Food: Better Variety for Better Health?

Does better food variety (more variety) lead to healthier meals?
When you’re choosing from colorful fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and even mushrooms & whole grains it sure can! Eating the same thing all the time is not only boring, it’s worse for you. Even little sprinkles of new or different foods mixed in can have positive effects with micronutrients you might not expect. There’s the old standard “rainbow on your plate means better health” (meaning, a variety of foods on a single plate/meal) but being able to work in variety over the course of days/months by eating seasonally works too. Letting the seasons help with meal planning is great (and less expensive) but what about eating to get a particular result?

More protein in the day? Lowering cholesterol?
Can you still have variety if you’re going for one of these goals? Sure! And here are some lists (complete with recipes!) to prove it. When most people hear the word ‘protein’ they think either meat, or powders. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, and these smoothies prove it. There are lots of different protein sources for the different smoothies. Adding protein at breakfast is a good idea to start your day with more energy. It’s also the meal most likely to be unhealthy (sugary cereals, high fructose corn syrup ‘fruit juice’, loads of carbs, literal syrup, refined flour without much else (toaster pastry) & more) so having a quick, delicious, easy alternative with protein on hand is a good idea. Being able to shake things up with different flavors & protein sources is just the (sometimes literal) cherry on top.

There are no less than 34 recipes gathered here for your enjoyment!
Each has a photo, a protein source, and how much protein is included. (The answer is ALWAYS 8 or more grams!) The best part is, that if you want to add even more protein to anything, you can always throw in more chia. There’s even coffee-java for a real energy wake-me-up (Protein paired with caffeine for those who don’t want to miss the morning coffee)

Protein Variety With Chia Smoothie List

How about the cholesterol?
You’ve already heard about the oats and the green tea…but would you suspect…the radish? It’s true! Learn 17 other foods with this list that you can mix into your menu to help take down cholesterol naturally. (and colorfully! Red onion is here along with dark chocolate & bright colored apples) Naturally, chia is on the list too, because it lowers cholesterol in more than one way. First, there’s the healthy omega 3 oil. Then, there’s the fiber which not only aids in digestion, but also helps the liver produce more bile acid…which it must consume cholesterol to make. (So, essentially using up more of this on purpose/wasting it is very good) Again, you can use these foods in so many chia recipes (the spinach is great with chia dressing, chia fresh ginger cookies, the ginger twist in the chia pom-lime drink…the list just goes on!) See the list, then grab some MySeeds recipes to use the foods you find at

17 Cholesterol Lowering Foods: Chia’s On The List

Want some recipes right away that use these cholesterol lowering foods? You can have recipes instantly at your fingertips (don’t waste time searching around, grab them all at once) when you use MySeeds- Chia Seed Recipe Instant Booklet .

Fall Foods: A Time For Health!

September means fall with cooler weather…and the close of the colorful summer season of fruits and vegetables. You might think that it wouldn’t be as healthy, with so many things going out of season, but it’s time to take another look because many fall foods are also super-foods for your health!

Put down that pumpkin-spice latte and gear up for fall with the real power of these delicious super foods that seem to only appear every autumn, but should really be considered year-round.

Pumpkin:
No…not phony pumpkin flavoring syrup, but the real deal! This squash is a beta-carotene power house, packed with healthy fiber, mild flavor you can really work with, and is shockingly low in calories! (But it fills you up at the same time…) It’s so incredible that many people don’t believe it has only 30 calories per CUP. As long as you’re not packing it with sugar, canned pumpkin is good for you.
But does chia work with pumpkin? Absolutely! We’ve got an elegant light & airy pie to try, some super chia pumpkin puffy cookies with almonds, a pumpkin chia pancake, and loads of other pumpkin fun! (1)

Cranberries:
Antioxidant-rich tart bright berries can liven up so many dishes. Don’t just reach for the juice (it’s been pasteurized, which means heated and that wrecks some of the nutrients) but pick up whole berries by the bag-full so you can enjoy exciting recipes. These need a little preparation, because they’re so tart you can’t just eat them plain. But once you get started you’ll just keep on discovering new fun ways to use them. Want a head start AND an amazing recipe? Use the article Consider The Cranberry

