Do you remember those silly commercials years ago featuring the chia pet? You know, those terracotta figurines in the shape of different animals that grew sprouts similar to alfalfa sprouts? Fast forward twenty years and it turns out those sprouted seeds—called none other than chia seeds—are actually little nutrition powerhouses!
One ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (an even better source of omega-3’s than flaxseeds). They have a mild, nutty flavor and can be added to beverages, mixed in hot cereal or cold cereal, stirred into yogurt or even added to vegetable or rice dishes.
How will eating chia seeds benefit you? Omega-3 fatty acids are important for a healthy brain and heart and fiber is essential for a healthy digestive track. Add to that the high antioxidant level of chia seeds, which can help protect you from certain cancers! Oh…one more thing– when added to liquid, the chia seed forms a high fiber gel that can help you feel full longer.
Pick up a bag of chia seeds at your local grocery store or whole foods store today and bring on the benefits!
Raw Chocolate-Chia Energy Bars
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates
- 1/3 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup whole chia seeds, such as ReNew Life Ultimate ChiaLife
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract, optional
- ¼ tsp. almond extract, optional
- 1 cup raw slivered almonds or raw shelled pistachios
- Oat flour for dusting, optional
- Place dates in bowl of food processor; purée until thick paste forms. Add cocoa powder, chia seeds, and vanilla and almond extracts, if using. Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Add almonds; pulse until nuts are finely chopped and well distributed through date mixture.
- Spread large sheet of wax paper on work surface, and dust with oat flour, if using. Transfer date mixture to wax paper, and use paper to press mixture into ½-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap tightly, and chill overnight.
- Unwrap block, and cut into 8 bars. Dust edges and sides with oat flour, if using, to prevent sticking. Rewrap each bar in wax paper.
(Source: Vegetarian Times)