What are chia seeds?
The chia seeds are derived from a plant called Salvia Hispanica that grows in Mexico and Bolivia.
In pre-Columbian times chia seeds were already being cultivated by the Aztec civilization and they were so fine as to be paid as tribute by the people to turn rulers.
The seeds of chia blacks are the most common but there are also semi mottled with shades of brown, gray and black, or white. gray and yellow. It depends on the area of production.
The result of a selection of seed varieties to light the white chia seeds are slightly smaller, have a more delicate flavor, and even though they absorb liquid more slowly, once rehydrated have increased chewiness.
They have important beneficial properties resulting calcium intake, iron and vitamin C. They play an action of blood sugar levels in the blood control, and help to regulate blood pressure.
The chia is highly ‘hydrophilic. The seeds absorb water and create a mucilaginous gel. They may contain 9-12 times their weight in water and absorb it very quickly in less than 10 minutes.
Dose of daily intake
Without a particular medical indication that is the maximum dose of daily intake:
- For adults 2 tbsp of chia seeds a day.
- For children (5-18 years) 1 tablespoon for children under the age of 10 years.
How do I use chia seeds in the kitchen?
In the kitchen, the difference between black and white chia chia is given only by the color, the white chia less influence the color of what we cook.
Chia seeds for crudiste jams or salty sauces
- Combine 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 15 ml of warm water and 250 ml fruit or vegetable smoothie, mix everything and let rest at least 1 hour before serving. In this way the properties of fruits or vegetables remain unaltered.
Chia seeds as a substitute for bread
It replaces bread in meatballs and meatloaf:
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of chia seeds gather 500 grams of mixture to meatballs or meatloaf or fish or vegetables.
Chia seeds as a substitute for eggs
- In the pudding 1 or 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in 240 ml of warm liquid, allowed to stand for 10-15 minutes creates a very thick cream like consistency similar to pudding, you can also add sliced fresh fruit or dried fruit, spice it with cocoa or other spices.
- In the dough 2 teaspoons of chia smoothies seeds with 60 ml of water and left to stand for 15 minutes to form a gel that can substitute 1 egg.
Chia seeds as a total or partial substitute for fat in the dough
- 1 tablespoon of fat (butter or oil) can be replaced by the gel that is formed by blending 1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds with 1 tablespoon of water and letting it stand for 15 minutes at least.
- When the fat that must be replaced is a dose of more than 1 spoon, mix 1 part of flaxseed with 9 parts water and let stand for 15 minutes at least, the gel that forms can totally or partially replace the fat of a prescription. Whisk again before you mix it with the other ingredients of the recipe. The flax gel prepared in this way can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.
Chia seeds as a substitute for xanthan
Xanthan and guar gum which can sometimes cause food hypersensitivity, Dr. Jean Layton has created what he calls “pixie dust” a mixture of organic seeds as follows:
- 20 g of organic flaxseed
- 10 g of organic chia seeds
- 5 g of organic psyllium seed,
pureed in a blender using the pulse function to avoid overheating of the seeds and to release their oily part that would create a slurry and not a powder that is mixed with the flour in the recipe.
The mixture of seeds must be stored in a refrigerator, it is advisable to produce small doses at a time so that it is always fresh, the ground seeds become rancid more easily.