Apples
There are more kinds of apples than there are days in a year. They may not all be available in your grocery store, but fall brings out a lovely & colorful variety. Snap into fall by picking up this fiber rich fruit. There are also important flavonoids, antioxidant compounds and much more for your health in apples. So much, in fact, that this page has many apple related studies to read about Apple Health Benefits– – because it can’t all fit into just one post.
How about apple and chia? Of course! The versatile apple is featured in so many of our sweet and savory chia recipes. The caramel apple cranberry chia pie, the bright & fresh chia noodle bowl, our Happy Apple Chia Cookies, can’t forget the Apple Burger (it’s got chia mixed into the meat) or our crispy apple chia guacamole. (2)

Sweet Potatoes
(And yellow potatoes, purple potatoes, and even white potatoes) Root vegetables are another healthy fall staple. Mixing up the colors leads to intriguing dishes as the flavors of each potato are slightly different. Put away the marshmallows in regards to the sweet potato and enjoy favorites like Chia Sweet Potato Dip, the ‘potato-overload’ (it’s a meal in a potato!…Literally) learn what the crunch is in Pineapple Chia Crunch dinner, plus the creamy sweet potato savory chia soup. (If you can blend, you can serve this bright soup) (3)

What are these 1, 2, 3 numbers?
To let you know that if you like anything mentioned among those recipe titles there’s always a way to get it from MySeeds! To start, come on over to

http://www.mychiaseeds.com

And jump on our free Chia Recipe of the Month Club mailing list (where many of these recipes reside) then check out the Chia Cook Book area for more, and when you order MySeeds chia, you get an exclusive bonus recipe book instantly!

Vegetables For Breakfast: But Would You Eat It?

Recently, an article has been going around about “Vegetables for Breakfast”.
It seems like a great way to get your servings of veggies in, if instead of a bowl of sugary cereal, there was a veggie you could reach for in the morning. Of course, the article comes with some handy recipes to get you started. Naturally, here at MySeeds we’re always looking for tastier ways to eat healthy and we’ve got to check these out but…

Quickly the question of “Would you Actually Eat These” was raised.
Never even MIND the kids. You probably couldn’t get a kid to touch these breakfasts with a 10 foot slinky. So, to protect the article…there’s no link here, but let’s go over the recipes to investigate the healthy point at the end:

Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Hash:
Do you like these tiny cabbage relatives? That’s great, but even still, most people don’t want them at breakfast.

Colorful peppers stuffed with eggs-bake:
Hollow out a colorful & large pepper, add eggs & spinach shreds and bake in the oven. Sure pepper bits in a nice savory omelet are great, but is anyone really going to bake for breakfast on a weekday?

Have an asparagus-leek quiche……no?

Cabbage-Kale-Carrot Pancakes.
Although pancake is in the name, these are held together with mashed chickpeas. If you’re really into savory stuff and adore cabbage, these are a good idea. However, they’re still not an every-day food. And if you’re going to do veggies at breakfast, you likely want more than 1 day of the week.

The Lesson:
What makes a valuable breakfast?
1. It’s got to taste great! Something you look forward to, even on a Monday morning.
2. It’s got to be easy & fast! If you fear ‘running out of time’ you will…and the healthy breakfast won’t happen. Morning is the most rushed meal of the day.
3. It’s got to have part of your daily nutrition! Breakfast is often overlooked (skipped) or given a free pass with sweetened yogurts, high fructose corn syrup juices/jellies, or crammed with carbs that don’t do much (ex. a plain bagel)

So, these breakfasts have some valuable points, like the nutrition is good, but then if it takes too long, won’t keep all week, the kids won’t eat it, it “smells in the house”, or you just want something that tastes a little more like a traditional breakfast…they fall short. It’s a good idea in theory, but not quite in practice.

What do do? Give up?
No way! Get smart & get fun with your fruits & veggies in the morning. Savory’s great in an easy omelet, or our minute scrambles. (with your favorite vegetables mixed in) But what if you want chocolate? Or tasty fruits? That doesn’t mean vegetables are off the table…when you have MySeeds fast recipes for fun!

Put together the ingredients in your blender jar the night before & it’s Blend, Drink &Go in the morning when you have this chocolate drink!

 

Then, get lots of fiber & fruit with

This breakfast chia overnight oats!

