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Don’t Be Afraid of Flax and Chia Seeds — Really!

After Tish and Jenn were raving about chia seeds for so long, I knew I had to try them. I was at first hesitant because when I think “chia” I think “chia pets” and that doesn’t exactly strike me as the most appetizing visual ever. But chia seeds are a totally friendly way to get a nutritional powerhouse into your diet. I’ve been so in love when them, in fact, that I added them to a list of things I’m grateful for over on FBG. I’ve been buying my chia seeds from Trader Joe’s, and one tablespoon of the friendly little seed (seriously, they’re kind of cute) has just 70 calories, 3 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 2.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Serious nutrition, right?

I think some people are afraid that something like chia seeds will add a gnarly “natural” (in a bad way) flavor to foods, but I swear you can’t even detect them. They’re like strawberry seeds in that once in awhile you’ll get one stuck in a tooth, but beyond that, you can’t taste them — they just add rocking nutritional value to what you’re eating or drinking. I now add them to every smoothie I make and have even been sprinkling them over my Greek yogurt for some fun texture.

Interested to take my chia love to the next level, I jumped at the chance when Carrington Farms offered to send me its chia/flax seed blend. Flax seeds seemed to take off in the nutrition world before chia did, but I actually hadn’t tried flax. But a chia/flax seed blend, I was all over. Two tablespoons has just 60 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein, plus it’s packed with omega-3s.  

The blend is slightly different from my usual chia because it’s whole chia seeds blended with ground flax, which is more of a powder than the seeds. I noticed a slight texture change in my smoothie when I added it, just slightly grainer. But taste-wise it honestly didn’t make much of a difference, maybe ever so slightly nuttier. It’s definitely worth switching it up to cover your nutritional bases if you want to branch out to get your omega-3s. Plus, there are so many ways to use them; besides in smoothies, the blend can be used in muffins, granola and even in French toast!

I’m excited that I now have a couple of fun options to add such great nutrition in a really easy way. Read more about my obsession with my smoothies over on Babble, where I talk about seven superfoods that I try to sneak into my smoothies.

Have you tried chia seeds in a blend like this? What’s your favorite way to use them? —Erin

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