy chia seeds?
For a long time, chia seeds were only available in health food stores, health food stores or online. Today you can find the small grains in drugstores, supermarkets and sometimes in well-stocked discounters.
What can I do with chia seeds?
To be honest, the seeds don't taste like anything. Actually a big advantage, because this way you can process the small bodies into all kinds of delicacies - into smoothies and soups, cakes and bread, yogurt and mueslis. They taste great not only sweet, but also savory - on top of a salad, for example. The best-known chia recipe, however, is a sweet one, namely the chia pudding. A jelly-like cream made from the seeds and water or milk. And refined at will.
Here's how to properly prepare chia seeds
Chia gel made from 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 6 tablespoons of water
The special thing about chia seeds is their enormous swelling behavior. If they are soaked in water or milk, a wobbly mush is created - their volume increases tenfold. As a rule of thumb, mix half a cup with 3 cups of water, chill and let soak for at least 10 minutes. The so-called chia gel makes you full for a long time, keeps in the refrigerator for 1-3 weeks and can be used as a base for yoghurt, pudding and smoothies.
Grind and grind
Chia seeds don't need to be crushed or ground. You can sprinkle them from the bag over your muesli or smoothie. The body can break down the whole grains - but only if you consume them with sufficient liquid. Still want to grind your seeds? Then it's best to put them in a conventional grain or coffee grinder and grind them very finely - but only shortly before consumption. The ground seeds go rancid quickly.
Chia seeds should always be eaten raw. As with other foods, a large part of the important vital substances can be destroyed during cooking. Better than topping your food just before consumption.
Roasted, the seeds are a delicious topping for salads and soups. It's that easy: Put the seeds in a coated pan and roast them without oil for about 3 minutes, let them cool down. The small grains will keep for several months in well-sealable jars.
Chia seeds as a substitute for animal products
Chia seeds are particularly popular with vegans. Not only because of their health-promoting properties, but also because of their diverse uses. For example, you can replace eggs in cakes and bread. To do this, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, allow to swell and add to the batter instead of an egg. Butter can also be replaced by chia gel, but only halfway. Therefore, this tip is less suitable for vegetarians and more for fitness foodies. A positive side effect: the antioxidants in the seeds keep the baked goods fresher longer.
Cake, bread and yogurt - 7 recipes with chia seeds
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