I have exhibited at the Women's EXPO five times. When I first started, in 2008, almost none of my customers knew that chia seeds were edible. I sold a few Chia Pets that year, and enough chia seeds to cover the cost of my exhibitor fee.
This year, virtually everyone who stopped at my table was familiar with chia seeds. Many stated that they had a pound of chia seeds in their kitchen that they didn't know what to do with. Others told me that they stir a spoonful of chia seed into their morning oatmeal. This year I had the opportunity to share literature and offer tastes of products donated by my sponsors. Health Warrior Chia Bars were especially popular, as were the ChiaBia Bars donated by Arizona Chia.
My $2 Chia Card Kits were a big seller this year, for the first time. Maybe I'll try to put them on Etsy one of these days.
For the first time this year, I exhibited at Stony Brook University's Wellness Expo. Over 2,000 students and staff attended. I invited participants to sample chia products donated by our sponsors, and to submit a simple "Chia Taste Test" evaluation form in exchange for a free sample: bars, whole seeds, or Chia Pets!
I found that not many students were aware of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds, but they were very enthusiastic about the products they sampled, especially the Mamma Chia Vitality Beverage.
A 39-year-old North Carolina man swallowed a spoonful of whole chia seeds, followed by a glass of water.
For two weeks he was unable to swallow anything else, because the chia had gotten stuck at the base of his esophagus and hydrated there into a hard dry ball of chia gel. He needed an endoscopy. His doctor performed one and removed the ball of seeds with difficulty. While inside of him, she took a snapshot with a little endoscopic camera. View this photo if you dare. Eew.
“It got to be this sort of almost Play-Doh-like consistency, very hard in terms of a liquid but also sort of soft,” says Dr. Rebecca Rawl, MD, the gastroenterology fellow at Carolinas HealthCare System who helped treat the patient. As reported by @MandyOaklander at TIME.com.
Citation: Rebecca Rawl MD, MPH, Lauren Browne MD. WATCH IT GROW: ESOPHAGEAL IMPACTION WITH CHIA SEEDS. Program No. P643. ACG 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. Philadelphia, PA: American College of Gastroenterology.
The "Chia Seed Challenge" is an experiment popular among pre-teens like these. The consequences aren't good and could potentially be even more serious than what happens at 3:27, below. Eew. Don't watch.
... I used spiced tea to flavour my experimental Chai Chia
Pudding. I also just liked the way that it sounded…
Here’s what I did, which I highly discourage you from trying at home:
1 cup water, 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened), 6 Tbsp Chia seeds
(whole), 1 Tbsp brown cane sugar (could use honey or agave syrup as
well), 2 Chai tea bags.
Brew the tea in the liquid until nice and flavourful. Add sugar until
dissolved and chill until room temperature. Add Chia seeds. stir and
chill, stirring occasionally for a few hours. Blend in a food processor
until evenly mixed up, and spoon into serving dishes. Let set in fridge
about 2 hours. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top to serve.
If you really like the consistency
of snot, then this recipe is for you! Chia can hold 14 times its weight
in water, which turns into a jelly surrounding the seed. It is quite
strange and kind of intriguing. There is a myriad of health benefits to
take into consideration, but they still remain a funny texture. When I
showed my friend what I was doing, he said “well what do you expect,
Zara? Look what you put in it!” I laughed out loud and scraped the bowl
clean to spite him. It didn’t taste bad at all, but the texture is
something that may be an acquired affection.
NOTE from Margaret: In my opinion, she shouldn't have put it in the food processor...
Grow-A-Heads are not Chia Pets. They are grass-growing plastic figures, preseeded with rye grass. You soak
the head, fill the vase with water, and use the included plastic container
as a greenhouse. In about 5-7 days, the grass hair begins to grow from
its initial germination. The head of "hair" is fed with water from a
wick and lasts a long time. See a review here.
In the process of forming gels, the seeds may
also gather up impurities in the liquid. The ancient Aztec people, if
they got dirt or ash in their eye in battle, would actually allow a Chia
Seed to be dropped into their eye. (This is not recommended, you are
not an ancient Aztec warrior) The seed would then go to work absorbing
their eye-water and any debris along with it. The seed and debris could
then be easily removed and the eye was clear again.
The same thing
happens when dry seeds are added to your stomach. Particles, bacteria
and liquids are 'captured' when the seeds form their gel.
Matt, of No Meat Athlete, has adopted much of the diet of the Tarahumara people, the super-marathon runners of Sierra Madre who popularized chia eating among runners, a few years ago. (Read Born to Run.)
You may not be ready to give up meat, but a nice bowl of pinole and chia might be a good way to start your day.
I'm pleased to announce that Matt has finally come out with his book, published October 1. BE THE FIRST to read it:
........From the Amazon blurb............
Combining the winning elements of proven training approaches, motivational stories, and innovative recipes, No Meat Athlete
is a unique guidebook, healthy-living cookbook, and nutrition primer
for the beginner, every day, and serious athlete who wants to live a
meatless lifestyle. Author and popular blogger, Matt Frazier, will show
you that there are many benefits to embracing a meat-free athletic
- Weight loss, which often leads to increased speed
- Easier digestion and faster recovery after workouts
- Improved energy levels to help with not just athletic performance but your day-to-day life
- Reduced impact on the planet
your motivation for choosing a meat-free lifestyle, this book will take
you through everything you need to know to apply your lifestyle to your
training. Matt Frazier provides practical advice and tips on how to
transition to a plant-based diet while getting all the nutrition you
need; uses the power of habit to make those changes last; and offers up
menu plans for high performance, endurance, and recovery. Once you’ve
mastered the basics, Matt delivers a training manual of his own design
for runners of all abilities and ambitions. The manual provides training
plans for common race distances and shows runners how to create healthy
habits, improve performance, and avoid injuries.
No Meat Athlete will take you from the start to finish line, giving you encouraging tips, tricks, and advice along the way.