Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book Review of The Chia Cookbook by Janie Hoffman, founder of Mama Chia

I was so excited to have a copy of this book sent to me to review because I am interested in learning more about the hype around Chia Seeds.  I decided to poke around different websites and look through different books to learn more.  

Here is what most websites are saying about it:

Chia seeds are a rich source of Omega 3s.  They have more protein than other plant sources of protein like Soy.  Chia seeds also have the added benefit of fiber.  The information is pretty much the same from site to site.  Some offer health benefits as well, but none of that can be proven through published scientific studies. 

Janie Hoffman starts the book off by going over her personal health experience with Chia seeds and how they have benefited her health.  She also describes why she started her company “Mama Chia” and how that has inspired her to share her recipes to help others learn how to incorporate Chia seeds into their diet.  (By the way, her “Mama Chia” beverages are delicious and can be found through a variety of retail sources.)  On pages 4 and 5, she has an easy to read Nutritional Profile for Chia seeds.  She also offers tips on where to buy Chia seeds, how to prepare them and how to store them.  The “Chia Basics” section of the book is really informative and worth reading if you are thinking of adding the seeds to your diet.

Personally, if there is a chance that a fiber or seed can offer me some health benefits, I am willing to try it.  However, since I was going to see my doctor for my yearly check, I decided to check with my doctor.  Interestingly enough, I found out that some folks who may suffer from diverticulitis and other intestinal issues should be careful about introducing Chia seeds into their diet.  So be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that the seeds will not cause you adverse affects.  Luckily for me, my doctor was supportive of my adding these to my diet. 

So now I was prepared to add chia seeds into my diet.  Thankfully, this book offered some great recipes to introduce Chia seeds into my diet.  The recipe section of the book is broken down into sections:

·      Juices, Smoothies, & Shakes
·      Healthy Mornings
·      Snacks and Small Bites
·      Salads and Soups
·      Main Dishes
·      Desserts, Sweet Nibbles, and Cocktails

Since the publishers did not provide an image of the table of contents of this book on Amazon, I am attaching it to this review.  I personally find it helpful to know in advance what types of recipes a cookbook offers.  This way I can make a better choice in my book purchases.

My favorite recipes in this book are:
·      Serrano pineapple-papaya smoothie
·      The Mango Lassi
·      Chia hummus with sun-dried tomatoes and za’tar (I used lime instead of the za’tar)
·      Raspberry-chia dressed arugula salad with mint and almonds. If arugula is too spicy for you, you can use fresh greens instead.  The dressing is great on both.

Since Chia seeds tend to absorb the liquid they are in, I am surprised that she did incorporate them into cocktails.  I imagine that it might have an impact of how alcohol is absorbed into the system through these cocktails.  I have not tried any of those out but if anyone does try them out, please leave a comment and let me know how they tasted and if you had any adverse affects from the alcohol and chia seed mix. 

The inside back cover of The Chia Cookbook has a very helpful conversion chart to help the reader in working with the recipes.  I found this book to be a very helpful resource for information on Chia seeds, as well as some great recipes.  Thank you to the author and blogging for books for providing me a review copy of this book.

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