Organic Chia Seeds
The chia plant comes from South and Central America, where it was first cultivated more than 4000 years ago. The Aztecs, Mayans and other Native American tribes made great use of this important crop. Chia seeds were eaten whole, crushed and pressed to flour or pressed to release a rich, nutritious oil for traditional medicine.
Chia seed was much appreciated by these ancient civilizations, and traded as a form of currency and used in religious offerings and funeral ceremonies. Chia plants were grown in the 'floating gardens' of the Aztec emperors woven rafts on the shallow lakes around the city, containing only the most prized food crops and decorative plants.
The chia plant is an annual plant and grows fast. It can be found in the wild in Central America in sandy desert soils and remote mountainous areas below 2500 meters.
The adult plant is one meter high, with a square stem and long blades that extend from the tips of the leaves. Each blade produces a bright blue flower that develops into a calyx with four chia seeds, smooth and oval in shape, about 2 mm long and shiny grey with black spots.
Favoured by ancient civilizations, Chia remains an important food source for the Tarahumara, an Indian tribe living in the steep canyons of northern Mexico.
The Tarahumara are known for their distances; they are able to travel hundreds of miles in the desert heat. The composition of Chia seed makes it an ideal source of slowly released energy with more muscle forming proteins and omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food. Local folklore states that Tarahumara tribesmen bring only a small bag of chia seeds with them when they leave for hunting. That's enough to keep them in the desert for days, it provides energy and quiets hunger.
Our Chia is grown on farms in South America, with branches in Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. These all fall within Chia's natural habitat. By working together with farmers in multiple countries, we are able to provide a consistent supply of quality chia at fair prices, even when weather conditions vary. A total of 30 companies are involved in the production of our chia and all our farmers receive a fair price for their crops. The growing process is also standardized so that every delivery is of the same high quality.
The seed grown on our farms has been developed by native Nahua villagers for over 500 years. They have been using natural selection processes for generations to improve the plants' natural resistance to disease. The mature chia plants are cut between November and January, depending on the location of the crop. The small seeds are separated from the raw plant material so that after harvesting the crop, 96% pure seed already exists. The seeds are then purified by a vibrating plate so that the chia seed is cleaned of small stones and other impurities.
At times the seeds are damp after harvesting, in which case they are hung in a cloth above the ground. This allows warm air to pass through until they are completely dry. To further guarantee the purity of the end product, the seeds pass under magnets that remove the smallest particles. Finally, we store them below 25 °C, the high concentration of antioxidants act as a natural preservative and keep them fresh. Our chia seeds are also routinely tested and analysed for contaminants so that the end product is completely pure and free of heavy metals and pesticides.
In contrast to other cereals such as rice, oats, wheat and corn, chia seeds score relatively low in carbohydrates - only about 7% of their dry weight.
However, they are high in fibre, protein, minerals and iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Chia is also high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, so they must be obtained via the diet. Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, has been shown to be effective for normal cholesterol levels.
Our subtle chia seeds add texture and volume without affecting taste. Chia gel can replace fat by adding it as a healthier alternative in your favourite recipes. Replace 10% of your ingredients when baking bread with chia seeds for an omega-rich superfood bread. Our chia seeds are only available Organic.