Chia seeds ( Salvia hispanica) are packed with fibre and protein and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They provide the body with vitamins A,B, D and E, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, thiamine and zinc. Chia seeds also help to modulate blood sugar, which is great news for diabetics. Although tiny, chia seeds absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, which helps the human body stay hydrated longer.
Sow directly in spring when the soil has warmed, or sow in containers indoors. Sprinkle the seeds onto the soil surface and lightly press with your fingers into the soil. Water gently and reduce watering after the seedlings emerge.
Plants can grow 60cm high or taller, and produce pale blue flowers. Water well to keep plants growing well, then harvest your chia as soon as most of the petals have fallen off the flower. Put the flower heads in paper bags or on a drying rack to dry.
When dry, gently crush the flower heads to extract the seeds. Some seeds will fall out into the bag on their own, but most will need gentle manipulation to remove.