Chia seeds not just for pets anymore

Chia seeds not just for pets anymore

From beverages, to bread to granola, it seems food manufacturers can't get enough chia. I can understand its popularity. The seed is a fiber and protein powerhouse and a good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. It also has minimal flavor and a delightful crunch, making it a perfect addition to just about everything—or so it seems.

And what if you're not a fan of the chia crunch or find it slimy when added to beverages? At Natural Products Expo West 2012, the seeds slid seamlessly into a bevy of products. Here are three that caught my attention: 

Chia vieChia Vie
Another chia beverage? I was nonplussed until I gave this smoothie a shot. The chia seeds in this fruity drink are so finely ground you'd never know they were there. The beverage has nice body, but isn't as thick as say, a Naked Juice, and still offers protein and fiber from the chia seeds. Brilliant! Oh, and did I mention it has only three ingredients: filtered water, fruit and the chia. That's right, no sugar.  

The Chia CoThe Chia Co. Chia Oil
This cold-pressed oil can be made into salad dressings, used as a dip or eaten straight from the bottle. One serving offers, 6.1gs of ALA omega-3s. It also tastes a lot better than fish oil. Because sourcing and quality standards can be tricky with chia, this company grows, processes and packages everything they sell. Each product has a batch number that can be traced back to where the chia was grown and when it was harvested.

Wing footWing Foot Iskiate
Imagine Emergen-C for athletes. This powdered performance drink mix uses ground chia seeds for sustained energy. Each serving offers 6gs of fiber, 2gs of protein and 2655mg of omega-3s. Additional bonus? It's also high in vitamin C from lemon juice, lemon oil and ascorbic acid.  

What do you think of food manufacturer's latest fascination with chia? Trend or legitimate health food?

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