Been eating a lot of chia seeds lately. I really like these little seeds as a munchie for the trail or while sitting around camp. Just thought you might like to read a bit about them. I get mine from the local "Hippy" Co-op store, but I suppose you could harvest them yourself if you are not lazy like me.
Tomahawk Scouts Out!
As per Wikipedia;
Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The 16th century Codex Mendoza provides evidence that it was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times; economic historians have suggested that it was as important as maize as a food crop. It is still used in Mexico and Guatemala, with the seeds sometimes ground, while whole seeds are used for nutritious drinks and as a food source.
The word chia is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily. The present Mexican state of Chiapas received its name from the Nahuatl "chia water" or "chia river."
It is one of the two plants known as chia, the other being Salvia columbariae which is more commonly known as the golden chia.
Chia is an annual herb growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, with opposite leaves 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) long and 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) broad. Its flowers are purple or white and are produced in numerous clusters in a spike at the end of each stem. Chia is hardy from USDA Zones 9-12. Many plants cultivated as S. hispanica are actually S. lavandulifolia.
Seedsseed, a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25–30% extractable oil, including α-linolenic acid (ALA). Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of about 1 mm (0.039 in). They are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white.
Chia seed is traditionally consumed in Mexico, and the southwestern United States, but is not widely known in Europe. Chia (or chian or chien) has mostly been identified as Salvia hispanica L. Today, chia is grown commercially in its native Mexico, and in Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Australia, and Guatemala. In 2008, Australia was the world's largest producer of chia. A similar species, Salvia columbariae or golden chia, is used in the same way but is not grown commercially for food. Salvia hispanica seed is marketed most often under its common name "chia", but also under several trademarks.
Food preparationIn 2009, the European Union approved chia seeds as a novel food, allowing up to 5% of a bread product's total matter.
Chia seed may be eaten raw as a whole seed, providing protein, fats, and fiber. Ground chia seed is sometimes added to pinole, a coarse flour made from toasted maize kernels. Chia seeds placed in water or fruit juice are consumed in Mexico and known as chia fresca. The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are used in gruels, porridges, and puddings. Ground chia seed is used in baked goods including breads, cakes, and biscuits.
Chia sprouts are used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads, sandwiches and other dishes. Chia sprouts are sometimes grown on porous clay figurines which has led to the popular U.S. cultural icon of the Chia Pet.
The seeds can also be placed in water, juices or tea producing a mucilage which can be consumed as a beverage.
Nutrient content and potential health benefitsDaily Value for protein (4g), 13% fat (9g) (57% of which is ALA) and 42% dietary fiber (11g), based on a daily intake of 2000 calories. The seeds also contain the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium in amounts comparable to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame.
Although some research indicates potential for dietary health benefits in certain disease conditions, this work remains sparse and inconclusive.