Ingredient Intros: Flax and Chia

Since last week’s P:FB post, I’ve had some questions about flaxseed and its counterpart, chia.  Here is a brief intro to both products.  Feel free to comment or e-mail with any questions!  And if there is ever an ingredient I post that you aren’t sure of, feel free to ask!

FLAX

Whole and Ground Flaxseed

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You can purchase flax either whole or ground up (flaxseed meal/ ground flax). Ideally you purchase it whole and grind just as much as you need each day but until I move in with beau and can take over his coffee grinder, I buy it ground. Its best to store it in the fridge.

Flax has a great balance of Omega-3s:6s, is fairly low in fat, and has fiber and protein. Its a seed (obviously) so its a whole food, plant-based source of all those amazing things.

So what can you do with it? Well the basic Green Monster (greenmonstermovement.com) calls for its (1Tbsp flax, 2 c spinach, 1 c non-dairy milk, 1 frozen banana) and I add it it all my smoothies. I also will pour (as in layer it on thiiiiiiick) onto cereal, oatmeal, etc. It has a nutty, earthy flavor that some people don’t love but I’ve become obsessed with. *You can’t taste it at all in the smoothie.

You can also make a flax “egg” (2Tbsp flax + 3Tbsp warm water) to replace chicken eggs in baking. And there are a million other uses…especially raw desserts and raw protein bars (Mama Pea has a recipe for Kind bars that has flax + almonds + apricots + liquid sweetener).

*WHEW*

CHIA

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Chia is also a seed but its a little higher in fat than flax AND is a complete protein (meaning it provides all your amino acids). Chia seeds can absorb up to 10x their volume so its PERFECT for Overnight Oats (Ohsheglows.com, then go to her recipage and search for the basic one). Some people will just mix it with water and swig it back as a protein-filled fuel before working out.

Dr. Oz made it a “wonder drug” to help with weight loss and blah blah but only because it has a good balance of nutrients to make you feel full (plus that expansion-with-liquid thing) but to me, its just another great whole food.  Personally, I like putting it + flax on top of my cereal. There’s also chia puddings and the like that are super delish.

You can bake with chia as well but usually you want to go for a recipe that calls for it rather than trying to adjust it because it does suck up so much.

Sometimes I’ll put chia into my smoothie but you have to be careful or else you end up with tapioca-pudding consistency. Still delish, but not ideal for grab-and-go.

That’s it!

Looking forward to introducing you to many more fantabulous ingredients!

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

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