Chia is a powerful little seed with incredible health benefits. In this mouthwatering recipe collection, Mamma Chia founder Janie Hoffman invites you into her kitchen to learn the secrets of incorporating this ancient superfood into modern meals from breakfast to dinner and happy hour to dessert.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
As you read through the recipes in this book, you’ll see that it’s possible to incorporate chia into everything, and I mean everything—breakfast foods, soups, salads, cocktails, main dishes, desserts. The seeds also complement all epicurean traditions. I’ve had the good fortune to travel to many beautiful countries all over the world. I even lived in Hong Kong for a time and now reside about an hour from Mexico. This has given me a taste for the food of many cultures, and you’ll see that multiculturalism reflected in the book’s collection of varied dishes.
I lead a busy life and I’m sure you do, too, so these recipes are also designed to be quick and easy. There’s no special equipment required—using a blender and food processor is about as fancy as it gets—and the ingredients are easy to find. You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time and money or slave over a stove to work nutritious, delicious food into your life, and with these dishes, you won’t have to.
My goal has always been to expand the community of chia aficionados. When you’re on to a good thing, why not share it? Now you can also be part of the chia love train. Use this book not only to treat yourself to food that tastes terrific and boosts your well-being but also to indulge and nourish your family and friends. They’ll thank you with every delectable, delightful bite.
Chia fundamentals: from choosing to using
Everything from sourcing and storing chia to working it into a dish is very, very simple—a snap. Here are the details.
For the most versatility, I recommend that you have both black and white chia seeds on hand. Most recipes call for using one color or the other, or give you a choice between the two, but consider it a suggestion. You should feel free to choose whichever shade you prefer or to even mix them if you like (there is no taste difference). Some recipes utilize milled chia, which combines well with flour and makes a good flour substitute itself, so have that in your pantry as well—or simply grind the whole seeds on your own as needed using a spice meal or clean coffee grinder.
There are a couple of other types of chia on the market as well. Chia oil is essentially concentrated omega-3s, though it comes to you without the seeds’ fiber and protein. The oil is mild tasting and is generally used in salad dressings and baking. Chia bran is a form of chia with the omega-3 fatty acids removed and the fiber and protein left intact. I don’t use either in this book or at home—I’m personally a fan of the whole chia seed with its complete package of nutrients—but if you’re interested in experimenting, it’s nice to know there are several chia options.
Chia is primarily a tropical or subtropical crop, so most of the seeds you’ll find on the market come from Mexico, Central and South America, or Australia. I love to buy locally, and generally do, but one of the foods I make an exception for is chia. What I’m firm on, though, is buying USDA certified organic chia. Chia isn’t a particularly pesticide-ridden product. Because of its antioxidants, it’s mostly resistant to pests if grown in its native lands, so many growers in Mexico and Central America don’t use pesticides. However, most of the nonorganic growers do use herbicides and synthetic fertilizers, and since I’ve found I’m sensitive to chemicals (and I believe Mother Earth is, too), I opt for certified organic. Organic chia can be slightly more expensive (although not always), but if it fits into your budget, look for the USDA organic seal on the package to know you’re getting the real thing. I think the benefits of organic are well worth any extra cost, and at Mamma Chia, it’s what we’ve chosen to sell ourselves: we offer USDA certified organic bagged chia, as well as certified organic chia beverages and snacks (www.mammachia.com).
Chia green superfood smoothie
This superfood cleanse-style smoothie makes a supersatisfying snack. The apple juice and grapes give it just the right amount of sweetness, while the ginger and lemon provide a nice kick. If you add in a small handful of raw almonds and enjoy the whole recipe for yourself, you’ve got the perfect meal replacement.
3⁄4 cup 100% pure apple juice (not from concentrate), at room temperature
1 tablespoon white chia seeds
1 cup firmly packed fresh baby spinach or baby kale
1 cup seedless green grapes, frozen
1⁄2 cup chopped, peeled or unpeeled, English cucumber
1⁄4 Hass avocado, peeled
1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 small lemon)
2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the apple juice and chia seeds and let stand for about 20 minutes. (Makes about 7⁄8 cup apple-chia gel.)
Place the apple-chia gel, spinach, grapes, cucumber, avocado, mint, lemon juice, and ginger in a blender. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.
