This last week I had a week devoted to chia seed recipes on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I wanted to pass along one of the recipes to you all.
I first stumbled upon chia seeds when my little guy stopped tolerating dairy. OK that’s not totally true, chia pets were my first introduction. But I heard about the actual seeds through the grapevine, although I never really investigated their health benefits at the time. In fact chia seeds are full of calcium, which is great if your kids have issues with dairy. One serving (two tablespoons) of chia seeds has 6% of your daily calcium allotment.
Chia seeds have benefits far beyond their calcium content, but first here’s little historical background for those of you that keep hearing the ch-ch-ch-chia song in your heads. Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which grows abundantly in Southern Mexico. In ancient times they were integral Aztec and Mayan diets. In fact chia seeds were essential rations for Aztec warriors and are still a main component in the Tarahumara Indian’s diet, those famous runners in Mexico that can run hundreds of miles without resting.
Back to my original point, chia are full of nutrients. Here’s a concise list:
- Chia are full of omega-3 fatty acids. In fact they have even more omegas than flax seeds.
- Chia seeds have calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
- Chia seeds have lots of fiber per serving.
- Chia is rich in antioxidants. In fact the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid, like other seeds and nuts.
- Unlike other super seeds like flax, chia seeds do not have to be ground to be absorbed.
With all those health benefits and their nutritional stability, why not add them to your kiddos snacks? And here’s your first idea for sneaking them in. How about… brownies?
Now I know brownies aren’t the quintessential healthy snack. But this is a processed-free version adapted from one of my favorite processed-free foods sites, Out of the Box Food. With whole wheat flour, chia, flax and hazelnuts these are a great, healthy brownie alternative. And they are rich, moist and decadent. In fact you’ll never know these are bursting with omegas, fiber and nutrients. But your kiddos are sure to love them, if mine are any indicator. Enjoy!