Back when I had a ‘real’ job, my favourite day of the week wasn’t Friday like most people (although only just), it was Wednesday for on Wednesdays the area under my building was transformed as tents went up, trailers rolled in and people set up their wares.
On Wednesdays from 10 am you will walk past sizzling sausages, the sweet smell of strawberries in summer and the unmistakable aroma of fresh bread while listening to the stallholders promote their produce. I would leave my desk around 11am or after 1.30pm to miss the crowds and make a bee-line for my favourite stall.
Is it bad that on approach, the smiling lady behind the table would grab and giant, rich spelt brownie and slide it into a paper bag ready for me? After purchasing my brownie I’d make my way to the ciabatta man and buy a slipper of bread then grab a wedge of rich cheddar or gruyere cheese. Back in the office I lunched on the simplest but most indulgent feast of toasted cheese ciabatta with brownie for dessert.
One day, after buying my lunch supplies, I was on a quest for something to put in my breakfast smoothies that would provide a bit of protein and thicken it out. According to the man at the health-food stall ‘chia seeds would be perfect.’ I’d never heard of them but he assured me they were high in protein and really good for you so I obediently purchased a bag. I used up the bag and they were good but I didn’t re-purchase.
It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that they made a re-appearance in my life. Everywhere I look, people are praising the versatile little health bombs that can even be used to replace eggs in recipes.
I’ve started putting a spoon full in my morning smoothies again but one of my favourite ways to enjoy them is roasted in almond and chia clusters. A little honey gives sweetness while the cinnamon adds warmth. Soaking the almonds in water overnight makes them plump and so crunchy you have to be careful to use your back teeth to chew.
One little surprise I discovered making these was that the little clumps of roasted chia seeds taste just like those sesame snaps you can buy at the supermarket but I’m sure this version is a lot better for you. I found these totally irresistible I ate them while I was photographing them, while I was editing the photos and I’m just about to grab a hand ful for morning tea. They’re the perfect on-the-go snack or something to reach for to keep hunger at bay.
If you still need convincing, here are just a few of the benefits of chia seeds from the Chia Co. I’m no scientist, so they may be toned down a little when you roast the seeds but I’m sure they’re still there:
You could use any nuts you like instead of almonds but they are one of my favourites. Just pick a nut, grab some chia seeds and roast it up. You won’t regret it. Enjoy!
What about you? Do you eat chia seeds? How do you eat them?
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1 L boiled water, cooled
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp honey, runny
- 1 free-range egg white
- Place the almonds in a large bowl and cover with the boiled, cooled water.
- Cover the bowl and leave it to sit over night.
- The next morning, pre-heat the oven to 150C fan-forced and line a baking tray with paper.
- Drain the almonds and transfer to a large, dry bowl.
- Stir through the chia seeds.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, honey and egg white until the mixture starts to froth.
- Use a spatula to fold it through the almonds until all the nuts are coated.
- Spread the nuts out on the baking tray.
- Bake for 1 hour then take the tray out of the oven and use a fork to separate any clumps and turn the nuts then good for another 1-2 hours or until the colour of the almonds deepens.
- Take the tray out of the oven and leave the nuts to cool completely.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.