Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chia Experiments

I keep hearing about how good chia is supposed to be for you.  Protein, fiber, Omega-3, all sorts of good stuff.  And the uses seemed similar to the way I occasionally use wheat bran to up the nutritional value of recipes.  So I got a scoop of it at Sprouts ($9 a pound, and a cup is about 1/4 lb).

I found several helpful sites with chia ideas.  Bravely, I stirred a teaspoon into some iced tea, hoping for a boba-like experience.  The seeds gelled some, but not a lot.

So I tried stirring two teaspoons into a cup of milk and letting it rest in the fridge overnight to make a kind of milk pudding.  I must be doing something wrong, because it didn't thicken the way the site suggested.  Plus, I remembered why I haven't had a glass of cold milk in years.

Next up included two tablespoons of chia in take two of seafood risotto.  This time, I did have the seafood medley (and got it at 50% off of the already low card price) and used 2 fresh Roma tomatoes instead of a large can of pre-diced tomatoes in juice.  I couldn't taste the seeds in it, which is kind of the point.  I did like the risotto much better with vegetable stock instead of clam juice and the mixed seafood.  The gel that forms around the seeds coordinated well with the starch in the rice.

As for the supposed health benefits of chia, it's still too early to know.  I did notice I was in an unusually good mood one day, before linking it with the chia.  Or I could have just been in a good mood because it was nice out.  I lost a couple of pounds that I needed to lose, but that could have been because I stopped eating the pastries at work and started having oatmeal or raisin bran for breakfast.  A tablespoon of chia a day can't hurt you, but I wouldn't rely on it as a vitamin supplement.  Feel free to think of it as doing something healthy for yourself as part of a generally healthy lifestyle.

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