Today, I am going to tell you all about how to have breakfast. (Well, I more often eat this Lazybum Recipe with lunch, but you know what I mean.)
For work and pleasure, I spend a lot of time on sites about food and healthy living, which means that I often end up reading articles about unusual whole foods that are reputed to be the Greatest Nutritional Powerhouses of Splendor and Awe Ever. Sometimes, I gain this knowledge and do nothing useful with it: for instance, I learned that flaxseeds are wondrously healthy, but I also learned that they require grinding before use and they spoil quickly once ground, so I haven’t bothered to try them. However, now and then, I glean some information that I actually use.
One such discovery was chia seeds, which are the lovable seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant. Some tidbits about them:
- They are the same kind of seeds as are used in Chia Pets, and I’m now tempted to gnaw on every Chia Pet I ever see.
- They do not need to be ground before use, and they last for years without spoiling. (Take that, dumb flaxseeds!)
- Nutritionally, they are pretty frickin’ amazing: 1 tablespoon of chia seeds has 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- They’re also full of useful minerals like phosphorus, manganese, calcium, and potassium.
The latter two are all things that I want inside me, so when I spotted wee bags of chia seeds at the grocery, I snatched one up and tried to figure out what to do with them.
The seeds are tiny and discreet, so it turns out that there are way too many things you can do with them. You can toss them with salads, grind them and use them as flour, thicken soups with them, stir them into smoothies, add them to oatmeal or cereal… really, if you have a food or drink, you can stick chia seeds in it. They have a mild, distantly nutty flavor, so no matter how you use them, they don’t interfere too much with the taste.
My favorite aspect of chia seeds is that they’re ridiculously fun to eat, texture-wise. When you first munch on them, they are satisfyingly crunchy. If exposed to liquid (i.e. in smoothies or yogurt), then they become gelatinous. It’s so cool. (Relatedly, if you run out of eggs, as I am wont to do at inconvenient times, you can use them as an egg substitute: 1 Tbsp. chia seeds + 3 Tbsp. water = equivalent of 1 egg.)
Here’s my favorite easy use of chia so far:
Yogurt with Chia Seeds
- 1 cup yogurt of choice (vanilla or plain works well)
- 1-3 tablespoons chia seeds
- Decant yogurt into bowl.
- Pour chia seeds on top.
- Stir until chia seeds are evenly distributed throughout yogurt.
- Eat it all.
See photos below, if you need any guidance during this complex cooking endeavor.