Chia seeds are the latest buzz in the health food craze because they are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fiber. Chia seeds can easily replace poppy seeds in any recipe as they are similar in taste and texture. Or just add them to any dish for their nutrition. Chia has no flavor so you can grind the seeds and add to a recipe without changing the flavor.
Here are some of the benefits of chia seeds:
- Balances and stabilizes blood sugar – which is good for those with diabetes, belly fat or a wild child.
- Improves insulin sensitivity for a possible natural way to combat type 2 diabetes.
- Full of fiber – gluten-free but with all the fiber of wheat bran. A one ounce serving has 11 grams of fiber.
- Full of omega 3 – an important brain food.
- Full of nutrients like calcium, manganese, iron, folic acid and phosphorus – all good for teeth and strong bones, stress reduction, tissue repair and cardiovascular.
- Great source of protein
- Great source of tryptophan – the amino acid precursor of serotonin (happiness hormone) and melatonin (sleep and anti-cancer hormone) and helps regulate appetite (so you feel full faster).
- Improves heart health – lowers cholesterol, blood pressure
And best of all, you can now find these seeds in your local grocery store.
Here is a great recipe incorporating chia seed from A Beautiful Mess.
Lemon and Chia Seed Pull-Apart Bread
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon of the 1/4 cup sugar in warm water. Stir in yeast. Allow to sit and foam for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl combine flour, remaining sugar, salt and chia seeds. Stir.
- Melt butter and milk over low heat until just melted. Remove from heat.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and stir.
- Pour in butter mixture and stir. Add eggs and vanilla and stir.
- Use your hands to lightly knead the dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Zest a few lemons. Use your hands to press the zest into the cup of sugar, releasing the oils.
- When your dough is ready, punch it down and then roll it out about ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
- Brush the melted butter over all the dough. Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the dough evenly.
- Cut the dough into long strips, so that the width of the dough could easily fit in a bread pan. place the strips over each other and then cut into squares. Place all the squares (standing upright) in a lightly greased bread pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 32-35 minutes until the top is golden brown, but the center is no longer raw.
Allow to cool for 5-8 minutes before you try removing it from the pan.
This bread is best when served warm. Yum! Serve alongside coffee for a quick breakfast treat, a late afternoon snack or even a light snack before bedtime.