Monday, September 1, 2014

REVIEW: The Chia Cookbook: Inventive, Delicious Recipes Featuring Nature's Superfood by Janie Hoffman


Mamma Chia founder Janie Hoffman presents recipes for incorporating superfood chia seeds into flavorful smoothies, snacks, meals, and desserts.

The newest "nutritional 'it' item" according to the "New York Times," chia seeds are packed with eight times more healthful omega-3s than salmon, three times the antioxidants of blueberries, and 70 percent more protein than soybeans. As the founder of Mamma Chia juice company, Janie Hoffman has become the face of this new health trend, and her cookbook invites readers into her kitchen to learn the secrets of incorporating chia into healthy breakfasts, snacks, salads, dinners, and sweets. This mouthwatering collection that makes eating well an appetizing lifestyle choice with Chewy Chia and White Chocolate Granola Bars, Cayenne Chia Lemonade, Green Superfood Smoothies, Sundried Tomato Gluten-Free Chia Crackers, Ancient Grains Salad with Roasted Asparagus, Tart Cherry-Chia Cocktails, and more.

Paperback, 160 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2014 by Ten Speed Press
ISBN  1607746646 (ISBN13: 9781607746645)

My Thoughts

As the book preface states, chia seeds are "...minuscule seeds in the mint family with an astonishing amount of omega-3s, protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants-- and more-- packed within their tiny shells." This superfood packs a punch!
...gram for gram, the seeds have 70 percent more protein than soybeans, 25 percent more fiber than flaxseed, 600 percent more calcium than milk, 200 percent more potassium than a banana, and 30 percent more antioxidants than blueberries.
And they are chock full of heart-healthy omega-3s!

Chia seeds may be eaten different ways. They may be sprinkled on salads, sandwiches, or on any food. Bake them into baked goods, add them into smoothies. The author points out that chia may be used to add crunch to any meal or to make soup creamy. Chia is a whole food that takes on the flavor of whatever ingredients it's paired with.

However a popular way to use chia seeds is to make "chia gel" (made from whisking chia seeds with a liquid and letting it sit for about 20 minutes.) Chia gel may be used in salad dressings, to make pudding, or can be used in place of eggs in baking.
To replace one large egg, combine one tablespoon chia seeds with three tablespoons of room-temperature purified water. Whisk and let sit until the gel forms, about 20 minutes.

Note that chia adds water to a recipe, so if you're using the gel as an egg substitute in baking, your baked goods may turn out slightly moister than they would if you were using eggs. If you're aiming for a drier texture, simply add a few minutes to the baking time to allow the excess liquid to evaporate.
Or you may substitute one of four eggs in a dish like an egg frittata.

I tried making the Sticky Brown Rice with Sunny-Side-Up Egg, but I didn't really care for it. It has a very strong onion and soy sauce flavor that I wasn't fond up with the fried egg. However there are a number of other recipes I am eager to try soon.

My final word: The pictures were beautiful. The concept was great (I want to learn how to incorporate chia into my regular diet). However I just had a hard time with many of the recipes. Many didn't appeal to me, or they had ingredients like Amaranth and pistachio oil that are harder to come by. And I was disappointed that there wasn't a recipe for chia pudding, since that was one thing I have heard that chia is great for, and I looked forward to finding a great recipe for it in this cookbook. But that being said, this is a fine primer for someone looking to learn more about chia and the uses of it.

Buy Now:

On sale September 30th.

My Rating:



I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.

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