And if you want a big chunk of your ‘daily value’ of many nutrients before most people even get started with their day…you need the big fruit flavor & easy blending ability of this super chia smoothie.

Vegetables don’t have to be savory, and breakfast doesn’t need to be complex to be tasty and healthy when you’ve got the right recipes at hand.

 

Pretty & Practical: Chia Fruit Ice Cubes

What’s a fun way to make an easy healthy drink that’s perfect for a hot summer day?
Chia Fruit Ice Cubes!
These cool cubes are a real flavor-enhancer for a healthier drink. Make them in fun shapes ice cube trays for an even prettier look. Here are strawberry-watermelon chia ice in squares & flowers, ready for a splash of your favorite clear beverage.

WatermelonChiaIce1

It’s a great way to skip the HFCS soda too!
Use sparkling water for the bubbles, add a splash of coconut water, drop in these fruit cubes, and you’re ready to chill. As the cubes melt, they change the flavor of the drink, and release the chia seeds which help you feel full. This drink is a great snack-replacement in the afternoon.

Why is it practical?
The fruit is blended smooth first, so when the shapes melt, you can still drink the whole glass–unlike whole frozen fruits or melon-balls which look beautiful, but won’t go up a straw or flavor the drink.

Easy Recipe for the ice:
1/2 cup watermelon cubes
1 strawberry
1 tsp dry MySeeds Chia seeds
1/4 cup coconut water

Place all ingredients in a mini chopper & give it a whirl until smooth. Pour into the ice-cube trays of your choice & freeze. The amount of cubes you get will depend on your ice molds.

Suggested Refreshing Sparkle Drink:
1 cup sparkling water
1/4 cup coconut water
Optional: Twist of lime juice

Coconut water & lime are great together, and having the drink slowly change from lime-coconut to watermelon is fun too. The fizz here is important, as it gives it a bubbly kick that appeals to kids of all ages & snack time as well. You won’t need sugary sodas when natural fruit & bubbles are at your fingertips with this simple & fun recipe for ice.

WatermelonChiaIce2

Grab your chia now to make these fun cubes! If you like the look of this recipe, you’ll love our bonuses. Find out more at http://www.mychiaseeds.com

Use the Freezer to Save Money?

What’s the most money saving appliance in your kitchen?
It could be the freezer! …If you’re using it to freeze all the things you can/should. The fridge is good too…but not everything belongs in it.  (Did you know? Putting your tomatoes in the fridge can help them to lose their flavor)

Why & what to freeze?
Are your Bananas getting too spotty? Quick, peel them & wrap each one in plastic wrap. Put them in the freezer & they’re good for weeks! Good for what? Smoothies, sorbets, overnight oats, vegan ‘ice cream’ base…basically anything where the banana goes into the blender.
The freezer saves your produce from going bad in many instances.
Cut Ginger Root into chunks & wrap well. It won’t get mold & you can still grate or chop it later.
Citrus Zest– Going to use an orange or a fresh lemon? Zest it first! Put the zest into a small plastic bag & freeze it to use later. You’ll need more than usual when you use frozen zest, but it’s still very useful.
Frustrated by short Berry shelf life? If your berries or cherries are about to go bad or you fear mold, the freezer will take care of them. They’re still super in frozen pies, smoothies or to turn into no-cook chia jam.
Want a snack? Put Grapes into the freezer until solid. They turn into an icy sweet snack to lift up an afternoon mood.
Smoothie Greens – Save time & money when making green smoothies by freezing your leaves. Spinach, kale, & collard all go easily from freezer to blender.
How about seasonal-only Cranberries? Enjoy them all year in recipes like our cran-pomegranate chia Panini when you freeze a whole bag!
Tomato Puree…sometimes you don’t need the whole container at once. Portion out the rest onto waxed paper, freeze & use when you need it. (Like in our Chia Spicy Bow-Tie Pasta skillet dinner!)

By looking over foods and knowing what to freeze you can save money & waste less by tossing it into the freezer instead of the garbage. Melons of all sorts, mango, kiwi, and pineapple, are all nicely preserved in the freezer. Pineapple is fairly unique though…it keeps its texture well when frozen, unlike other items such as blueberries, strawberries or melons. By using the freezer & blender together you can save money, time, waste less, and enjoy healthier food all year around.

