Every year brings us a new superfood and this year it’s Chia. It’s everywhere, lighting up Twitter, being reviewed across blogs and gaining plenty of column inches in the papers. I was sent some Chia Shots and Chia Oil (from The Chia Co.) and they sat in the cupboard for a few weeks – untouched and unloved. But this week I was visiting Grayshott Spa for an introduction to The Grayshott Programme and once again – Chia appeared. On the menu this time – at breakfast. It was those pesky little seeds again.
So this morning, I soaked some seed in water and mixed them with my porridge. It looked a bit like tapioca, but tasted ok and I’m sure it provides plenty of fibre for the bowels. I also tried the Chia Oil on some steamed vegetables at lunch time, sprinkled with fresh herbs. It was light, had a mild, slightly atringent taste – but wholly satisfying. And it’s not just the nutritional benefits that are being promoted – it’s being used in skincare too.
Chia is a rich source of Omega 3, anti-oxidants and a host of vitamins and minerals. Chia is known by it’s Latin name as Salvia hispanica and is a member of the mint family originally grown and harvested in Mexico and South America. The main appeal of chia is the nutritional power of its tiny seeds, although you can also buy oil and it’s being harnessed for a whole variety of other things. Chia smoothie anyone?
It’s said that chia contains more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon and is a universal source of protein with more fibre than flax seeds. These tiny seeds, that didn’t taste of much at all (though some people get a nutty flavour from them) have been dubbed with all sorts of superlatives. There is science and studies to back it up and nutritionists rave about them.
The Chia Co is the world’s largest producer of natural, raw Chia seeds. With Chia farms located in the pristine Kimberley region of Western Australia, exactly 15 degrees south of the equator. They say that growing chia at this latitude provides the ideal conditions, maximising the omega 3 oil profile in every seed. Have a look at the website as there’s lots of recipes for using the seeds and oils.
Chia Seeds White and Black – comes in 150g, 500g and 1kg packs as well as Chia Shots (10x8g).
Prices start at £4.79 for the Chia Shots.
Chia Oil is £15.39 for 280ml.
Available from: www.thechiaco.com.au and Whole Goods Market
Perricone MD has just launched a facial serum containing chia, called – Chia Serum – it’s a multi-tasking serum with extracts of chia and fat soluble essential vitamins. It’s a scientifically formulated serum designed to rapidly transform dull, dry skin returning it to a healthy balance. It’s light, skin compatible and quickly absorbed.
£59.50 from www.perriconemd.co.uk