Tiny black chia seeds are creating a bit of a buzz - they are the brand new superfood don’t you know?! We’re told that whilst providing hardly any calories they contain stacks of health benefits ranging from being high in fibre, omega-3 and protein and also containing antioxidants, potassium and calcium.
Once a dietary staple of the Aztec and Mayan people, chia seeds were originally ground into a flour and used to make flatbread, or soaked in water for a drink. When soaked the seeds expand in size and take on a strange gel-like, frog’s spawny appearance. This drink, which is high in fibre, is also very filling and (it has been suggested) could dramatically help with loosing dress size or two. Alternatively you could sprinkle over your breakfast cereal and the seeds will expand in the stomach, keeping one feeling fuller for longer.
Weight loss aside these seeds are without doubt an incredible source of fibre and omega 3 so absolutely worth having a bag or two in your cupboard.
BANANA & CHIA SEED LOLLY
This one is easy. Simply whiz up ripe banana’s and mix with a tablespoon or so of Greek yoghurt and 1 tbsp chia seeds. Dollop the mixture into lolly moulds and place sticks in the center. Freeze overnight. Mine made 6 little lollies.
CELERIAC & CHIA SEED CUPCAKE
Makes 16 cakes
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon chia seeds
3 medium eggs
200g caster sugar
200ml vegetable oil
2 teaspoons good-quality vanilla extract
250g grated fresh celeriac
For the lemon buttercream
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g sifted icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons milk, or enough for the frosting to reach a piping consistency
Fresh lemon zest, for decoration
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger into a large bowl and set aside.
2. Using a mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla on medium speed until fully combined. Reduce to low speed and add in the grated celeriac. Now slowly add the flour mixture until well combined.
3. Fill each muffin case quite high, about two thirds full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then take each muffin out and cool completely before icing.
4. Beat the butter until light and fluffy and slowly add the icing sugar. Once combined, and with the food-processor on low, add in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, chia seeds, salt and milk. The consistency should be creamy but still thick. Beat the mixture on medium high for a further 2–3 minutes. The icing should become very light and fluffy.
5. Pipe the buttercream onto your cooled muffins and top with lemon zest and chia seeds.