seed the soul

In pre-Columbian times the Maya and Aztecs revered chia seeds for their amazing energy and natural healing powers. One tablespoon of the seeds was considered capable of sustaining a warrior for 24 hours. A component of both societies diets, the ancient grain played a prominent role in religious ceremonies, too. Today, chia is the force behind the famous long distance runners, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family, which grows in North and South America. Consumed as early as 3,000 B.C., chia seeds were eaten as a grain, mixed with water, ground into flour, mixed into medicines, and pressed for omega-3 oil. As anyone who has followed my capricious dietary peregrinations since the start of this site knows, these extraordinary seeds offer a complete nutritional profile of omega-3, balanced dietary fiber, complete protein, antioxidants and minerals – chia really is one of the world’s healthiest whole foods.  Now along comes Mamma Chia, a new all-organic beverage pairing chia seeds, fruit juice, and a light touch of agave. With flavors like Blackberry Hibiscus, Cherry Lime, Raspberry Passion, Coconut Mango, and Pomegranate Mint, it’s official: chia has gone mainstream. Which is a good thing, really, because I’m addicted to the funky viscosity of these little super seeds.

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nut milk for dummies

I’ll admit that the idea of making my own milk seemed a bit, um, radical to me at first. A little too off-the-grid, angry-vegan perhaps?  Yet I’ve been trying to wean myself off consuming so much soy – and finding a brand of store-bought almond milk that doesn’t leave me totally cold has proved fruitless. Enter the Vitamix: a recent gift, and one of those magic machines that changes your life as soon as you allow it. Dump in two cups of water, one cup of raw nuts, one pitted date, give it a whirl and voila: fresh, organic almond milk. Or mylk. Okay, maybe it’s just a little trickier than that. You need to soak the almonds overnight to get the bitterness out of the skins. And for a smoother texture, you’ll need to strain the puree through a sieve or nut milk bag. With the awesome horsepower of the Vitamix doing all the grunt work, however, it’s a minimal effort enterprise. It’s also got me thinking about all the different flavors of mustache I could experiment with, like cashew, hemp, and coconut.

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