Chia seeds are small, reddish, leafy greens with an earthy taste. This small, self-sowing perennial plant has been used by tribes for many centuries for a variety of medicinal uses including being the first food source humans developed in the New Stone Age. Today, chia seeds are used more for their amazing nutritional value as a food supplement than for use in medicinal medicine. One way to consume chia seeds is by planting them and growing your own microgreens.
The seeds are ingested like any other vegetable, so nothing special is gained by growing them yourself. Instead, the seeds are placed in water and left to germinate, where they are surrounded by a thick, pliant bottom. After about two weeks, the tiny, purple-blue seeds are ready to sprout. The sprouts grow to about three inches long and are a dark green when fully grown.
The best way to ensure that your chia seed sprouts health benefits are at their maximum is to start the growing process as soon as possible after you purchase your seeds. It’s important to soak the seeds in water for at least four hours prior to planting. After soaking, be sure to rinse your seed bags and seeds, especially if you’re growing more than one plant at a time.
To avoid the chance of too much confusion, there is really only one rule you should follow when starting your chia seeds cultivation. You should not start your plants until they’re about 2 inches tall. That’s when they’re getting started on their growing cycle. Keep an eye on them, and check often to see if they’re growing towards the light source in your garden. If they’re constantly growing towards the shadows, mist them with water frequently during the day or keep them in a sunny window all day.
You can purchase chia seeds from many different sources, including local nurseries and online seed dealers. Be careful though, not all chia seeds are created equal. Some varieties are grown specifically for consumption while others are grown to make energy supplement blends. These are typically organic products that have been grown with wild-grown chia seeds in mind, not commercial crops. Chia seeds are easy to grow, so you don’t have to worry about taking supplements to get all the nutrients you need.
Chia seeds can be used in a variety of cooking techniques. They’re commonly seen in chia food recipes such as frittatas, salads and smoothies. You can also make tea from them or use them in place of sugar in desserts. You’ll find that chia seeds go well in a wide range of recipes because of their versatility. They can be added right into a recipe in place of sugar or other sweeteners, or they can be used in place of regular sugar in a savory breakfast or brunch dish.
When purchasing chia seeds or chia plant products, it’s important that you choose ones with a high pollen count. The higher the pollen count, the healthier the seeds are. If you find that some of the seeds you buy don’t offer a high enough amount of pollen, keep looking. Other popular chia seed varieties are pungent chia seeds, which are known for their smoky flavor; tangy chia seeds, which offer an assortment of flavors; and Angelica chia seeds, which provide a wonderful, creamy flavor.
Like all seed plants, chia seeds should be kept on a sunny windowsill or outdoors. During periods of heavy rain or extremely hot temperatures, however, they should be covered to protect from absorbing excess moisture. This will ensure that your chia seed production remains consistent and reliable. By following these general guidelines, you can be sure that your chia seed planting will go off without a hitch. Good luck and have fun growing!