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Chia Seeds – a food you need to know about! November 2009

Chia is another of the Aztec super seeds. It was a major crop in central and southern Mexico well into the 16th century, but was banned after the Spanish conquest because of its association with the Aztec "pagan" religion. Chia was used to sustain participants in these ceremonies....
supposedly, 1 tablespoon of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions. Chia has had limited exposure as it is very
fussy about where it grows. However, an Australian company has picked it up and is having great success growing in Western Australia. Over the past few decades, commercial production has resumed in Latin America. And here is more good news: insects hate the chia plant, so it's easy to find organic seeds.

Chia is one of the highest known plant sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. 10g of chia (about 1 tbsp) meets the recommended daily intake of Omega 3. They are a better source than linseeds for example.

They are also, like Quinoa, high in protein. The seeds are 20% protein and have all 8 essential amino acids.

Chia is 36% dietary fibre; about 2 tablespoons - 25 g - give you 7 g of fiber. Baking with chia does not alter its nutrition levels and the black and white seeds are the same.

Chia seeds can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid and don't require grinding (whole flaxseed is tough to digest).

Add the seeds to smoothies, salads and bread. Try sprouting them and use them like alfalfa sprouts. Grind them up and mix with flour when making muffins or other baked goods.


85g white chia seeds
1 cup water
200g dark cooking chocolate broken into
5 large eggs separated
175g ground hazelnuts or almond meal
210g rapadura or sugar

Pre heat oven to 180 C and line a 22cm spring form pan.

Soak chia seeds in water for 15 minutes.

Melt butter and chocolate in heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cool.

Beat egg white and 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form.

Beat the remaining sugar and egg yolks until pale and creamy.

Pour chocolate over egg yolks and fold. Fold in the ground hazelnuts and chia seeds. Fold in the egg whites.

Pour mixture into the tin. Bake for 50 minutes.

Spelt Cous Cous

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a hexaploid species of wheat. Spelt's nutty flavor has long been popular in Europe. Spelt is also known as Farro and Dinkle. Spelt (Triticum spelta) is an ancient and distant cousin to modern wheat (Triticum aestivum). Spelt is one of the oldest of cultivated grains, preceded only by Emmer and Elkorn. What brought the decline in production of spelt in North America is now thought of as a benefit. Spelt has a tough hull, or husk, that makes it more difficult to process than modern wheat varieties. However, the husk, separated just before milling, not only protects the kernel, but helps retain nutrients and maintain freshness. Modern wheat has changed dramatically
over the decades as it has been bred to be easier to grow and harvest, to increase yield, and to have a high gluten content for the production of high-volume commercial baked goods. Unlike wheat, spelt has retained many of its original traits and remains highly nutritious and full of flavor.
Also, unlike other grains, spelt's husk protects it from pollutants and insects and usually allows growers to avoid using pesticides.
The grain is naturally high in fiber, and contains significantly more protein than wheat. Spelt is also higher in B complex vitamins, and both simple and complex carbohydrates. Another important benefit is that some gluten-sensitive people have been able to include spelt-based foods in their diets.
Spelt couscous is made by rolling and shaping the moistened grain and then coating it in a finely ground spelt flour.

Marinated Tofu with Spelt Couscous

Harissa (- a fiery North African condiment. Mainly dried chilli pepper and garlic, it may also contain coriander, caraway or cumin. It is available at Piko but you could substitute a pinch of chilli flakes!)
salt and black pepper
300g firm tofu cut into cubes
1 ½ cup onions diced
500g aubergine (or zucchini)
300g small carrots
150g chick peas
800g spelt couscous
200g tomatoes (mashed)
clove garlic
olive oil

In a large bowl mix the olive oil, garlic, harissa, cumin, salt and pepper; mix well and add the tofu; marinate for 45 minutes.
Put the spelt couscous in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and cover the bowl for 10 minutes; add 2 strands of saffron and fluff with a fork.
In a deep pan, pour in a good slug of olive oil, add the mashed tomatoes and diced onions and heat while stirring. Add 250 ml of water; then put in some mint leaves and the carrots and the aubergine, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chick peas and more water if you would like it to be more liquid.
Simmer 5 more minutes then add the marinated tofu; let the tofu heat.
Now serve the couscous on a plate and pour over it the mixture of tofu, spices and vegetables; add fresh mint leaves and serve


We are holding a summer craft market on Saturday 12th December from 9am – 1pm.
If you create fine crafts and would like to market these in our beautiful courtyard, apply to Eroica at Piko Wholefoods, preferably in writing. There will be restrictions on the stalls. We only have room for 12 stalls. We will not be having
food stalls, only quality arts, crafts, second hand goods.... Apply quickly. It will be lots of fun.


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