Image courtesy of Natural Remedeez
We've recently discovered this fabulous little seed - Chia Seeds. Yes, these are the very same seeds used for those horrendous Chia Pets that make their way through the stores during this time of year for Christmas presents.
But don't let that discourage you. Keep on reading - you'll be amazed.
Research on these little seeds reveals what a truly wonder seed they are. We've long tried to figure out good ways to have long term storage for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Most things that are high in these oils go rancid quickly or it would be cost prohibitive to store.
Enter Chia Seeds. Here is some info for you:
It is still widely used in Mexico and South America, with the seeds ground for nutritious drinks and as a food source.Another source for excellent info: BuyChiaSeed.com
Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25-30% extractable oil, mostly α-linolenic acid (ALA). It also is a source of antioxidants and a variety of amino acids.
Historically, chia seeds served as a staple food of the Nahuatl (Aztec) cultures of Central Mexico. Jesuit chroniclers referred to chia as the third most important crop to the Aztecs behind only corn and beans, and ahead of amaranth. Tribute and taxes to the Aztec priesthood and nobility were often paid in chia seed.
Chia seed may be eaten raw as a dietary fiber and omega-3 supplement. Ground chia seed is sometimes added to pinole, a coarse flour made from toasted maize kernels. Chia seeds soaked in water or fruit juice is also often consumed and is known in Mexico as chia fresca. The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are used in gruels, porridges and puddings. Ground chia seed is used in baked goods including breads, cakes and biscuits. Chia sprouts are used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads, sandwiches and other dishes.
We buy ours here: Natural RemedeezChia seed is high in calcium, 5 times the calcium of milk. 631 mg per 100 grams of seed.Chia seed is also high in protein, with 18 grams per 100 grams of seed.The optimum ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 should be 3:1Chia seed provides that ratio.Chia seed is hydrophilic. Absorbing up to 14 times (Mix @ 9-10 times) its weight in water. This helps extend energy and endurance.Chia seed is rich in antioxidant oils.Chia seed contains chlorogenic acid, andcaffeic acid as well as myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol flavonols. These compounds are both primary and synergistic antioxidants that contribute to the strong antioxidant activity of chia seed.Chia seed is also low in sodium, only 19 mg per 100 grams.
from their website:
Chia turns out to be the highest known whole food source of omega-3s. 3 1/2 tablespoons contains as much omega-3 fatty acid as a 32-ounce Atlantic salmon steak. Chia is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper. It has as much magnesium as 10 stalks of broccoli, as much calcium as 2 1/2 cups of milk and as much iron as half a cup of kidney beans.... The Chia seed contain high levels of fiber, and more antioxidants than many berries. it can also help regulate blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. Chia stabilizes blood sugar levels by reducing blood sugar swings through its ability to slow down the release of carbohydrates and their conversion into sugar. Chia seed is considered to be nature's perfect food.We've eaten ours by the spoonful, have ground them into smoothies, and I've ground them into a flour and put them in pancakes. We've sprinkled them on top of salads and waffles.
I encourage you to give Chia Seeds a try and add them to your long-term storage preps!