Chia pets or survival food

chia-pet-puppyRemember those silly little Chia Pets? Little did we know then that those strange little seeds painted on those cheesy terracotta pots shaped like animals were actually GOOD for us… It turns out that they are, they are high in vitamins, minerals, loads of fiber and it’s a better source of omega’s than flax seeds are. This is a very good survival food.

It’s supposed to be good for diabetics too, I will not repeat what I have read on line in the last hour or so, it’s very easy to look up. Google Chia Seeds

Sept 14, 2009

In an attempt to eat better, in the past I started out eating psyllium husk for the fiber content. Honestly it was not pleasant, it never completely dissolved in water, it was like trying to drink sawdust and it contained no nutritional value. Then I discovered flaxseed. Unlike psyllium husk, flax seed contains nutrients, and a good taste to boot. I would buy the whole seeds and grind what I wanted to eat, I even considered growing my own flax to get fresher seeds but never actually did it. I recently stumbled upon chia seeds on line and it turns out that these little seeds are not only edible, they are extremely healthy, they are even better than flax seeds, that combined with the fact that they contain so much antioxidants, they do not go rancid (as fast) as flax seeds or other seeds in this category. Of course, like anything, they will eventually go rancid, but no where near as fast as other seeds.

So I went into town last week (gasp!) with the intent on going to our local whole foods type market. Sure enough, they carried the magical seeds, I was hoping they would have them in bulk, but they only seemed to carry them prepackaged. They had 2 different jars of seeds, one was better priced than the other so that’s the one I chose, Upon getting it home, I took began breaking into the jar. First I had to get through the plastic ribbon they place around the lid. Got through that OK, next was the seal on the top of the jar, it didn’t come off as easy. I finally got it open without spilling any of the seeds.

ChiaInside the jar were the tiniest seeds, much smaller than flax seeds. They were also kind enough to include a scoop inside the jar. One scoop is one serving. You are supposed to put a scoop full of seeds into a glass of water, stir briskly, allow it to sit for a while, stir again then drink. The seeds do not play well with the water, at first… once you get the clumps mixed with the water, then it becomes magical. Each seed splits and absorbs water to make a little round gelatinous blob.

I tried drinking it with plain water, it didn’t taste bad, or good, in fact it really had no taste. I decided to put a spoon full of sugar in it (I know, that’s not very nutritious…), that made it much easier to drink. It’s recommended to chase it with another glass of water. Mountain Man Bob was trying to decide if it looked like fish eyes or fish eggs, leave it up to him to come up with something that gross… A friend suggested it was like tapioca pudding, double yuck, I detest tapioca pudding! Fortunately it is really not anything like those things.

I can say that it IS full of fiber, the next day I had one of the best and biggest, well lets just say I had a good movement. ;) Sorry if that’s TMI… If you are having any sort of trouble in that area, I’d say that a helping of chia seeds and a glass of water, the following day you should not have that trouble.

I just finished a dose of chia seeds, this time I added a packet of Emergen-C, it flavored the chia seed gel quite nicely and it’s good for me. I think I’ll be taking my chia seeds in this manner from now on.

Sept 15, 2009

Today I decided to grind up the chia seeds with my coffee/spice grinder. It’s not necessary to do this, but I read that it makes for a smoother drink. I just tasted the ground chia seeds and water, it’s not bad, it really has no flavor of its own, I could see adding this to smoothies or hot cereals and you would never know it was there. You can also add this to other foods, again there is a lot already written about this on line, I’ll not repeat it here. I will add a packet of Emergen-C for extra nutrients and flavor. I just drank the concoction and it’s not bad, not bad at all. :) Especially for something that is healthy.

It also turns out that it grows in desert conditions very well, it likes full sun and low water, that’s exactly what I have an abundance of. I’ll experiment with sprouting it over the winter, and I’ll definately plant some next spring, maybe I’ll make an animal shaped mound and make my own chia pet. :)

So for a survival food and a health food, it’s high on the list, it doesn’t go rancid, it’s full of nutrients, antioxidants, omega 3s, vitamins, minerals, fiber and too many other good things to list here. This might come in very handy in a TEOTWAWKI situation, if we are eating out of cans because we can’t get fresh foods, then supplementing that with chia seeds and chia sprouts would go a long way to making us healthier during that time. I’m not waiting though, I’m doing it now for the health benefits. I would suggest buying whole seeds, not ground seeds or meal, it’s not difficult to grind them yourself, it’s also not necessary to grind them at all, just soak in water, flavor if you wish and drink.

If you can’t find chia seeds where you live, you can order them here:

Chia Seed






6 Responses

  1. Hm.. Emergen-C – I will have to try that. I usually just drink the seeds with plain water and have to choke it down, gagging a little. I just can’t get used to that weird tapioca-like consistency!

    1. Emily, yeah I know, I don’t like the tapioca feel either (I hate tapioca! Ewww, lumpy pudding????) Sometimes I just add a little sugar or I add some raw honey or agave nectar, it really helps it go down better.

  2. Chia was called Indian running food, because a spoonful of seeds was supposed to sustain them for an entire day.

    When the seeds are swollen in juice, especially lemonade, the drink is called a chia fresca.

    The leaves are good in salsa and herbal teas, and the entire plant has dozens of medicinal uses.

    1. penlem18, I hope I never have to survive on a single spoonful of chia seeds per day, but it’s nice to know it can be done, or at least it has been done. A few nights ago, I had a bowl of chicken noodle soup, I added a scoop of chia seeds and allowed it to expand in the soup. It made the soup heartier, thicker, tastier, I added much fewer crackers (basically empty calories) to my soup and loved it just as much.

      Thanks for commenting,

    1. MsBelinda, yeah I was surprised too to find out that the lowly, as seen on TV, chia (minus the pet) was good for you, I shudder to think about all those chia seeds being wasted on chia pets, but on the other hand, that business may have been the thing that kept the chia seeds around, perhaps they would have fallen completely into obscurity without the chia pet industry to keep them going until people could see and re-learn the truth about the health benefits of chia seeds.

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