Traditional Foods

"Traditional" in the context of these projects means pre-contact foods. No beef, mutton, goat, chicken, pork, milk, butter, cream, wheat flour (no fry bread), rye, barley, okra, black-eyed peas, or any other "Old World" food that many of us have lovingly incorporated into our diets and tribal cultures. No processed foods (Doritoes, Lays Chips, etc), even if the base is corn or potatoes. No chocolate unless it is unsweetened cacao or sweetened with honey from the Melipona bee, fruit, stevia, camas or agave. Be adventurous and try unfamiliar foods! There are many foods to choose from. My American Indian Health and Diet Project site lists and defines many of them.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chia Seeds

You can find chia seeds in grocery and health food stores. "Chia Heads," such as the Obama Chia have been popular for decades.
Chia seeds are an ancient food, used by Aztecs, Mayans and a myriad other Central and South American groups. They are a complete protein and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, zinc. Water-soaked seeds are easly to digest.

Dry seeds

After the seeds sit in water a few minutes, they develop into a gelatinous texture
 Because chia seeds form a gel coating after soaking in water (or after you drink water while eating dry seeds), they make one feel full and are a good food for dieters. Chia seeds also slow your body's conversion of starches into sugars, slow digestion and maintain balanced blood sugar levels, making the seeds a desirable food for diabetics.

Tarahumaras of Mexico are known as ultra-distance runners and, they regularly consume chia seeds. Because chia seeds prolong hydration, help the body to retain electrolytes, and slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, endurance athletes have taken to adding chia seeds to their diets in a variety of ways. Some runners put chia seeds in their water bottles.

Add chia seeds to pancake batter--here with blueberries

Chia seeds in scrambled eggs and topped with corn and tomato salsa

Chia seeds in the blender along with banana, strawberries, blueberries and mango for a smoothie

All mixed up
 We keep a bag of chia handy in the kitchen and add it to oatmeal, mix it with quinoa, and yogurt. We rarely cook muffins or bread, but I have put it in cornbread and it works well.

Chia in slow-cooked oats with cranberries.

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