The word ‘awesome’ is way overused these days. But there’s really no other way to describe chia seeds. From their amazing texture to their magical transformational properties to their off-the-charts superfood nutrition levels, these little seeds are awesomeness embodied. When they’re dry, they look like shiny little poppyseeds with a subtle marbled dinosaur-egg pattern. But just add liquid, and a miracle occurs. The seeds absorb twelve times their weight in water, and each seed exudes a layer of firm gel around it, so you end up with an insanely cool texture, much like gummy bears or bubble tea.
I’ve been eating chia seeds for years, and I still get thrilled whenever I take a mouthful of chia and let its amazing firm-yet-soft seedbubbles play between my tongue and palate before swallowing them down. Not only is chia a source of endless play-with-your-food fun, but it’s ridiculously healthy for you. Chia seeds are an ancient superfood, and their nutritional profile is as stunning as their voluptuous mouthfeel. Their taste is really subtle — gently nutty, and a perfect base for all sorts of flavors — from the tangiest agua de chia to the most comforting vanilla tapioca-esque pudding, to a smooth and bold chocolate pudding (recipes below).
Revered by the early Aztec and Mayan cultures, chia seeds are a superfood packed with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Tiny but mighty Nutiva organic chia seeds are versatile for use in recipes both savory and sweet, including yogurt and oatmeal, or in smoothies, added to sauces as a thickener and to muffins and cakes as an egg replacement. If you love the tapioca-like texture, you’ll want to keep from tossing them into a powerful blender. But if you want a smooth thick creamy texture without a lick of dairy, a blender will transform chia gel instantla. Or you could use them in a Chia Pet if you’re feeling nostalgic. We’ve tried many different brands of chia seed, and Nutiva’s are the best. They plump up really well, and have a perfectly delicate taste.
Chia, or Salvia Hispanica L. the ancient super food of the Aztecs, who valued it more highly than gold. The Tarahumara in Copper Canyon, Mexico, the greatest long distance runners on the planet, have had a long history of using this slow-burning rocket fuel for both athletes and warriors alike. Chia typically contains 20% protein, 34% oil, and 25% dietary fiber. It is also the highest omega-3 nutrient source found in nature with perfectly balanced omega 3, 6, 9 profiles and ratios. This recently revived oil seed crop is considered a perfect food because it‘s one of the few vegetarian sources of complete protein. Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. They provide stamina, endurance and reduce cravings, because chia seeds absorb so much water and have high soluble fiber levels that help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream.
Once you master these three basic and blindingly simple recipes, you can vary things infinitely for much chia excitement. Chia loves to be combined with almost everything.
A classic Mexican drink, for sunny sweltering days. Takes lemonade or limeade to a whole new level of textural fun and nutritiousness. Swap out limes for lemons, play with other citrus juices, put in a bit of crushed ginger, or mint, use hibiscus tea instead of water for a stunning deep red color — you can do no wrong with this basic recipe.
Soak chia seeds in water to cover until the magic happens (8-10 minutes or so). Sweeten the water with whatever you fancy (if you even want a sweetener at all), and add the chia seeds and lime juice and salt.
Serve cold. Makes 2 quarts.
A classic comfort food, updated for the primal age. This is the basic recipe — possible variations are endless. A touch of cinnamon turns this into rice pudding, a little citrus and toasted coconut takes it tropical, berries and herbs and toasted nuts start making it fancy. Go wild!
This pudding uses the miracle of blending to turn chia seeds into thick, smooth, creamy mousse-like goodness. Classic chocolate recipe below, but you can do lots and lots of things with this. Add cinnamon and cayenne for a Mexican warmth, blend in maca for a malty flavor and a superfood boost, toast nuts or coconut to add a textural counterpoint, whip up some cashew cream and layer for a parfait. Or drizzle a Dastony or Jem Raw butter on top, for extra deliciousness.
Nutiva is a wonderful company. Committed to sustainability on every level, they embody the deeper dimensions of the primal lifestyle. In their own words:
Nutiva is an innovative leader in the health food industry. Since 1999 we have operated as a values-driven company dedicated to nourishing people and planet.
We’re building a business characterized by high standards in all aspects of our company, from the organic farms that grow our foods, through the production, packaging, and transportation of our products, to the Nutiva associates who communicate with our retailers and the people who enjoy our products.
Our watchwords—nutritious superfoods, healthier people, and a sustainable planet—express our commitment to move beyond conventional food industry practices to embrace a bigger picture that supports the long-term well-being of humanity as a whole.
Nutiva’s purpose is to produce the highest quality organic superfoods, providing superior nutritional value to our customers while supporting sustainable agricultural practices and a fair return to the farmers on whom we depend. We donate 1 percent of our sales to groups that promote sustainable agriculture.
We educate people worldwide on current developments in nutritional science, organic farming, green energy, and fair trade practices within the global economy.
At Nutiva we continually innovate so that we can better contribute to the health and happiness of our customers as well as the sustainability of our planet.