“The Chia Cookbook” by Janie Hoffman….Review

Since the fall of 2012, I’ve been very conscious of the need for daily fiber in my diet.  A nutritionist introduced me to the wonders of chia that fall, and I’ve incorporated it into my daily routine ever since!

Many of you may just be familiar with chia from the Chia Pets products and jingle.  But it’s much, much more than just a commercial jingle and “As Seen On TV” planter.  Chia is actually not only a powerhouse of antioxidants, protein, Omega-3s and calcium, it is absolutely full of fiber that is very easy on the human body.  I add chia to my diet every day, but I was very excited to explore some more varied ways to include this wonderful seed!

Janie Hoffman's "The Chia Cookbook"

Janie Hoffman’s “The Chia Cookbook”

The chia seed has been around a long time, even though many of us today may not have a lot of familiarity with it.  Warrior Aztec Indians famously carried little bags of it with them on trips, although it was widely used in ancient Central American culture for both nourishing food and drink.  It’s very easy to cook with; because it has so little flavor of its own, it blends easily into just about anything you’d want to add it to without changing a dish’s taste or texture.

Here are some of the amazing properties of chia (and this is only a short list!).  Two tablespoons will give you the following (plus many other great benefits I’m not listing here!)

  • 4.7 grams of protein
  • 5.1 grams of Omega-3s
  • 9.8 grams of fiber
  • 179 milligrams of calcium
  • 115 milligrams of potassium
  • and even Vitamins C, E, A, folate and riboflavin!

Chia comes in both black and white varieties.  There’s no taste difference in the two; you might just consider the appearance of your dish if you don’t want the seeds to show.  We’ve gotten to the point that we don’t even notice them, frankly!  It can also be an aid for weight loss, while actually adding all those great components to your diet.

Author Janie Hoffman has included an enormous recipe collection in The Chia Cookbook that covers everything from breakfasts, to soups and salads, to main dishes….even to drinks, smoothies and desserts!  And you’ll find offerings from all over the world, which is fabulous if you like to bring variety to your table.  Chia gel (which is formed when the seed is exposed to liquid) can be substituted for egg in baking or other recipes, and you can also create gel for condiments, soups or smoothies.  Hoffman gives clear directions on how to do this in the book.

Here are some of the amazing recipes included in The Chia Cookbook:

  • Pomegranate, Grapefruit and Ginger Fizz
  • Chia-Berry Shake (this is one of our favorite smoothies)
  • Chia-Peach Jam
  • Sticky Brown Rice with  Sunny-Side Up Egg
  • Chia, White Chocolate and Macadamia Granola Bars
  • Chia Hummus with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Za’atar
  • Baked Shiitake, Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • Creamy Coconut Ginger-Carrot Soup
  • Tuscan White Beans and Baby Kale
  • Black Bean and Yam Enchilada Bake
  • Salmon on Brioche with Chia Tzatzkiki
  • Coconut-Cranberry Chocolate Truffles
  • Papaya, Berry and Basil Sorbet

Honestly, this list (along with others in the cookbook) just makes my mouth water!  While we’ve used chia in smoothies for quite awhile, and often include it with applesauce or yogurt, I’ve generally been at a loss as to how to include it in all our meals or other recipes.  In The Chia Cookbook, Janie Hoffman has provided interesting recipes that are easily accessible (in most recipes) for the home cook, who’ll be thrilled to create amazing new treats for every moment of the day!

The Chia Cookbook will appeal to anyone who’s interesting in cooking with recipes that will add health and vitality to home life.  I imagine that anyone who uses this cookbook will discover what an amazing addition chia makes to life and health!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

***This review is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.  Rather, please see a physician before making any lifestyle changes.  Thank you.

Enjoy!  –Wren

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