But what shouldn’t go in the fridge or freezer?
Apples, pears, whole tomatoes, citrus fruits, and…several items in this quick & lively video that explains why items need to stay out of the cold. What shouldn’t you refrigerate?

 

Periodic Table of Protein: Wired Talks Chia

Did you read the latest issue of Wired Magazine?
It’s July’s food-highlighting issue & Chia seeds are on their “Periodic Table of Protein”. This issue aims to bring science and nutrition together to give people an idea of how & why certain foods have benefits as well as illustrating what to eat. This issue’s also full of other nifty stuff like heirloom plant variety benefits, and “power bowls” for different effects like the “Bone Builder” or the “Blood Booster” or the “Beautifier” (The last one is a meal bowl you can put together to enhance skin health)

But what about this Periodic Protein?
It’s a table of all the different (common and uncommon) foods that have a good level of protein. As the elements get “heavier” (as in, where the more dense elements would be on the regular table) the protein levels go up. So chia is a lot higher than something like Nutella.

The list is useful too…because it lets you know what you WOULDNT want to eat to get protein. A side of locusts with your burger? A jellyfish in your smoothie? No one wants to say yes to mealworm mixes. Even some of the shellfish aren’t going to go over too well, like abalone or squid dinners. However, it’s important to mention these sources of protein as they’re more environmentally friendly than say…cows. (It’s easier to raise a locust than it is a cow)

Even Soylent (the “all-nutrients drink”…it’s the only food you need) is on this list.
Yes it IS named after the famous movie ‘food’, but it’s not made of the same stuff. What the article doesn’t mention though, is the versatility of chia. You can’t hide most of these other items in a popsicle and have kids ask for it as a snack. Fish is good for you…but eating it every day may not be on the menu. The chia seed is the seed you need when you want easy, flavor-free protein to mix into an almost infinite variety of foods you already like…it’s simple to eat every day and never get bored!

Want to see the table?
Check out the protein sources and read more at

Wired Periodic Table of Protein

Because when food & science get together…the menu gets interesting.

Dragonfruit Season! Variety is the Spice of Health

It’s Dragonfruit season!
(At least, in the USA…Florida is getting known for them. What’s a dragon-fruit? Well…it’s this:

DragonfruitDouble

With a festive ‘leafy’ red or pink exterior and bright white or bright red interior, they’re the “poster fruit” of anything exotic. They’re also not that expensive while in season, and becoming more widely available all over the USA (and likely elsewhere too). The price point helps, because no one likes to spend big on something they’re not sure they, or the family, will enjoy. (Like, a dollar for a nice big one)

Why the Dragonfruit?
Sure there are other exotic fruits to be had like the cherimoya, the monstera-d, and the passion fruit. (Though, the latter is full of “Slimy” big seeds and wet juice) The dragonfruit is easy to open (just cut it) easy to eat (scoop out the fruit with a spoon) and doesn’t make a mess, have a pit, or a difficult skin or rind. It is sweet enough to rope in kids and the texture is quite palatable. It’s a great and healthy candidate to pave the way for more unusual fruits! And that’s great because…

The human brain responds nicely to variety.
A variety of fruits and vegetables and spices is important for your health as it provides a good spectrum of various nutrients. But it’s ALSO good for your mind and your pleasure because it breaks up boredom and provides interest. If you eat the same thing every day over and over, the pleasure you get from it generally drops off after a time. By mixing in something totally new (or infrequent) you can not only get different nutrients but you might feel more satisfied too.

Well how’s it taste?
Dragonfruit is generally pretty mild. It’s not a slam like a strawberry or pineapple. It’s generally pretty sweet, sometimes with a tart twist in the white-flesh type. It’s described as “mildly kiwi”

The research isn’t in:
DOES focusing on variety of healthy foods help you lose weight? DOES it help you feel full faster when you’re not eating the same ol’ same ol’? There’s studies being done but it seems like a conclusion hasn’t been reached. But that’s ok because…
Variety can be fun! In this summer season of fun fruits and exotic availability, make it a point to take a field trip to a farmers’ market or unusual produce area and pick up something of interest to try. You never know what you might discover!

