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Monday, Sep 22, 2014
Food & Dining

We Tried It: Salba Chia Seeds

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Available at some Whole Foods Markets, Abbyís Health & Nutrition and Nutrition SíMart in Carrollwood, Get Healthy in Oldsmar and Natureís Health food Inc. in Brandon; prices vary based on product and package size; for a complete list of locations and products, go to www.salbasmart.com

The pitch: ďSalba is the richest whole food source of Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) and fiber found in nature on a gram for gram basis.Ē

The skinny: When it comes to healthy foods, chia is the cool new kid on the block, finding its place next to last yearís superstars, kale and flax seed.

Actually, chia has been around forever; itís just easier now to find chia products in health food stores.

Thatís where youíll find Denver-based Salba Smart Natural Products; itís selling its seeds whole and ground, and in tortilla chips and salsas.

I tried the whole seeds, and I was impressed. Though theyíre full of fiber, they didnít cause the stomach drama other products do, but they do keep me feeling full long past lunchtime.

Iíve tried the seeds in my morning oatmeal, and in salads, pudding and yogurt at lunch. The seeds donít add any flavor (good or bad), but there is a nice bit of texture. And later in the day, I feel as though I have more energy.

The ground seed can be used for baking to increase the nutritional value of your favorite recipes. The seeds are gluten-free, if thatís a need in your household. And they will stay fresh for months.

A couple of warnings: Chia is high in fiber, so donít overdo it. And when the seeds get wet, they form a gel coating (they look a bit like the seeds of a tomato), so youíll want to make sure those little suckers arenít stuck in your teeth.

The single serving packets (.5 ounces) are too much for me ó the one time I used a whole packet on a salad it overpowered the other ingredients. Half a packet is more than enough.

Iím a calorie-counter, and 65 calories per serving is a lot to give up for something that has no flavor, but itís worth it for the nutritional punch these seeds pack.

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