Chia seeds have been dubbed a “super-food” for a reason. The amount of omega-3, fibre and protein in a serve is the highest found in any plant source. In fact, chia seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon as well as a wide-range of vitamins and minerals.
Chia is considered a ‘complete’ protein because it contains all of the amino acids essential to humans. It’s also low in calories. Absorbing up to 10 times it weight in water, the small seed becomes extremely filling.
The seeds are also high in fibre, of which 20 percent is soluble. Soluble fibre helps maintain a healthy digestive system. It slows digestion, helping people with diabetes stabilise their blood-glucose levels and may also lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Here are five quick and tasty chia seed recipes to get you started:
1. Chia Seed Vinaigrette
In a small bowl combine ¼ cup coconut water, 1 tablespoon gluten-free Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil and 1 tablespoon chia seeds. Whisk together and serve over salad or grilled chicken.
2. Chia Energy Balls
In a food processor place 1 cup pitted medjool dates, 1 cup cashews, ¼ cup melted coconut oil, ⅓ cup desiccated coconut, 1 tablespoon chia seeds and ⅓ cup Raw C Coconut Water with Protein. Process until smooth. Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a tray linked with baking paper. Refrigerate until firm before serving.
3. Chia Crusted Ocean Trout
Place ½ cup Table Of Plenty Lemon & Herb Dukkah spice blend, ¼ cup chia seeds, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Place 4 ocean trout fillets (skin removed) on a lined baking tray and sprinkle chia mixture evenly over the top of each fillet. Press gently to secure. Bake in a 180°C oven for 10 minutes, or until trout is cooked to your liking.
4. Sweet Potato And Chia Dip
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel 1kg sweet potato and cut into large chunks. Place on baking tray. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool. In a blender place cooled sweet potato along with ½ cup walnuts, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons tahini, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, the juice of 1 lemon and a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Process until smooth and serve with gluten-free crackers.
5. Berry Beautiful Smoothie
Place 2 cups coconut water in a blender along with 1 cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen), ½ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), 1 banana and 2 tablespoons chia seeds. Process until smooth and drink immediately.
These gluten-free recipes first appeared in Issue 8 of Australian Gluten-Free Life magazine. Pick up a copy for more delicious chia seed recipes.
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