Are you the kind of person that sticks to their culinary standards or do you like to break out of the mold? If you aren’t afraid of new foods, I have some fun ones to share with you today! If you are one of those folks that are reluctant to try new foods, you have to make an exception for this trio because not only all they are sensational and natural, but they also pack a powerful nutritional punch.
When I say “chia” the first thing that may come to mind is a certain made-for-TV ceramic planter, but chia seeds do a heck of a lot more than just grow in a gimmicky gift. Chia seeds are the richest known plant source of omega-3 essential fatty acid. We’re often told to eat fatty fish to get omega-3s but chia seeds have more per serving than even salmon! Chia seeds also have 4g of protein and 11g of fiber per serving. They are virtually flavor free, so sprinkle them into your smoothies or oatmeal to add a hidden nutrient surge and a little bit of crunch. When mixed with liquid, chia seeds form a gel that can help thicken sauces and syrups naturally while helping to keep your body hydrated.
As the main ingredient in bird seed, it might not occur to you that millet is worthy of our plates. But with nearly 20% of our daily value of magnesium per serving, millet isn’t just for the birds. Millet is also a great gluten-free grain option for anyone with celiac disease or gluten-sensitives. In fact, millet is considered one of the most digestible and least allergenic grains on the planet. Millet is a whole grain that is cooked similarly to rice and can be used in the same way. I like throwing a handful of millet in with my favorite soups or using it to stuff your burritos.
If you’ve ever spent anytime in a vegan’s kitchen, you’ve probably seen a container of yellow, flakes called nutritional yeast. It’s used in a lot of vegan recipes to impart a “cheezy” flavor onto dishes without the cheese. By sprinkling it in place of cheese, you can save calories, fat and get a hefty dose of vitamins. Nutritional yeast is a reliable plant-based source of the B-vitamins, including folate and B-12. You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk section of many healthy food stores. Buy a little and sprinkle it on air-popped popcorn for a low-cal crunchy treat.