Chia Seeds

Useful gardening information
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 it was as important as maize as a food crop. Ground or whole chia seeds are still used in Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala for nutritious drinks and as a food source.
Chia is an annual herb growing up to 5 feet tall. 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.
According to the USDA, a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of protein, 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese. These nutrient values are similar to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame.
In 2009, the European Union approved chia seeds as a novel food, allowing up to 5% of a bread product's total matter.
Chia seeds may be added to other foods as a topping or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, energy bars, granola bars, yogurt, made into a gelatin-like substance, or consumed raw.

Links to useful information on the web:
How I grow and harvest Chia

Chia seed benifits


Z2827 Chia Seed ( Salvia hispanica )
Chia is an annual herb growing to 3 feet tall. Its flowers are purple or white and are produced in numerous clusters in a spike at the end of each stem. Very easy to grow, just be careful not to overwater.

The plant grows as an annual in all climates and as a perennial ornamental in Zones 9 through 11.
Makes a wonderful windowsill potting plant and an attractive addition to the garden.

Chia seed is the edible seed that comes from this desert plant, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets, but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. It's been written that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.

Chia is undergoing something of a renaissance after centuries of neglect. It was a major crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C. and was still cultivated well into the 16th century, AD, but after the Spanish conquest, authorities banned it because of its close association with Aztec religion (Indians used the seeds as offerings in rituals). Until recently, chia was produced by only a few small growers, but commercial production has resumed and it has become one of the hottest health foods marketed.

Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.

Another advantage: when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.

Chia has a nutlike flavor. You can mix seeds in water and add lime or lemon juice and sugar to make a drink known in Mexico and Central America as "chia fresca." As with ground flax seeds, you can sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, in yogurt or salads, eat them as a snack, or grind them and mix them with flour when making muffins or other baked goods.

9g pack ( about 5,000 seeds ) $3.95


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