Believe it or not, chia seeds are actually from the Lamiaceae (Mint) family.
The Aztec and Mayan cultures used chia as a staple crop in many ways and it was said to give the warriors endurance and energy.
Nowadays we mostly use chia as a whole seed, though some health food shops do sell the pressed oil from it.
But what are some of chia’s benefits and more importantly, how do we use chia in a frozen smoothie?
Read on to find out more about this wonderful grain.
Chia seeds are very nutritious and have plenty of potential benefits too as you’ll read below.
What does chia have?
- High in fibre, fatty acids and moderate protein and carbohydrates
- Plant based omegas
- A decent serving of manganese, phosphorus and calcium
- A small serve of zinc, copper and potassium
- Trace amounts of iron, iodine and magnesium
- A source of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin D and also vitamin E
- Plenty of antioxidants
Based on all this, chia may help you:
- Stabilise blood sugar
- Reduce inflammation
- Provide antioxidant protection to your cells
- Improve digestion and gut bacteria
- Improve cardiovascular health from its fibre, antioxidants and omega-3s
Chia, therefore packs a big punch for such a small seed, and this would be a huge reason to include it in your most of your frozen smoothies (and smoothie recipes).
It’s a form of seed-based health insurance almost!
Chia as a thickener
On top of its superstar nutrition status, chia seeds are also commonly used as thickeners and binders in many recipes, including smoothies.
This is due to the chia seeds ability to hold up to 10 times its weight in water.
How to use chia in your frozen smoothies
Here are a few of the many ways to incorporate this nutritious food into your smoothies.
- Stir some whole chia seeds into your finished smoothie and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Soaking them for upwards of an hour is preferred as it inactivates some of the enzymes present in most seeds that impair digestion and assimilation.
- Grind up some chia into a flour, or buy chia seed flour. Then add to your smoothie like a regular ingredient.
- Blend whole chia seeds into your smoothie. You may get a lot of chia seeds stuck in the blender and blades this way, so it may not be the best value for money
After adding chia to your smoothie, you should expect it to gelatinise and it may turn your smoothie into a chunky mass.
So keep a spoon handy just in case!
If you’re not interested in the chunk, but still want to include chia, just add more liquid to your smoothie base to compensate.
How much chia to include?
Begin with a teaspoon or two and work your way up to a couple of tablespoons of chia if you respond well to it.
Due to its high fibre content, you may not want to go gung-ho with a large serve straight away as too much fibre too soon can be quite distressing for your digestive tract.
Where can you find chia for your frozen smoothies?
Most health food stores and even the supermarkets will sell chia seeds these days.
Or if you want to keep things simple and easy, at Super Cubes, we’ve got your chia needs (not seeds) covered in our berry digest smoothie cubes!
Have you ever used chia seeds in a smoothie or other kitchen concoction?
Do you like the taste of them or maybe you’re not a fan of the texture?
Let us know your favourite way to use chia seeds on our Facebook or Instagram page and if you want to find out even more about chia seeds (including their nutritional breakdown), you can here, ‘The many benefits of chia’.