- You’ll typically find chia seeds in the organic health sections, baking aisle, spice aisle, or in rice/quinoa aisle.
- Most grocery stores have different ways in which chia seeds are sorted. You can always ask the store attendant for specific directions.
What are Chia Seeds, and What is it used for?
Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family. It is commonly sold under the common name “chia.” Salvia hispanica plant mainly grows in Mexico and Guatemala. They also act as a natural laxative. The flowers that produce the seeds are purple and white in color.
Chia seeds are an excellent fiber source, improving the heart, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving digestion. Chia seeds also help in the reduction of weight.
Chia seeds can also be used to make smoothies, puddings, and salads. It can also be sprinkled on oatmeals, cereals, rice dishes, and yogurts to make the dish look pretty. Chia seeds are also used as replacements for eggs and other thickening recipes. Most people take the seeds with liquid juices, such as with a glass of water or liquid milk.
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What are the Types of Chia Seeds?
When shopping for chia seeds, you would notice two types of seeds, the black chia seeds and the golden (white) seeds. There is hardly any difference between the two seeds. The only difference is that black chia seeds are more common than white ones.
However, it has been argued that black chia seeds have slightly more protein content than white chia seeds.
We also have whole and ground chia seeds. Whole chia seeds typically contain more ingredients and last longer than ground chia seeds. The whole seeds can be eaten without any form of processing. They can be eaten with meals or poured into liquid drinks. You must stay hydrated when eating whole chia seeds, as the seeds love water. They are also very good at aiding weight loss.
Ground chia seeds, on the other hand, are best used for cooking. They are mostly used by people who don’t like the taste of whole chia seeds and would rather have them cooked. They, however, don’t have the same amount of nutrients as its counterpart.
Where can I find Capers in the Grocery Store?
Every supermarket has its specific way of arranging its goods. However, chia seeds are typically found in the organic health compartment or in the baking aisle.
Meanwhile, some grocery stores may have it on random shelves with jar food items; you can also ask the shop attendant for directions on where it’s located. When buying chia seeds, it is advisable you go for organic seeds or seeds that claim to have less chemical substance. Always buy chia seeds from a reputable supermarket.
How to Store Chia Seeds.
Dry chia seeds have a very long life span. They are packed with oils and antioxidants and will stay continually fresh if stored in an airtight container or refrigerator. They are best kept in a glass mason jar. Most people store chia seeds in dry places away from refrigerators, but the longer they stay there, the higher the chances of the oil becoming rancid.
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Possible Substitutes for Chia Seeds
There are a lot of alternatives for chia seeds; some of these alternatives include;
- Flax Seeds
Physically, they look quite the same, so having it as your first option for replacement isn’t farfetched. They are both incredibly rich in nutrients and have lots of health benefits, such as lower blood sugars, healthier health, etc. flax seeds have a far nuttier flavor than chia seeds which tastes very bland but can be used as a substitute for chia seeds.
Quinoa is a type of seed rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains, including chia seeds. It acts as a substitute for chia seeds in foods like puddings and yogurts. It tastes nutty and has an aftertaste similar to brown rice.
- Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are a great substitute for chia seeds and are far easier to get than chia. They are more cost-effective, even though they have a stronger taste and blend well with foods.
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- Oat Bran
Oat Bran is best used as a substitute in foods like puddings, smoothies, crackers, and baked foods. It is filled with protein, fiber, and vitamins and is much cheaper than chia seeds.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have a lot of health benefits. Two of the main benefits include;
- Stimulate weight loss
Chia seeds are great at aiding weight loss. It is one of the main reasons why people take chia. They help to reduce belly fat quickly. As small as two tablespoons of raw or whole chia seeds in water daily would go a long way in reducing weight.
Regulate Blood Sugar levels and helps prevent diabetics
Chia seeds help to slow digestion which helps to prevent diabetics. They contain omega-3 fatty acids that are known to be very important in the treatment of the disease.