Chia Gel for my Zucchini :)

How many of you have seen those funny, sorta cheesy, yet cute Chia pets?

Did you realize those crazy plant pets had actual health benefits?
Maybe not by sitting on your desk or kitchen window :) but in your body.

IMG_9734Chia seeds is something I recently learned about through my mom actually. She was over at my house one day and poured these tiny black seeds all over her cereal. The thought of seeds on my cereal at 1st just seemed strange, but when I took the time to look into it more – it sounded awesome!

So I ordered myself a pound of chia seeds & began the research.

Want to know what these tiny seeds contain?

Sure you do! :-D

* They contain the highest plant source of Omega-3 on the planet!
* They are great for …
* Heart Health
* Mental Health
* Digestive Health
* Great for Diabetics
* Effective for Treating Hypoglycemia.
* They contain more Antioxidants than blueberries.
* They are a complete protein with all 9 amino-acids.
* They are an excellent source of Calcium, Magnesium & Iron.
* They are 100% natural and raw.
* Chia seeds are Certified Kosher, NON-GMO & GLUTEN-FREE.
* Chia Seeds also are an effective aid to healthy weight loss. The fiber in chia is a slowly metabolized carb & can help to curb the appetites. Chia has been shown to help lose weight when included with a balanced and healthy diet.

Need some more benefits? Here you go…

Promotes Cardiovascular Health:

According to the American Heart Association, Omega-3 fatty acids can normalize blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, while helping promote healthy heart and blood vessels.

Assists Joint Function & Mobility:

With six times more calcium than milk, and with greater amounts of high-quality protein than the one found in soy, Chia also helps strengthen muscles and bones.

Improves Digestion & Natural Detoxification:

Chia can absorb a whopping 12+ times its weight in water – flax seed only absorbs 6-8 times its weight. Chia´s insoluble fiber reduces digestive transit time and removes toxins as it passes through the digestive tract.

& as stated above…
Supports Healthy Weight Loss:

Chia´s high fiber content and its ability to reduce blood sugar levels after meals inhibits the appetite, thus making it the perfect food for healthy, effective weight loss. Thanks to its neutral flavor and color, Chia integrates seamlessly into any healthy recipe.

There is lots more to learn about these nutrition packed seeds & if you are interested in learning more, check out the Chia Seed’s website. All the information above was taken from that site – but I also read a number of other sites with great information very similar as well.

So the real question is, how can I use these? besides throwing them on my cereal :-)

IMG_9730

Well, one other really interesting thing about Chia, if you read above :)
It can absorb 12+ its weight in water! Which results in what they call CHIA GEL.

IMG_9731
… heres how you make it

Chia Gel Recipe:

1 tbsp dry Chia seeds
9 tbsp filtered water (or other liquid)

Stir together the Chia and water with a fork. This helps to prevent it from clumping. As you can see in my photo of the chia in water, some of it sunk to the bottom and some floated. So give it a good stir. Leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes on the counter. After that time the bowl or glass will have a thick gel type substance. If you look closely you will see the seeds suspended inside the gel substance. You’ve turned 1 tablespoon of seeds into 9 tablespoons of useful gel. This is Chia Gel, and it can be used instead of butter or oil in recipes.

-Recipe source for Chia Gel

I decided to put this recipe TO THE TEST in a Healthy Delicious Zucchini Bread.

Here is the recipe w/ my tweaks using the Chia Gel:

Ingredients

* 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
* 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil (Instead of Veg. Oil, I USED a 1/2 cup of Chia Gel)
* 1/2 cup applesauce
* 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
* 1 cup white sugar (or raw sugar cane)
* 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 cups grated zucchini
* 1 cup chocolate chips (optional – I did one loaf with, one without)

IMG_9736

Directions

1. Grease and flour loaf pans or muffin tins (or use parchment paper/muffin cups)
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
3. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together in a medium sized bowl.
4. Beat eggs, oil (CHIA GEL), applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.
5. Add dry ingredients to the mixture and beat well.
6. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips (if using) until well combined.

IMG_9746

IMG_9747

7. Pour batter into prepared bans.
8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes for loaf or about 20 minutes for muffins, until tester inserted into the centre comes out clean (I find the time really varies depending on how full I make the pans, so that tester really is key!)
9. Remove bread/muffins from the pan and completely cool.
10. If you are making cupcakes, let them cool completely (ideally overnight) and then add cream cheese icing to the top.

This recipe makes TWO loafs. Or 24 muffins.
Again this was adapted from PhD in Parenting.

SO, if you are looking to try something new – that is a super food :) – then give Chia a chance.

IMG_9765-1IMG_9753-1

My pickiest son Taite tried this Zucchini bread and gobbled it up (his loaf of course had chocolate in it hehe), that in itself is evidence that chia as an oil or butter replacer makes no difference in the taste :-) – Enjoy!

IMG_9766-1


O, and if you are Chia Seed Users already ;-) – how about sharing your favorite ways to incorporate Chia into your food.

11 Responses to Chia Gel for my Zucchini :)

  1. Aura says:

    Wow- this is a great post and full of tons of Chia information. I mostly throw the chia seeds in salads and cereal but I definitely would like to try baking with them. It’s a power seed with so many health benefits! It’s good to see Taite eat this healthy Zucchini bread.

  2. Dreawood says:

    @Aura, All the boys loved it. I got up the next morning and half the loaf was gone. Caleb, Taite and Owen chowed it down, COLD – I didnt even have to toast it or anything.

  3. Bridget says:

    I JUST learned about chia seeds last week in my cooking class! The insturctor said that you can put them in anything and they don’t impact the taste. Thanks for reminding me!!

  4. Kirstin says:

    Mmm I love chia seeds. I use them in some double chocolate chip cookies it makes tasty cookies. I also love having chia pudding for breakfast. To make this I use milk instead of water to make a chia gel and sweeten with a little bit of honey, sometimes I add vanilla and berries. It is a yummy breakfast and my 2 year old loves it too.

  5. Miranda says:

    Ohhh I definitely want to order some!! Good post!!

  6. Babs Harrell says:

    Andrea – can you look on your bag and see if there is anything about being processed with peanuts or tree nuts. My son is allergic. I would love to try to order some of these and try to use it instead of oil too! :)

  7. Sheena says:

    Carrington’s sister wrote a post on Lifetime Moms about Chia and I’ve been meaning to check it out. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Dreawood says:

    I looked on my bag and theres nothing abt nuts or anything.. but to be sure I would just contact whoever it is you are buying your chia from. It may be different for each company?

  9. Yaz says:

    This recipe came out PERFECTLY and the muffins are so delicious!!!! Thank you! The only thing I changed was the cooking temp and time: since I’m at high altitude, the muffins took 35 min to cook at 350degF.

  10. Curtis W. says:

    @Aura,

    My wife has started using chia in her orange juice of a morning. I saw the receipe for the zuc bread, other than the chia gell can the whole chia seed be used as well?

  11. Dreawood says:

    Im sure you can put the chia seeds in the recipe as well – but I just used the chia gel in it (the seeds are in the gel)

Leave a reply

What is 13 + 7 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)