CHIA

Herbs & Superfoods - - Top 25 Super Foods -

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.

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