Nothing can change the way you feel like changing the way you eat. Of all the many reasons I’ve been chia’s number one fan, the most important is this: chia is a food (a superfood to be exact). That, I know, is stating the obvious, but think about it, chia is a beautiful, natural, unadulterated product of the earth that offers us the gift of good health. It’s not a supplement made by extracting nutrients from their source; it’s the source itself. I’m not a technophobe — I believe in progress. Really I do! — but some things in life should be simple, and how we nourish our bodies is one of them.
The main objective of Chia Vitality isn’t to stress you out with strict dietary rules or difficult recipes, but rather to simply help you increase your intake of omega-3s, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and all the other vitality-boosting nutrients that chia has to offer.
I encourage you to be creative, to honor your own tastes, and to make adding chia to your food a habit. Think of it in the same way you do indispensable everyday accents like salt and pepper, only instead of adding a pinch of flavor, you’ll be adding a dose of health and vitality to your food.
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Throw and Go: 20 Easy Chia Seed Add-Ins
Stir 2 teaspoons of chia seeds and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (if the yogurt is unsweetened) into a half cup of nonfat Greek or Icelandic yogurt.
2. Chia Scrambled Eggs
Beat 2 eggs in a bowl, stir in 2 teaspoons of chia seeds, and cook as usual.
3. Chia Cereal
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of chia seeds on top of hot or cold cereal.
4. Chia Sandwich
You can add chia to any sandwich. For a healthy variation on a peanut butter sandwich, slather almond butter on a slice of whole grain bread, sprinkle chia seeds to taste over the almond butter, then add the top slice of bread. Or simply add chia seeds to the condiment when making a turkey, ham, or veggie sandwich.
5. Chia Tuna or Egg Salad
Mix chia seeds into the prepared salad, using 1 teaspoon of seeds per serving.
6. Chia Refried Beans
Empty a can of refried beans into a pot, stir in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and warm over medium heat.
7. Chia Hummus
Stir 1 teaspoon of chia seeds per serving into any store-bought container of hummus.
8. Chia Rice
Cook rice as directed. Before serving, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of white chia seeds per serving. Note that the seeds will be a little crunchy. If you prefer, you can cook the seeds with the rice, but you’ll need to add about a tablespoon more water per teaspoon chia to the pot.
9. Chia Waffles
Stir 1 tablespoon of chia seeds into your favorite waffle batter, then cook as usual.
10. Chia Chocolate Chip Cookies
Stir 2 tablespoons of chia seeds into your favorite chocolate chip cookie batter, then bake as usual.
11. Chia Roasted Root Vegetables
Cut assorted root vegetables – parsnips, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets – into 1-inch pieces; toss with olive oil and salt, then roast at 400 degrees F until through and caramelized. Add chia seeds to taste and toss again.
12. Chia Coleslaw
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of chia seeds per serving into your favorite homemade or store-bought coleslaw.
13. Chia Pizza
Before serving, sprinkle a few pinches of chia seeds on top of your pizza, along with red pepper flakes or other favorite seasonings.
14. Chia Corn on the Cob
Brush a little olive oil on grilled or boiled corn on the cob, then role the cobs in a plate of chia seeds.
15. Chia Quesadillas
Sprinkle shredded cheese on a tortilla; add any cooked (e.g. mushrooms) or shredded raw (e.g. zucchini) vegetables you like and 1 to 2 teaspoons of chia seeds. Top with a little more cheese and a second tortilla, then heat on a flat grill or pan.
16. Chia Tofu Scramble
Crumble a 14-ounce block of firm tofu, then season to taste. Saute half a chopped onion in a little olive oil until soft, then add the tofu and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Saute until warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes more.
17. Chia Muffins or Banana Bread
Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to your favorite muffin or banana bread batter and bake as usual.
18. Chia Vegetable Soup
Stir 1 tablespoon of chia seeds into your favorite recipe for vegetable soup, or 1 teaspoon per serving into canned soup.
19. Chia Lentils
Stir 2 teaspoons of chia seeds into 1 cup cooked lentils.
20. Chia Pasta
Stir 1 tablespoon of chia seeds into 12 to 16 ounces marinara sauce, warm, then toss with 1 pound of cooked pasta.
Excerpted from Chia Vitality by Janie Hoffman. Copyright © 2014 by Janie Hoffman. Excerpted by permission of Harmony Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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