I often see see chia seeds in the health food stores and my wife has fed them to me on occasion. She keeps saying they are a super food. Well I decided it was time to listen to her so I have been investigating them. Here is what I found.
They go back to the Incas, Mayan, and Aztec cultures. They considered chia seeds a staple. They were a staple for the Apaches and other Indians of the southwest. It is claimed that the Apaches would carry a bag of them for food while on the warpath.
Chia seeds are high in easily digestible protein essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 vitamins soluble fiber antioxidants and minerals. Chia provides more omega-3 ounce for ounce than salmon, flax seed or any other food. It is rich in antioxidants that maintain freshness that it can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. It is easily absorbed, gluten free, non-toxic and non-allergenic.
When water is added the seeds will absorb up to 12 times their weight in water and form a gel. If you eat dry chia seeds, they will swell in your stomach and help you feel full.
As far as taste, they don’t have much, so you can add them to almost anything. I know I get them on top of my cereal in the morning, but my wife may be sneaking them into other things.
A lot of you probably have grown some. Remember the Chia pets. Chia grows in coastal sage scrub land; in chaparral
communities. It can be grown in open, grassy areas of woodlands, in sandy washes and hillsides. California and the southwest are good growing areas.
During its growing period it must not be watered regularly. Seeds can be planted in plain land in early spring in porous soil. Insect do not like the seeds and leave them alone. The seeds are found in the flowers which each have 13 tiny flat seeds gray to light brown in colors.
If you go to buy Chia seeds they are not cheap, running from 6-10 dollars a pound. However in many of the desert areas of the US they can be found growing wild.
We are growing some, I will let you know how the harvest goes.