Say chia to wellness

Wholesome bite

Say chia to wellness

The culinary world is always abuzz with a new dish, ingredient or cooking technique. While the chia seed has been around for quite sometime, it is only of late that it is being sought after by many for its health benefits and for enhancing the visual appeal of certain preparations. The seed, though, is expensive and needs to be used judiciously, say experts.

Ranjani Raman, dietician and nutrition consultant, Nutrilife, says that the seed is gaining popularity among health conscious people. “Chia seeds contain a good amount of fibre and healthy fat. Many people are incorporating them in their regular diet. However, it’s advisable to not consume it in its raw form as it is not easily digestible. They should be soaked overnight in water and then eaten by themselves or used in juices and desserts,” she says.

She adds that one should experiment with small quantities first and watch out for any allergies. “It’s best to start with about half a tablespoon each day and gradually increase the quantity. Also, those with any kind of health problems should check with a doctor or expert before consumption.”

Priyanka Rohatgi, clinical dietician, Apollo Hospitals, says that chia seeds are a nice cooling agent. “It’s a good mix of vitamins and minerals and one of the best ways of getting nutrient-dense food in its natural form,” she says. She highlights that the reason behind soaking it overnight is to properly get the bio-availability of nutrients.

Of course, the seed is being used in delicious and exotic preparations by bloggers and chefs in the city too. Subhasmita Panigrahi, a food blogger, recently prepared two interesting dishes with it. “I made a ‘chia pudding with thandai masala’ and a dessert using yogurt, granola, mango and chia. Both of these turned out really well,” she says.

Though Subhasmita did not like the taste of chia seeds initially, she is now quite fond of them.

 “As it is Summer, I thought of making a change and eating a healthy breakfast. I generally soak two-and-a-half tablespoon chia seeds overnight in a glass of fresh coconut milk and place it in the refrigerator. In the morning, I add some jaggery or honey for sweetening, probably a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom powder and some fruit like banana or mango to it. It’s cool, refreshing and light on the tummy. Add to that, it’s an energising breakfast with an interesting twist.”

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