Table of Contentschapter one
juices, smoothies, and shakes
serrano pineapple-papaya smoothie
pomegranate, grapefruit, and ginger fizz
chia green superfood smoothie
“bananas foster” chia smoothie
chia, dark chocolate, and mint shake
amazing chia banana nut muffins zucchini-chia muffins
fajita-style chia breakfast wrap
sticky brown rice with sunny-side-up egg
overnight caprese baked egg
hot madras tofu-chia scramble with greens
roasted turkey, thyme, and chia breakfast sausage patties
chia and herb–sweet potato hash browns
cinnamon apple orchard hotcakes
peach melba amaranth porridge
blueberry compote parfaits
chia, white chocolate, and macadamia granola bars
snacks and small bites
honey-sesame chia snack mix
chia spiced california walnuts
truffle cauliflower “popcorn” with chia seeds
gluten-free sun-dried tomato chia crackers
tarragon-mustard kale chips
yellow squash and zucchini flapjacks
plantain chips with avocado-chia dip
fresh cherry tomato–green onion salsa
smoky baba ghanoush
cumin, chia seed, and cucumber raita
chia hummus with sun-dried tomatoes and za’atar
baked shiitake, spinach, and artichoke dip
roasted tomato compote with chia yogurt cheese
salads and soups
aspberry–chia dressed arugula salad with mint and almonds
bocconcini and tomato salad with chia–white balsamic vinaigrette
ancient grains salad with roasted asparagus
farro salad with mizuna, goat cheese, and goji berries
purple potato salad with avocado-chia dressing
spiced watermelon feta salad
creamy coconut ginger-carrot soup
grilled veggie sandwich with chia dijon-balsamic spread
spicy vegetarian korma with cashews
grilled tofu skewers with chia soy-ginger sauce
tuscan white beans and baby kale
black bean and yam enchilada bake
shrimp skewers with chia romesco sauce
grilled halibut with chia pesto
salmon on brioche with chia tzatziki
mediterranean pasta with tuna
mole-style chicken stew
linguine al limone with grilled chia-chicken meatballs
thai-style sweet-and-sour chicken thighs
desserts, sweet nibbles, and cocktails
figs with blue cheese and almonds
chia plum leather
coconut-cranberry chocolate truffles
gluten-free chocolate almond cookies
key lime chia cheesecake
apricot hazelnut blondies
papaya, berry, and basil sorbet
chocolate chia–covered strawberries
tart cherry–chia mimosa citrus pomegranate-peach margarita
spiked blueberry chia fizz
heirloom bloody mary vegetable garden-to-table mojito
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Chia Cookbook is so awesome! I've found tons of new Chia Seed recipes to try and add into my diet! The author describes her struggle with a terrible disorder and how nothing else helped her symptoms better than adding Chia Seeds into her daily diet. Once she found the power of these magical seeds, it made her disorder almost completely disappear. If this story doesn't make you believe in the magic of these seeds, I don't know what will. I'm sold on these amazing seeds and this Cookbook has helped me to add Chia in my diet in so many different ways! The author also is the founder of Mamma Chia which is a Chia Seed beverage sold at all the major grocery storesI What a steal! I definitely recommend!
The Chia Cookbook is an innovative new offering featuring recipes using chia seeds. I discovered chia seeds MANY years ago when I was given a chia pet as a gift. I became curious about the tiny little seeds, did some research and tried them. I've been enjoying them daily since. My dogs get them daily too! The author discovered chia years ago when she was suffering from an auto-immune disorder. When she added chia seeds to her diet and started eating organically, her disease symptoms went away. Chia seeds are quite the little power house. They are in the mint family and are loaded with omega 3s, protein, fiber, calcium and anti-oxidants. History tells us that the Aztecs powered their quests with chia. They even took little bags of them into battle. Today, the Tarahumara Indians fuel their 100+ mile runs with them. Chia is naturally non-GMO and gluten free! As someone who cannot eat gluten, that is important to me. Many of the recipes in this cookbook are GF; a few are not. A few fun facts: Chia is chameleon-like as they take on the flavor of whatever they are paired with. Chia can absorb approximately ten times its weight. Chia seeds have a LONG shelf life as archaeologists have found seeds that have survived hundreds of years without deteriorating. I normally just add them to my morning breakfast drink or my cereal. I know... I've gotten into a rut and I'm eager to try them in some new ways. The author has included an array of recipes. Some of the recipes that caught my eye were banana foster chia smoothies, chia peach jam, truffle cauliflower popcorn with chia seeds, yellow squash and zucchini flapjacks (this one sounds great but it's not GF - I'm hoping I could find a suitable substitute for the wheat flour it calls for), grilled halibut with chia pesto, GF chocolate almond cookies, key lime chia cheesecake (another I'll have to take the flour out of), chocolate chia covered strawberries and grilled veggie sandwiches with chia Dijon balsamic spread. Mmmmm... Just typing them in makes me hungry :-))) I would recommend this 160-page book to anyone who wants to add chia seeds to their diet. I'm sold...
Unlike most cookbooks that just jump into recipes, this book has an introductory section on the health benefits of food. Focusing specifically on chia seeds, the author describes how chia seeds help digestive health, immunity, and overall well-being. For recipes that incorporate chia seeds, they are elaborate yet easy to make. It is not as if the meals involve just sprinkling the seeds on them. Rather, the chia seeds are incorporated into the preparation and cooking process. From breakfast to lunch to dinner to snacks, this book has plenty of ideas. The recipes are easy to follow, and the full-color pictures are very nice. Go get a big bag of chia seeds because you will start putting them to use.