13 very nifty things to do with chia seeds

Posted on April 23rd, 2013

Chia seeds are the new quinoa. The new ingredient to wriggle its way into the mainstream after a few decades as the fibrous, whole-mealy staple of the granola belt. I know many of you out there are still trying to work out what to do with the damn things once you’ve bought a packet. And since I hate the idea of anyone buying a packet of anything and having it sit there going to waste, henceforth a wee list of clever applications….

CASHEWYCHIAPUDDING_15

Cashewy chia pudding, from the I Quit Sugar Cookbook

I’ve written on why chia seeds are so healthy before if you want to catch up. They’re godsends when you’re quitting sugar. They help to control your appetite because they fill you up (with the addition of liquid they swell to 17 times their original size) and they’re a fabulous source of protein. They’re also full of nutrients – vitamins A, B, D, E, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium – which help with the detox hell that some can suffer.

But today it’s all about how to eat them. Wrap your laughing gear around these ideas:

1. Make my healthy cashewy chia pudding from the I Quit Sugar book (image above). I make mine in a jar and carry it to the office, or on planes when I’m travelling. It’s filling, can be made the night before and is spill-proof!

2. Use in place of an egg in recipes.  Substitute 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (preferably finely ground) + 3 tablespoons of water per egg.

3. Thicken up soups or gravies. If you don’t want to use cornstarch or other thickening agents, add a teaspoon of chia seeds or chia bran at a time until you reach your desired thickness. Bear in mind it takes a minute or two for the seeds to swell and work their magic. Be paaaaaaaatient.

4. Sprout chia seeds to use in salads. These things are quite zesty…a bit like broccoli sprouts. Chia seeds are mucilaginous so you can’t use the usual tray or jar sprouters. Instead…

  1. Sprinkle a thin layer of seeds on the bottom of an unlaquered terra cotta dish or plate.
  2. Put the terra cotta dish in a larger plate of water.
  3. Cover with another plate.
  4. Small amounts of water permeate the terra cotta plate upon which the chia seeds sit, and provide exactly the right amount of water to sprout them.
  5. Day 2, lightly mist the seeds (or sprinkle)  with water.
  6. Day 3, they should be right to eat.

5. Or try this easy tuna spread idea: Dump a small lunchtime can of tuna and springwater or brine in a bowl with about 1 tsp chia seeds, then use as you normally would on sandwiches or in salads.

6. Add to a chocolate brownie or truffle recipe to turn them into protein bars. Throw in a few tablespoons of Read more

A Friday giveaway! 6 chia seed packs worth $162

Posted on August 3rd, 2012

Another Friday, another wholesome flinging out to you of some damn good food stuff! This time it’s some of my favourite little packages of goodness: chia seeds. Yes,

Chia Seed Co are giving away 6 x chia seed “runner’s packs”, each worth $162

Coconutty granola
Photography by Marija Ivkovic

Chia seeds are a source of many vitamins, minerals and fats, and are higher in antioxidants than blueberries. I’ve written about them here. They also provide oodles of energy. Forget energy goobs. Ancient Aztecs carried chia seeds as food when they went into battle. And modern Tarahumara Indians, who are accustomed to running for days at a time, carry ground chia seeds as sustenance for their long runs.

They are one of the key ingredients in my I Quit Sugar program and feature in a stack of recipes in my I Quit Sugar Cookbook. So I’m guessing a few of you wouldn’t mind a stash for creating some of the recipes, like the one above?!

Each Chia Seed Co ”runner’s pack” includes:

  • a 500g pack of white chia seeds
  • a 500g pack of black chia seeds
  • a recipe card
  • a copy of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
  • a 2XU running singlet
  • six months’ subscription to Runners World

I personally use Chia Seed Co white and black seeds, as well as the chia bran for my grain-free porridge in the winter. And, as you might recall, I carry a few chia “shots” when I’m travelling, to sprinkle on breakfast, in smoothies, on my dinner…to keep me regular and healthy.

Also, I have to say that McDougall’s Born To Run changed my life. It’s a cracking yarn and motivated me to start running in shoes without padding. Seriously, it’s the one book I’ve passed around to loved ones most (admittedly, loved ones who like running!).

To be in the running (haw, haw!)  for this giveaway, simply: Read more

my chocolate nut balls (healthy nuff for breakfast!)

Posted on October 18th, 2011

Over the weekend, my partner in “Sunday mornings on the deck eating eggs + reading the papers” crime Lizzie and I made nutballs. This is them…

Three things you need to know:

1. These balls of goodness are so healthy and anti-oxidising that you can eat them for breakfast. And just to test the theory, I did so this morning.

2. They are not addictive and you won’t eat the whole lot in one sitting. How so?

They contain ZERO sugar

They are rich in good fats that fill you up pleasantly and fast. Seriously, no desperate hankerings afterwards.

3. Lizzie and I are the two most impatient women on the planet: we whizzed these together in three minutes, including the taking of pretty pictures.

The recipe is derived from a nutball recipe Nora Gedagaudas sent to me. We kind of modified it, throwing in stuff we liked. You seriously don’t have to worry about exact quantities. You can’t stuff this recipe up! And don’t be afraid of the butter and coconut oil. It’s goooooood for you!

my sugarfree nutballs

  • half a  jar of almond spread
  • 250g or so of organic nuts. We used almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts for their hormonally healthful properties. We tried using a stab-mixer, but it turned them into a powder, so promptly switched to a large food processor).
  • 1/2 cup of raw cacoa powder (to taste)
  • 2 big handfuls of shredded coconut
  • 1/2 a stick of organic salted unadulterated butter. Or use the whole packet (200-250g) if you don’t have coconut oil.
  • 4-5 heaped tbls of coconut butter (coconut oil) Read more