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Chia, Oh Mia

We can’t keep Chia in stock.  Chia has been on Oprah.  The Chia of Chia pets, you ask?  Well, yes!    Chia, a member of the mint family (it’s also gluten-free), grows from the Mojave Desert to Argentina.  The Aztecs relied on Chia, and Native Americans of the Southwest and California Coast cooked Chia seeds with water to make gruel, or ground the seeds into flour for baking.  Soaked in water, Chia gels up, and was used for poultices.  Chia seeds mixed in water kept a man going on a forced march for 24 hours because it was (and still is!) so nutritious.

Chia seeds soaked in water or fruit juice are often consumed in Mexico as chia fresca.   And Chia is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids a lot richer than flax seeds it seems.  The gel that forms when Chia seeds are mixed with water, slows the conversion of carbs to simple sugars (good for diabetics!) and makes us feel full faster (so we don’t have the urge to grab a Snickers bar).

What are some of Chia’s other attributes?  Antioxidant powerhouse.   (Lenore of Omega3 Chia wrote me that the Sprout Man soaked 2 Tbsp Chia seeds in ½ cup water in a jar for about 15 minutes, then drained the water that remained, let the seeds germinate for 12-24 hours, ran tests to see if nutrition values changed, and found antioxidant values tripled.   Literature says Chia seeds are great in any detox program.

Dr. Oz’s Chia Muffins

Oprah loved this Chia muffin recipe, which Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, authors of “You: Staying Young, The Owners’ Manual for Extending Your Warranty” brought on her show.  Dr. Oz told Oprah that one muffin has more magnesium than 10 heads of broccoli and as much calcium as a couple cups of milk.

Makes 12 large muffins.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6 Tbsp chia seeds, ground 2 free-range eggs
1 ½ C whole wheat or whole grain flour ¼ C extra-virgin olive oil,  EVOO
2 tsp cinnamon 1 C maple syrup or ½ C agave  
½ tsp nutmeg 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda ½ C chopped nuts, optional
½ tsp sea salt pinch salt
2 C organic pumpkin or sweet potato puree

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.   Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Store completely cooled muffins in freezer.

Where is Chia in our store?  In our bulk section, in bags from Shiloh Farms.  In our supplement department, under the name “Salba”, “Omega3Chia”, “Anutra”, and Chia by Garden of Life.   The company Dr. Oz endorses is Benexia Omega-3Chia, which makes the claim only they are food-grade.  How could this be true?  Are the Chias in our supplement department more nutrient-rich?  Better?  Is the higher price worth it?   Each company we called had a different story, and we simply don’t know.

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