Bacteria Controlling Cravings? Study Time

This isn’t easy reading.
Scientific studies seldom are. However, this IS something everyone should take a look in to. This blog post boils down the points of the scientific paper & hopefully has some experiments for you to try if you’re troubled by

Obesity
Cravings
Food vs. mood problems
Digestive issues
Lack of energy problems
Difficulty concentrating or focusing sometimes

It’s really interesting stuff that may lead you to a clue on what to do to improve your health (or make it easier to do so) So first, read the summary here, then check out the paper at the link to go more in depth and see the research references, studies and more.

Why hasn’t this been looked into before? (Why haven’t I heard of it?)
1. There are so many kinds of bacteria in your digestive system. They’re not “you” so people didn’t think to study them. (They’re not your body)
2. There are so many kinds of bacteria in everyone’s digestive system…and they’re all different for different people so finding a “one size fits all” solution is outlandish/no one bothers
3. Many different types AND some are good? Can’t do a “kill all” like with other ailments
4. The immune system doesn’t fight them

But what’s this about bacteria ‘controlling’ YOU?
The “Vagus Nerve” is a special nerve that connects the gut & the brain.  (And a bunch of other stuff too! It’s very interesting) It has been found that bacteria can use the nerve to send chemical signals (Signals like cravings, feeling satisfied/hungry, and even dysphoria) to help you do what’s best for them.

First you need to know a little about bacteria.
They’re tiny: they need an almost constant food supply
All organisms are essentially only out for themselves. If by DE-creasing your fitness, they increase theirs, they will.
Bacteria compete with each other for space & nutrients no-matter where they are
Even a tiny amount of their food (cheat-eating 1 cookie while on a sugar ban, for example) can feed them –so starving bad bacteria must be absolute since they’re so small

The paper presents some points:
If you think your cravings have a bacteria source, you can easily “starve them out” over a period of about 24+ hours and actually see/feel a change
People who did lactobacillus shots (drinks) could improve their mood
Many different types of good/neutral bacteria are GOOD to have because they “waste” their energy/resources battling each other & not sending bogus signals/chemicals to you. A checks & balances system
Blocking a person’s vagus nerve is probably hard or risky but they want to experiment
It helps debunk “poor willpower” as a source of obesity

And a lot more!
It’s very interesting stuff so take the time to look at your health with Is Your Eating Being Manipulated by Bacteria?

How is this relevant to the Chia Seed?
Chia has soluble fiber, a ‘prebiotic fiber’, it feeds beneficial bacteria who stamp out bad ones. Chia seeds are so high in soluble fiber that you can actually see it with the naked eye when you make chia gel. Chia is handy with today’s lower fiber processed foods. It’s a quick way to get fiber back on the menu without flavor or hassle. By adding chia to foods you already like (sprinkle, stir, or blend) you can enjoy more nutrition easily. You can’t digest fiber, but good bacteria can, so get fiber the easy way with chia!

 

Pokémon Go: Stay Hydrated & Healthy

Playing Pokémon Go this summer?
It’s on everyone’s mind as multiple news articles highlight the fun game every day. It seems like it’s on everyone’s phones too! But, if you’re going out to catch ’em, you need to stay hydrated to stay healthy. Walking, biking, and driving to poke-stops and gyms is lots of fun but summer heat is no small matter. Be sure you stay hydrated to keep having fun (no matter what game you like best) in the heat.

Want to quench your thirst with something fresh and cool?

It’s the “Beat the Heat Lime Mint Chia Refresher”!

Hydrate with lots of great flavor instead of lots of sugar or syrup. Sodas, powdered mixes and even some sports drinks come with a surprising amount of sugar to weigh you down. This drink comes packed with great taste (that you just can’t get in stores), is easy to make, and better for you than sugary drinks. (And it’s Piplup approved…even though that pokemon is not in the game yet)

LimeMintChiaRefresher

Beat the heat with mint!
Mint makes a cooling sensation when you drink it, especially when crushed. Cucumber provides a similar cooling effect (but with all the lime, you won’t taste this veggie in the drink) Agave is a sweetener that’s lower on the glycemic index. You don’t need a lot to get a nice sweet taste to go with the citrus-y tart of the lime zest & juice here. Chia seeds soak up water with their soluble fiber & help digestion. In all, this drink is super for your to-go cup, or thermos while you go exploring for Pokémon.

