Ch-ch-ch-choose Chia to boost your nutrition
A new trend has hit supermarket shelves, chia seeds. Yes, I’m talking about the same chia seed that you see growing as Chia Pets in clay pots around Christmas time. The same one that is hard to say without adding the full “ch-ch-ch-chia” jingle to it. Purchasing chia as pets is not as popular as it once was, but now chia seeds are used as a superfood.
This tiny seed is big when it comes to nutrition value. It’s high in fiber, as a half-ounce contains 6 grams of fiber, the same amount of fiber found in three slices of whole wheat bread. The soluble fiber, when combined with liquids, forms a gel, which may help the body regulate how carbohydrates are digested and stabilize blood sugars. The soluble fiber also may have a role in controlling appetite and cholesterol. It also provides omega-3 fatty acids; in fact, it contains some of the highest amount of plant-based omega-3 fats. The antioxidant content is comparable to fruits and vegetables.
What’s even more amazing is how simple it is to eat chia seeds. Just sprinkle or stir and eat. Chia seeds have little flavor, making it easy to add to your favorite foods without changing the taste. Simply add one tablespoon on salads, yogurt, cereal, applesauce or smoothies. Or stir the seeds into a beverage such as juice right before meals to help control hunger and feel full longer. Chia seeds can also be used as an egg replacer for people with allergies.
I typically add my chia to oatmeal or in baked goods. But recently I decided to try it in something new. Recently I have seen refrigerator oatmeal recipes, posted on various social media sites and decided to try it too. It’s a great way to eat oatmeal differently and will definitely be a summer snack and breakfast for me. Here’s a basic refrigerator oatmeal recipe for you to try.
All you need:
cup old fashioned oats
cup vanilla Greek yogurt
cup skim milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
cup fresh or frozen fruit
All you do:
Add oats, yogurt, milk and chia seeds to a pint-sized mason jar or 2-cup storage container with a plastic lid. Stir ingredients together. Top with fruit. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold.
Recipe inspired by The Yummy Life blog at www.theyummylife.com
Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.