Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Welcome Chia Seeds Into Your Diet (& Get a Recipe for Meatballs!)
Did you have a Chia-Pet? We did and it was awesome. It was a Chia Shaggy and it was totally awesome. Yes, we were the coolest kids on the block. But Chia seeds are not Chia-Pets…they’re even cooler.
Chia seeds are teensy-weensy nutrient powerhouses. These tiny seeds have exceptional nutritional properties and health benefits:
1. They have loads of fibre
Add 2 tablespoons to your cereal, smoothie or yogurt and you’re getting a great fibre boost (perfect to get you through the morning). 2 tablespoons of Chia offers around 8g of fibre.
2. They fill you up
Chia seeds are high in soluble fibre; that’s why they form a thick gel when mixed with water and set aside for 30 minutes and research indicates that this reaction also occurs in the stomach, making you feel fuller longer.
3. They’re a huge source of essential omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of the human diet. At 5g of omega-3 fatty acids per 2 tablespoons, chia seeds have even more omega-3 fatty acids per serving than flaxseeds.
4. They pack in the protein
About 23% of the calories in chia seeds come from protein. If you consume just 4 tablespoons of chia seeds, you are getting 8g of protein.
5. They’re wallet- and pantry-friendly
Chia seeds can be stored for years without deterioration in flavor or nutritional value? This is due to the presence of natural antioxidants. Unlike fish oil, fish meal, or algae (other rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids), chia seeds don’t require any special packaging or storage conditions to prevent even minor changes in quality over time.
So…forget about planting chia seeds to grow “hair”, eat them instead! And we’ve got a great recipe to incorporate Chia Seeds into your family’s diet without them complaining about rabbit food or missing out on a regular family favourite.
Chia Seed and Beef Meatballs
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot or 1/2 a small onion, minced
- 1/8 cup tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 cup chia seeds
- 2 pounds good-quality ground beef (not lean or extra-lean!)
- 2 – 4 teaspoons your choice of cooking oil, like Grapeseed Oil
- Combine all ingredients except the oil in a large bowl and stir well.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes, then scoop out meatballs and pat into a round shape.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
- Add meatballs to pan and turn them so that they brown nicely on every side.
- Transfer meatballs to a plate to rest (they won’t be fully cooked through but can finish cooking later in your sauce). If you aren’t serving in a marinara sauce, cook them slightly longer (you might want to break one open to test to make sure they’re cooked through or use a meat thermometer and make sure it measures at least 165 F internally.