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Cha Cha Cha Chia! How Eating Chia Seeds Improves Health!

May 26, 2017
Chia seeds are members of the flouring plant in the mint family that’s native to Central and South America. These seeds are tiny and appear useless, however, they are loaded with essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and many vitamins and minerals such as, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of dietary fiber.

Chia seeds also increase satiety, which promotes a greater feeling of fullness after meals. When chia seeds are added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, a gel is formed. This gel can be added to items such as smoothies, jams, desserts, etc. to provide a thicker consistency that delays stomach emptying and allows you to stay full longer after eating. This benefit can be helpful weight loss tool.

Below are some healthful ways of incorporating chia seeds into your diet:

1. Make a chia jam. Chia seeds can be added to any jam to provide a thicker consistency but with less sugar due to the amount of dietary fiber. I often make strawberry and raspberry chia jam and it tastes delicious!

2. Add chia seeds to pudding. Chia seeds absorb many times their own weight so when added to liquids they provide a thicker texture and can be ideal for items such as pudding.

3. Make chia seed crackers. Combining chia seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds along with some flax seed mill can make excellent crackers that are lower in carbohydrates. They also provide a cracker with a nutty flavor that I find delicious and enjoyable!

4. Use chia seeds as a topping. Add chia seeds to oatmeal, yogurt, puddings, etc. to provide a crunchy, nutty flavor.

5. Mix them into muffins, pancakes, or waffles. Chia seeds have a neutral flavor so they can be added to many foods without negatively impacting taste. Adding 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to your pancake or muffin mixture can add an easy 5 grams of dietary fiber to your breakfast.

6. Snack on chia seed bars. Chia seed bars are located in many retail stores. I have purchased some from Amazon and I enjoyed them. The bars come in many different flavors and are generally around 100 calories per bar.

7. Add chia seeds to meat, fish, or chicken breading. Adding a few tablespoons of chia seeds to your breading can add extra crunch, texture, and boost nutrition to your regular fried chicken, fish, or breaded pork chop recipe.

The above tips are a few healthful ideas for using chia seeds, as there are many more creative and interesting ways of reaping the benefits of this tiny but yet powerful seed. If anyone has additional ideas, please share in the comments section below. I would love to hear your experiences with chia seeds.

If you have any additional questions or would like to book an appointment, feel free to email me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com. You can also follow me on Instagram for additional nutrition tips and ideas.

“A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives.”


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What To Do With A Jar Of Tahini?

April 22, 2017
Tahini, what’s that? How does one cook with tahini?

Tahini is a sesame seed paste that’s similar to a nut butter, but without the sweetness and thick texture. It also has a mild, neutral flavor that can be used in a variety of sauces and dishes. The most common use for tahini is in hummus. However, that’s not the only way to cook with tahini. Below are some additional tips and ideas for eating and cooking with tahini without limiting yourself and making good use of that entire jar of tahini in your cupboard:

1) Spread tahini on toast: On sprouted bread, spread 1-2 tablespoons of tahini for a savory flavor

2) Tahini and vegetables: A variety of raw vegetables taste great dipped in tahini

3) Stir it in a soup: Tahini is a great alternative soup thickener

4) Make a vinaigrette: whisk tahini with sesame seed oil, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice to make a great vinaigrette for salads

5) Add it to marinades or dipping sauces: Mix tahini with garlic or soy sauce to enhance a marinade or create a creative dipping sauce

6) Tahini in cookies: Replace peanut butter or other nut butters with tahini in cookies and other baked goods

7) Add it to side dishes: Include tahini in coleslaw, deviled eggs, and other side dishes for a added earthy, savory flavor

If you have other creative ideas for using tahini, post them in the comments section below. If you have questions or would like to book an appointment, please email me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com . You can also follow me on Instagram.

“A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives!”

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