This week we'll be focusing on some of the Fabulous Foods of the raw food world, so I decided to pull one of my most watched video from the YouTube archives. The following video was filmed almost a year ago when our original Raw Food Rehab group was just about two weeks old. If you are not already using chia seeds in your raw food recipes, I hope this video and post will inspire you to do so.
No other food compares to the chia seed when talking about hydration and endurance. Once soaked, these tiny seeds open up and absorb 9 times their volume in water. The seeds, once fully hydrated, form a gel that is phenomenal at helping to keep your body hydrated. This gel is also 90% soluble fiber, which is beneficial for your digestive track and helps to lower cholesterol even more effectively than oatmeal. And talk about an impressive nutritional profile....the seeds have twice the protein of any other seed or grain, five times the calcium of milk, copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 which are essential oils for the body. There are boast a long list of valuable nutrients. Because of the soluble fiber in the gel, incorporating chia into one's diet is very helpful for people with diabetes, as the gel forms a wall around ingested carbohydrates in the body, causing their release to be more slow and steady into one's system. Savvy dieters love the seeds because the addition of the gel incorporated into food or drink has no taste and helps to provide the feeling of being full and satisfied. Using the hydrated seeds is an excellent way to control one's appetite. Although these seeds have super star status, they are very affordable and are carried at most health food stores or you can find them here.
One word of warning....don't use chia seeds unless you have soaked them for at least 10 minutes. If you eat them dry, they will actually use your bodily fluid to expand and that can cause digestive issues and dehydration for some.
Today I'd like to pass along 3 favored recipes that include the fabulous chia seed. Not only are they delicious but they are recipes I use to combat high cholesterol in both my husband and father. I hope you'll give them a try!
Chia Coconut Custard Shake
2 young coconuts, meat & water
2 Tbsp. chia seeds, soaked in 1 cup water
1/2 cup crushed ice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw honey
a generous pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt
Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
I had an inspiration involving chia seeds in a dream. What came of it was simply marvelous....
Chia Seed Ice Cream (raw & dairy free)
2 tbsp. chia seeds, soak for one hour or more in 1 cup of pure water meat and milk of one thai coconut
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut butter
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean or 2 additional tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. celtic sea salt
In a high speed blender, blend the chia gel (seeds and water) with all other ingredients until smooth. Chill in your frig for an hour or more and then pour into your ice cream maker.
Chocolate Chia Crackers Yield 1 tray (quantity depends on size you cut)
1 cup chia seeds (get them here)
2 cups water
Juice of 1 orange
1 apple, cored & chopped
1/4 cup raw chocolate powder (Navitas is my all-time favorite brand)
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
6 dates, pitted
dash Himalayan crystal salt
Soak your chia seeds for 30 minutes in a large bowl with 1 1/2 cups of the water. Blend the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/2 cup of water) together. Add the blended mixture to the bowl with soaked chia seeds and stir to mix. Break up any chia seed clumps with your rubber spatula or spoon. Let the mixture sit (as is) for 15-30 minutes.
Spread the mixture on a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick paraflex sheet and score to desired size. (For a thinner cracker, divide between two trays.) Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 60 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 105 degrees and dehydrate another 6-8 hours. Flip crackers onto another tray without a paraflex sheet and peel off the paraflex sheet being used. Dehydrate another 6-10 hours, or until you reach your desired dryness.
I planted some chia seeds that I bought from a health food store and they do not look at all like these pet ones. It is a member of the salvia family (sage) and the leaves are rather towards heart-shaped rather than long and thin.