Small in size, but big on impact, Chia and Flax seeds are the superfoods of the new age millennia.
One of the richest vegan sources of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, Chia and Flax seeds can help reduce the risks of chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and premature aging.
Naturally rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, this duo is great for the heart, brain, skin, and cellular health.
Thanks to their high fiber content, flax and chia seeds keep you feeling full longer, prevent constipation, and help manage weight and sugar balance as well.
Since both are predominantly bland in taste, they lend themselves well to a variety of foods and beverages.
Here are some fun ways to add them to your diet:
- Chia Pudding: Add one-fourth cup of seeds to one cup of milk (non-dairy alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk also work beautifully). Let the concoction sit for 15-30 mins in the refrigerator. You can top it with chopped nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds or any fruit for added flavor and nutrition.
- Smoothie addition - Add flax and chia seeds to your favorite morning smoothie or milkshake with fruits, greens, other nuts, and seeds for a powerful start to your day.
- Sprinkle some into breakfast cereal, salads, soups, shakes, or stews.
- Overnight Oats – a simple and nutritious breakfast, Overnight oats can be made the night before. Add 1 tablespoon of flax and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and flax seeds to 1/3 cup of oats. Top with 1 cup of milk (or any plant-based milk of your choice. let them soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning add some honey for sweetness and layer some fresh fruit or peanut butter as a topping for a high protein start to the day.
- Chia Gel: Mix 1 cup of water with one-fourth cup of chia seeds. Mix well and leave for half-hour. The consistency will become gel-like. You can use this gel as a thickener in soups, sauces, and puddings. The gel can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Egg Replacer: The gel-like mucilage of chia and flax seeds gives them good binding qualities and hence they can be used as egg substitutes in baking.
· Chia - For 1 whole egg, mix 1 tablespoon of whole chia seeds with 2.5 to 3 tablespoons of water. Let it soak until the mixture thickens to a gel-like consistency.
· Flax – Mix 1 tablespoon of finely ground flaxseed powder (you can ground whole flax seeds into a powder in a chutney jar of the mixer-grinder) with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg.
7. Use as a topping – for buttered toast, oatmeal, smoothie bowl, or vegetable curries to enhance the nutrition of your meal.
8. Use Flaxseed Flour for baking – You can get flaxseed flour by grinding the seeds in a chutney jar. Store it in an airtight bottle and keep it in the fridge. The flour can be mixed with your baking flours and used for cakes, pancakes, and muffins.
9.Parfait – Mix a cup of yogurt with chia seeds or ground flax seeds and honey for a tasty parfait. Add some chopped mango on top and transform it into a delicious dessert. You can also add chia seeds or flax seed powder to your raita for a calcium-rich meal.
Finally, to conclude, both chia and flax seeds are both very nutritious and make for a great meal addition. While flax seeds are richer in omega-3s, copper, potassium, and antioxidants like lignans, chia is richer in calcium, iron, and fiber. Hence, we suggest adding a healthy mix of both seeds to your diet for well-balanced nutrition.