Friday, January 20, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia!

Don't deny it.

If you didn't own one, you hoped desperately that it would be your secret santa gift at the company work party.

But you never thought of eating the seeds....or....were you one of THOSE kids?

(Glue sniffer)

I'm not suggesting breaking open the unopened planter box from 1980 and eating the seeds..

.....unless of course you are in the Europe where they are basically illegal...

...and no, Chia seeds  (Salvia hispanica ) are NOT a hallucinogen, folks...(That would be Salvia divinorum---read about that here) 

so don't start thinking you are going to "elevate your meal" to any other level except a healthier one.

The reason they are illegal in Europe is because they are considered "novel foods" and under European regulations novel foods can only be consumed in baked goods up to more about THAT here.  

....but, out here in the good old USA you can purchase them from Whole Foods (they ARE FDA approved for all of you rule abiding citizens) and use them in just about any recipe.

Side note: Trader Joes didn't have them when I checked

You are asking: "Why in the hell would I want Chia seeds in my meal...or my muffin??? or even in a mango smoothie for that matter?

As I eluded to earlier, the health benefits of Chia seeds are recently being recognized.

Highlights from my research (I am a scientist after all and I can't help but dive into the literature about my new found super foods)

1) Contain the highest plant source of Omega-3 
2) Proven to reduce "bad" (LDL) cholesterol
3) Contain more antioxidants that blueberries
4) Excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and iron

Now that you have them on your grocery are wondering:

how to eat them??


1) raw as whole seeds!! in anything!  add to puddings, juice drinks, teas, smoothies...and in breads, cookies..etc. They are so tiny, you really don't taste them baked into breads/cookies..

2) They can be ground for use as a flour in baking 

3) And yes, they can be sprouted as the green hair on your chia pet and added to salads and sandwiches--similar to alfalfa

4) Note that they turn gelatinous when then come into contact with water, so they can be used as a thickening agent.

Getting to the recipe, I promise...

I've talked before about the blog Yummy Mummy---and if you are not reading it and enjoying her outstanding photography and beautiful should be.  She was voted one of the top 50 blogs to read this year.

I decided I wanted to make her Chia Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies.  But alas, I NEEDED to go to yoga for a little "rejuvination" last night.

After a HARD, 90 minute Bikram Yoga Class at 105 degrees with 50% humidity...I walk into the house and I smell the delicious aroma of chocolate chip cookies.


I was upset..ok...I was ticked..

I MAY have been over-reacting..a bit...

Inner monologue: "Noooooooo!!! Brent made chocolate chip cookies while I was gone--the normal ones--darn it!"

Me (trying not to be mad) says to Brent: "You BAKED cookies while I was gone!"

Brent, (looking a bit disgusted at me) says: "Yeah, I  DO know how to bake, you know"

Me (slightly ticked with his sarcasm) says: "But I was going to make SPECIAL, HEALTHY, chocolate chip cookies"

Brent (with a smile) "I did"

Flabbergasted that he thinks the normal chocolate chip cookies are anything but healthy, I say "WITH CHIA SEEDS!"

He calmly replies "I did"

Inner monologue: What? Huh? I'm confused. Must be the yoga-heat getting to my brain. Did you say you made the CHIA SEED cookies???

He continues: "I knew when I saw the ingredients you wanted to make special cookies and Jackie told me that it was probably a Yummy Mummy recipe...
So I found the recipe and made them."

Here's the photo I snapped of the Chia Seed Cookies:

I quickly gobbled one up and let me tell you, they did NOT disappoint.
They are VERY VERY good..and I think I will be giving the kids these as their after school snack instead of granola bars.

Feeling the need to apologize but slightly disappointed that I didn't get to bake them I said,   "Thanks..they're yummy"

Continuing..."But next time use parchment paper when you bake--it keeps the edges from getting too browned"

Brent rolls eyes.
Ok, maybe deserved, I know.

So, here's the recipe if you didn't get it from the link.

Only thing Brent changed was he threw a couple of butterscotch chips in there because he HATES that I have 2 half opened bags of them in the pantry.

Yummy Mummy's Peanut Butter Chia Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 12 

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup all purpose or gluten-free flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chunks or chips 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, flour, and chia seeds. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar until creamy. Add peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly stir in oat mixture to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. 
Place heaping tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet. Press dough into balls with hands, as dough will be crumbly. Bake 12 minutes. Cool.

Let's all sing it together now: "Ch-Ch-Chi Chia!!"

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