One of the good things about writing about health and fitness is that when you hear your fellow FBGs rave about something for so long, you start feeling brave about trying it. That’s how it was for me and chia seeds. My main hesitation with trying chia seeds, though, was the association with “chia pets,” which didn’t exactly strike me as appetizing. But it turns out that chia seeds are a totally friendly way to get a nutritional powerhouse into your diet. I’ve been so in love when them, in fact, that I added them to a list of things I’m grateful for over on FBG. I’ve been buying my chia seeds from Trader Joe’s, and one tablespoon of the friendly little seed (seriously, they’re actually cute) has just 70 calories, 3 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 2.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Serious nutrition, right?
I think some people are afraid that something like chia seeds will add a gnarly “natural” (in a bad way) flavor to foods, but I swear you can’t even detect them. They’re like strawberry seeds in that once in awhile you’ll get one stuck in a tooth, but beyond that, you can’t taste them — they just add rocking nutritional value to what you’re eating or drinking. I now add them to every smoothie I make and have even been sprinkling them over my Greek yogurt and even salads for some fun texture.
Interested to take my chia love to the next level, I jumped at the chance when Carrington Farms offered to send me its chia/flax seed blend. Flaxseeds seemed to take off in the nutrition world before chia did, but I actually hadn’t tried flax. But a chia/flaxseed blend, I was all over. Two tablespoons has just 60 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein, plus it’s packed with omega-3s. The blend is slightly different from my usual chia because it’s whole chia seeds blended with ground flax, which is more of a powder than the seeds. I noticed a slight texture change in my smoothie when I added it — slightly grainer — but taste-wise it honestly didn’t make much of a difference, maybe ever so slightly nuttier. It’s definitely worth switching it up to cover your nutritional bases if you want to branch out to get your omega-3s. Plus, there are so many ways to use them; besides in smoothies, the blend can be used in muffins, granola and even in French toast!
Have you jumped onto the chia bandwagon yet? Love a good chia/flax blend? How do you use these types of products? —Erin