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Thread: Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! ... what? page

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    davem's Avatar
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    Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! ... what?

    So, I'm currently reading about the superhuman magicians known as the Tarahumara, and there is talk of them sustaining during races on pinole and iskiate. So, pinole, that's easy, but me and corn aren't friends. However...

    Iskiate, aka chia fresca. Seriously? Chia? The things from the Homer shaped planter?

    So, does anyone eat/use chia seeds? Any opinions and comments are welcome, I'm starting to read about them and curious their effect on energy levels, especially when staying relatively on the lower end of the carb scale, and running.

    ETA - any economical resources to get it?
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    Catherine's Avatar
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    i know someone who was eating them - she got them from Nuts Online. I was kinda interested right after i read "born to run" but i'm over it now. Never tried 'em. She said they tasted good.

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davem View Post
    So, I'm currently reading about the superhuman magicians known as the Tarahumara, and there is talk of them sustaining during races on pinole and iskiate. So, pinole, that's easy, but me and corn aren't friends. However...

    Iskiate, aka chia fresca. Seriously? Chia? The things from the Homer shaped planter?
    I guess toasted maize and the chia seeds are simply what the Tarahumara had. Or rather those were the easily transportable foods they had. I also take it those are also what would grow well in pretty dry conditions. Christopher McDougall talks as if they were some kind of superfood, but, you know, it was what they had. That cultural activity of running long distances isn't necessarily predicated on those particular foods. Doesn't mean if they'd had other foods and those particular ones weren't available that they wouldn't have developed a cultural obsession around running .

    The French-Canadian voyageurs covered vast distances paddling canoes and portaging round non-navigable stretches of river while carrying huge burdens on their backs. They did that on pemmican, and that alone. People don't need pinole or chia seeds to carry out equally, or perhaps more, astounding physical feats than the Tarahumara.

    There's a bit of online argy-bargy on a site I came across once between Cordain and a professor of the geography of desert conditions. The latter was interested in chia seeds as a crop of the Aztecs and one suitable for arid conditions and has, apparently, written the definitive book on them. He likes them and thinks them a useful food; Cordain has said they're unsuitable for human consumption because of their phytate content. There was a lot of acrimony.

    I daresay they're fine in moderation (and useful if you live in an arid area) but as for being a superfood somehow different from and better than other foods ... Christopher McDougall is an enthusiastic writer, but perhaps best not taken too seriously.

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    davem's Avatar
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    Re: Pemmican, I'm well versed in that stuff! It is in fact, what I WOULD qualify as a superfood. I've got about 6oz of a two month old batch left in my fridge.

    TBH it's hard to read McDougall and not get inspired for the subject. This book in particular has helped me regrasp at least a cordial affinity for running again.

    The chia is interesting, the apparent high level of omega 3, and relative high level of protein, as well as the stability. Along with a particular ability to gel water, which makes me think of it as a play thing to explore. What I'd be curious for though, is would it make a suitable "gu" replacement? It would probably be better than running with an ounce of pemmican afterall.

    Anyone have any comments on how it tastes?


    ETA - I'll check out Cordain, thanks for the reference.
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    chia is delicious (and really fun to play with too)
    Add water & it puffs up like jelly. I've mixed it with hemp protein & almond butter before, and also let it sit with some heavy cream for a tapioca-ish dish.
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    Remember the Tarahumara soaked their corn in lime prior to eating it. They also soaked the CHIA seed and IIRC added lime juice to it before consumption. Perhaps this is their method of ameliorating the negatives.

    I do eat chia seed from time to time and add it to smoothies but it not a staple. Chia is similiar to flax in its ability to gell in water.

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    I love the stuff and I'm always up for new ways to play with and consume it!!
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    the lime that corn is soaked in is Ca(OH)2, and pretty dangerous stuff in the home. It is different from lime juice, and done because nixtamalization is needed for corn.

    As far as I know, this would not be a good process for chia.
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    I stopped eating chia for a while after the Cordain thing, but now that I'm pregnant I find I really need the fiber. Chia definitely helps keep you regular... practically all the carbs are fiber... and I find it helps with water balance/hydration as well. It's delicious if you make chia-opica pudding (like tapioca, only made from chia!)

    1.5 cups almond milk (I use vanilla unsweetened from whole foods)
    1/4 cup chia seeds
    1 dash vanilla
    1 dash agave/honey

    Mix it all together, leave it out for about 15 minutes so it starts to gel, then mix once more and pop it in the fridge. After a couple of hours it's perfect. Keeps for a couple of days

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    davem's Avatar
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    Oh nice, I'll just replace that almond milk with cream or something, but that sounds great.

    Has anyone tried using it to gel spirits?
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