Chia seeds have become quite the hype in the health food world. While I don’t think they’ll give you ancient superpowers, I do think they make a great addition to a well-rounded keto-paleo diet.
Mayan and Aztec cultures were cultivating chia seeds long before health gurus began touting their health benefits. Chia seeds were so valuable at one point, they were used as currency!
Granted I may not be able to trade my chia seeds for a million dollars, I do value them for their nutritional qualities. Here are just some reasons why I love to include chia seeds on keto-paleo.
Helps to Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Studies suggest consuming chia seeds may help in improving glucose metabolism and reducing insulin resistance (source). Consequently, the more steady your blood sugar, the more steady your energy and mood levels.
Rich in Fiber
Around 83% of the carbs in these seeds are made up of fiber (a large portion of which is insoluble fiber). This is important because fiber helps regulate insulin levels, promotes a healthy gut by providing prebiotics and is associated with lowering the risk of many chronic illnesses (source).
Excellent Nutrient to Calorie Ratio
Chia seeds are indeed little nutrient bombs. A 100g serving would satisfy your recommended daily intake of the minerals phosphorous, copper, manganese and selenium. Furthermore, they provide a hefty dose of many more micronutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc (source).
High in Protein and Fat
One ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons), contain 4g of protein and 4.9g of omega-3 fatty acids. Coupled with their ability to soak up water and fiber content, they’ll help you feel fuller for longer!
How to Use Chia Seeds
When left to soak in a liquid, these little black and white seeds turn gelatinous. Hence they make a great substitute in keto-paleo eating for recipes like pudding, porridge, smoothies and baked treats. In this particular recipe, the chia seeds take on the flavor of the vanilla and coconut. Furthermore, baking allows you to make a shelf-stable snack to take on the road. Finally, the cashew nuts give it that extra creamy, crunchy surprise. What is there not to love?
- Serves: 6 bars
- Serving size: 1 bar
- Calories: 164
- Fat: 14 gr
- Carbohydrates: 3.5 gr NET
- Fiber: 6 gr
- Protein: 4 gr
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup shredded dried coconut meat, unswetened
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon confectioners Swerve
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup cashews
- Soak the chia seeds in the ½ cup of water for about 15 minutes, until they become gelatinous.
- Now pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the soaked chia seeds with the shredded coconut, coconut oil, confectioners Swerve and vanilla extract, until all ingredients are well blended. You can use a spoon or your hands.
- At the end add the cashews and mix in.
- Line a 9"x9" oven pan with parchment paper.
- Place the chia coconut mix on the parchment paper and flatten with your hands until it fills the whole space. Should become about ¾" thick.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden at the edges and dry in the middle. You can insert a toothpick in the middle to check dryness.
- Let cool in the pan, then remove and cut into 6 bars or 9 squares.