Let’s make it:
For about 2 servings / or 1 big to-go cup you will need…
About 1/4 cucumber (peeled)
1 lime (zested & juiced)
1 tsp MySeeds Chia Seeds
1 to 2 tsp agave nectar
2+ cups water (or sparkling water)
About 4 to 5 large fresh mint leaves

First, zest the entire lime. Then, squeeze all the juice into your small food processor. Peel the 1/4 of cucumber & add it to the processor too. (Cucumbers vary in size, if it’s giant, you may need less to get the effect) Add the mint leaves as well, chopping these releases the flavor. If you need to add an extra tablespoon of lime juice so this purees well, you can. Puree the mixture and strain the juice into your cup/pitcher. (If you want added fiber, but a cloudy drink, don’t strain at all) Use a rubber spatula to push the mixture into the strainer to get all the juice out. (There’s a surprising amount of liquid once you puree, and it’s all for flavor!)

Add your preferred amount of ice to your cup/thermos, and spoon the agave nectar over it. Sprinkle the lime zest over the ice also, then the chia seeds. Pour in the strained juice over the ice. Last, add the water (or sparkling soda water) and it will mix the zest & chia. Stir a little with a spoon or your straw…and you’re ready for refreshment!

Need seeds? Come on over to MySeeds Chia for your fresh chia seeds & instant bonuses!

Just Say ‘No’ To Color Adjust Food Photos

Do you like recipes with a photo of the food?
Would you make something from a blog that DIDNT show you the outcome?

Statistics say that cookbooks with photos for every recipe out-sell photo-less cook books every time. A food blog would be foolish to not include at least 1 photo of the food with the recipe. This is all common sense stuff too, everyone wants to know what they’ll get before they put in the time, work, and ingredients. So why then…

Do people think it’s ok to totally color-control out of reality certain food photos?

Did you ever make something that looked all colorful, bright & beautiful in the photo…only to have it bake up brown and sad?
Were you ever disappointed by a vivid pie or cake that turns out drab?
Are you paranoid of new recipes so that you’d never try something for company for fear that the color will be all ‘off’?

Photoshop & other image editing programs, filters, and camera settings are fine…
As long as they’re not being used to deceive the ‘consumer’!
(The ‘consumer’ is the potential recipe-maker)

The bright colors & fake filters get views, and get people to come to the page, but then they create resentment if/when anyone goes to make the thing & just can’t get it to turn out.

Photo-shoppers don’t want to face the facts:
Most fruits, when baked in whatever (cakes, cookies, breads) LOSE a lot of their color. You’re never going to bake chopped strawberries and have them end up bright red. Apples turn brown in spite of efforts, and real un-food-colored cherries are hardly fire-engine red once baked. (Canned pie cherries? Often packed with coloring) The reason for fooling around with the photos is obvious…so it’ll look better…but if no one can actually make the food live up to color that doesn’t exist, it just leads to disappointment and resentment from the viewer.

We won’t have that here.

Of course, the MySeeds test kitchen is all about browsing recipes for inspiration, items and themes that are trending now, or recipes in need of chia seed related help! But, with this seasoned eye, it’s a bit easier to spot things that just don’t match with their recipe. However, everyone can’t be expected to ferret out filters & selective color re-touching. (Looking at you, guava tartlets recipe!) We just don’t think it’s right to present a recipe with it’s picture so doctored for color that no one can make it properly…

And that’s why our recipes are always the real deal.
If you see a photo on this blog, our Facebook page, Google + , or anywhere else, you can be sure it’s not color-faked. Using real foods (and not artificial colors) with cool methods is how we get recipes that stand out…and how YOU can too. We want YOU to make these foods and not be met with disappointment in taste OR color. What you see is what you’ll get if you follow the baking method on

Frozen Key Lime Mini ‘pies’ with dark chocolate shell
They really do come out this green! When you use the cold method…
Red White & Blue Salsa
Of course, it’s bright because it’s raw…but it’s got crunch!
Bright Orange Pumpkin Soup
Seasonal soup with an attractive color

These are just a few examples of colorful chia recipes that will turn out just as vivid if you make them.  The MySeeds test kitchen prides itself on natural ingredients, better-for-you choices, and recipes nearly anyone can make with easy ingredients.