Chai vs. Chia

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No, I’m not hosting a competition. I’m just fascinating by the spelling similarity, though chia and chai are totally different foods.

What is chai? According to http://www.chai-tea.org/whatisit.html, chai “is the word for tea in many parts of the world. It is a centuries-old beverage which has played an important role in many cultures.”

The website goes on to say that chai from India is a spiced milk tea made up of black tea, cream, spices and a sweetener. Although I like store-bought chai, I once created my own chai drink using spices Indians use—cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. “Indian chai produces a warming, soothing effect, acts as a natural digestive aid and gives one a wonderful sense of well-being,” writes the website author. I can’t vouch for all that, but I can say chai tastes delicious!

So, you ask, what is chia? Chia is a tiny but highly nutritious black or white seed. I found the following information at http://www.thechiaco.com.au/content/what-chia.

“Chia is nature’s complete super-food, … the highest plant-based source of Omega 3, dietary fibre and protein. … Chia seeds were first used as food as early as 3500 BC and were one of the main dietary components of the Aztecs and the Mayans. Chia seeds were eaten as a grain, drunk as a beverage when mixed with water, ground into flour, included in medicines, pressed for oil and used as a base for face and body paints.”

If you’d like to incorporate chia seeds into your diet, check the website for great ideas and recipes. The seeds absorb water, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids (maybe even chai!) when you eat them.

Enjoy! Becky

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