Ch-ch-ch-chia! It’s for breakfast.
You heard me right.
I’m eating Chia. Out of a bowl. With almond milk. Voluntarily.
Chia Goodness contacted me a little over a month ago to ask if I would like to sample their new cereal and I happily agreed, remembering the hairy Chia plant characters of my youth with a fond sigh. They sent me Original, Cranberry Ginger, and Apple Almond Cinnamon.
- Small package! (I discovered that this is because the recommended serving size is 2 tablespoons which gets you 140 calories before adding milk or water.)
- Looks like bird seed or… chia pet pre-sprouting!
I immediately opened the Cranberry Ginger package and ate a raw scoopful. Mmm. Nutty, like bird seed. And a little salty (not too). Pumpkin seeds and shelled hemp seeds. Definitely felt like health food. Then I read the directions, which instructed that rather than eating it raw, I was supposed to lubricate it. Specifically, “Add 4 tablespoons hot or cold water or choice of milk. Stir well.”
Simple cereal strategy except for the next step in the instructions: “Wait 3-5 minutes or until it thickens.”
The result was semi-mushy seeds with a snappy core. The chia seeds develop a gelatinous exterior when you allow them to soak for a while, which increases the Chia volume in your bowl substantially, though it still only takes a little of the stuff to fill your gut. Powerful punch!
I’m not sure how I feel about the texture, but I’ve been eating it consistently for a while now, so it can’t be all bad, right?
Healthological Statistics (It’s good for you.)
From a health perspective, Chia seems poised to make a play as the next big Superfood.
Here are the most important nutritional stats (from the Original version, other flavors vary):
- Five times the calcium of milk
- More Omega 3 than salmon
- Protein (6g per serving… not bad for a seed)
- Fiber (5g)
Not bad for cereal!
I’m not a cereal person because it usually doesn’t make me feel full or satiated. Despite the protein and fiber, the Chia Goodness was no different for me, but I solved the problem (as I do with most cereal) by pairing it with fresh fruit. That left me feeling full and energized.
As I mentioned, the texture is potentially challenging but not totally prohibitive to enjoyment. The added-flavor varieties have just a tiny bit of sugar (3 or 4 grams) and are yummy, though I usually prefer to maintain control over breakfast-cereal embellishments.
I tried the Chia with soy milk, non-fat dairy milk, almond milk and water and found that almond milk was my favorite (Almond Breeze) and water was my least favorite. Your choice of lubricants will definitely affect your experience – choose wisely.
Where to get it
Portland peeps can pick it up at New Seasons Market and those of you in other locations can use the Store Locator to track down the Chia Goodness.