Chia Seeds. You are probably sprinkling it all over your salad or blending it with your favourite smoothie already. Or, you’re probably thinking, Chia what?
These little seeds of goodness have been referred to as super foods and wonder seeds, and rightly so; Chia seeds contain the highest combined nutrition of dietary fibre, omega 3, protein and antioxidants from a plant source. That is pretty impressive!
Now, here’s something you probably did not know. Chia seeds can only grow optimally 40 degrees north or south of the equator. Australia, has in fact, only just started growing Chia seeds over ten years ago. The hard work and passion of our Australian farmers bear fruit (or seeds!) as we now get to benefit from the beautiful nutrition of Chia.
So where exactly is 40 degrees south of the equator in Australia? Those of you who love geography would know – of course, it’s Kununurra, Western Australia.
Chia Seeds are super easy to incorporate in our daily diet, but quite tricky to farm! These seeds are thirsty at planting but a little amount of water during harvest will ruin the crop! Kununurra provides the ideal environment to grow Chia seeds, thanks to the abundant water supply from Lake Argyle and the long, hot and dry harvesting season. In fact, Australian grown Chia Seeds have been tested by third party laboratory and proven to contain the highest levels of omega 3.
Omega 3 (ALA) from Chia and other plants are vital to heart and joint health. Do not get this confused with omega 3 (DHA) that is derived from fish. These are two different kinds of omega oils (but both are equally important!). The Heart Foundation recommends a serving of plant-based omega a day, and at least twice a week of omega 3 DHA. The good news is, just a tablespoon of chia seeds meet the Daily Recommended Intake of omega 3 ALA!
Not quite sure how to eat chia? Don’t worry. Chia does not really have flavour. You can add onto savoury soups and salads or fruity smoothies and it would not affect the taste. You will continue to enjoy your meal while giving it an instant nutritional boost.
But, if you have been eyeing those scrumptious Chia Puddings in your favourite café and would love to make your own, here’s a recipe from celebrity chef Kate McAloon (as published on www.thechiaco.com):
By Chef Kate McAloon
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Total Time: 2 hr refrigerate
Serves: 1 person
1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar (or to taste)
½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Possible flavouring options
2 tbsp cacao powder
¼ cup raspberries puree (or other fruit purees)
¼ cup lemon juice
In a medium size bowl, mix all ingredients and add your choice of flavouring. Mix well to combine. Transfer pudding into shot glasses. Refrigerate the pudding for at least 2 hours.
So next time you are heading to your food store, grab a bag of Australian grown Chia seeds. You’re not just eating the world’s highest quality Chia, you are also supporting our community of farmers in Western Australia.
Written by Louella Docot
Originally published by Kid Magazine Australia www.kidmagazine.com.au/chia
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Chia Company www.thechiaco.com and Chef Kate McAloon www.chefkate.me