Let's Talk Chia

Chia seeds, the new “it” food.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking—chia seeds are for growing hair on little ceramic animals and not for snacking, but according to my smoothie guide and tons of trendy health food recipes, chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and omega threes and are super easy to add to any food. They’ve been around for just as long as flax seed but are just now becoming popular. The best part? You don’t have to eat large amounts to get the health benefits and they don’t change the taste of what you’re eating (except for maybe giving it a little more texture). For me that last part is HUGE. If something tastes remotely healthy, leafy, or green there’s no way I’m eating it more than once or getting past the first bite.

If you’re a picky eater and a skeptic like me, try them first in my version of a beginner’s health Smoothie. I guarantee that you’ll get all of the healthy benefits but won’t necessarily have to taste them. Just toss the raw seeds in and blend them in with the rest of the smoothie.

1 C. Pineapple
1 C. Mango
1 Banana
1 C. Coconut Water
½ C. Spinach (you can hardly taste it!)
1 tablespoon of chia Seeds

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and have already come to terms with the bizarre fact that you’re eating chia seeds, step it up a notch and try a chia gel. Chia seeds absorb the flavor or whatever they are soaked in so they can be a pretty tasty snack or light dessert. To make a chia gel, just add your seeds to a liquid, whisk for a few seconds and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Use two tablespoons of chia seeds per cup of whatever fruit juice you’d like to use.

The pros eat chia gel solo as treat, add it to their regular dishes, or even use it as a substitute for butter or olive oil. Though I’ve stopped pretending to myself that I’ll ever give up the junk food that I love, I’ll keep adding chia seeds to my snacks as summer gets closer and allow myself to feel just a little bit smug that I can finally say I actually enjoy a “superfood”.

Alexsis Johnson is a writer living in the Midwest. She'll try anything once--skydiving, squid, false eyelashes, pet hamsters, but not kale chips. Follow her @alexsis_marie on Twitter.

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