Care for some chia?
A small seed with a big profile.
As part of my business I regularly research the raw ingredients for my products both to remind myself of their properties and to find new information, and I often feature some of the more rare, exotic and high profile ingredients here on the blog or on my instagram account because they are, well - interesting and eye-catching. However, I also use a number of less conspicuous ingredients which may not originate from a thousand year old rainforest tree but are non-the-less potent and powerful, packed with nourishing goodness and have a long history of symbiotic relationship with humans.
Let me introduce the humble Chia plant (Salvia Hispanica), an attractive annual herb related to mint originating from South - and Central America. Researching this beautiful plant I realised that there was so much information here that I felt it deserving of its very own blogpost.
It is of course the small pinhead sized black/greyish seeds that are the most valuable part of the plant and in later years chia seeds have become well-known and almost a staple in many health food shops and supermarkets touted as a natural super-food. And there is good reason for that. In its native region it has been a highly valued food plant for thousands of years
and in Mexico it was so highly respected and commonly trusted that it was even used as currency and to pay taxes! The Aztecs and Mayans back in the day valued them for the sustainable energy they provided.
“Chia” is, in fact, the Mayan word meaning “strength.”
Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. They claimed only 1 spoonful of chia along with plenty of water could sustain them for 24 hours and they were known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.
Pretty impressive for such a tiny seed!
Chia seeds have become a staple in my breakfast too. I soak some with my breakfast müsli or if I am really committed I even soak them overnight or longer until they sprout which greatly increase the vitamin C content making them even more nutritious. I find that with the addition of chia seeds, especially if they have been soaked, my breakfast keeps me satisfied for longer. If I've got a bit more time or want to make a healthy treat for the kids, I incorporate the chia seeds in a nice-cream: 1 frozen banana
handful of frozen berries (Blackberries, raspberries, black/red currants work well) 1/2 cup rice milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
coconut oil, melted (optional) ---
If you are organised and remember then soak the chia seeds overnight in the rice milk otherwise soak them for 10-15 mins prior to making the smoothie (which is what I tend to do).
Mix all ingredients (except coconut oil) in food processor/blender and whizz for a couple of minutes until smooth and homogenous. Pour into glass and swirl melted coconut on top. The coconut will solidify when it comes into contact with the cool smoothie and it gives a yummy chewy texture that goes really well with the chia seeds.
However, you don’t have to stop at eating chia seeds. Chia seeds have a relatively high oil content and it takes about five kilograms of seeds to produce one litre of good quality cold pressed organic chia seed oil. This remarkably nutritive oil has lots of beneficial properties and works wonders when applied to the skin which is why chia seed oil is one of the main ingredients in a couple of my products. As one of the richest botanical sources of omega-3 fatty acids found in nature chia seed oil boasts around 50-60% alpha-linolenic acid (plant based omega 3).
Omega-3 is one of the main nutrients that helps with slowing down the ageing process and inhibit wrinkle formation since it is an important building block in the formation of collagen which supports the structure of the skin and helps to maintain a youthful looking one.
Omega 3 is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help reduce and relieve red and irritated skin and is useful in the combat of acne and congested skin conditions helping to clear blocked pores, dissolve hard sebum and balance sebum production. The best part is that chia seed oil is lightweight and absorbs easily without clogging the pores
or leave a greasy residue and sits gorgeously under makeup.
Now you know why I love these potent nutrient-packed little black seeds and high quality cold pressed organic chia seed oil is one of the main ingredients in my: 'Chia & Thistle Omega 3-6-9 Face Cream'
and 'Revitalising Facial oil, Omega 3-6-9 Boost'
Stay healthy, happy and nourished. 🌿 ☀️ 🌿