Thursday, May 27, 2010

Easy Omega-Rich Apple Snack

Good morning, lovely people! I hope your week has been going well! It has been a busy week at the homestead, continuing some spring cleaning and downsizing. It is such a liberating feeling throwing away bags and bags of junk! We’ve recycled box-loads of old paperwork, and unloaded a car full of items to Salvation Army. And I want to get rid of more! Seriously! It is addicting! Kind of like cleaning out your body of unwanted clutter and trash – feeling better and better the cleaner you get! (Oh yeah, I went there.)

So while you’re trying to simplify a diet with a return to whole foods, return to a simpler home life! GET RID OF CLUTTER! (I don’t have a whole lot of room to talk… my hubby is a pack-rat. But we’re working on it!) Plus, it’s always nice to give up some nice things to others who may appreciate it.
So anyways! Today is another easy spin on a classic childhood favorite: apple with peanut butter. Only, this time, it’s getting a crunchy addition.

I used to enjoy dipping my apple wedge in the peanut butter, then in Grape Nuts cereal – that extra crunch made it more enjoyable for me.

But, I now use almond butter, and don’t have any Grape Nuts hanging around the place right now, so I went for a different crunch – seeds! Chia and flax, specifically. (Yes – chia as in “Ch-ch-ch-CHIA!” Chia Pets. But I wouldn’t go buy a chia pet and steal the seeds… who knows if they’re treated or fertilized or something! Just check out your natural health store to see if they carry them)

Chia has become lovingly nicknamed “Alien Pods” at our place because of their look when they’re soaked and swollen. Toss some chia in a bit of water or milk, and they expand almost 3 times their size (great for helping you feel full as they expand!) – and they look like a little black dot in a clear egg shell :)

That's not water surrounding the pod - that's a gel formed on the seed! Alien pods!!!

But these little guys are little wonders. A single ounce of chia seed will provide 11 grams of fiber – helping you feel nice and full while pushing things through, cleansing as it goes. They are a complete protein, providing all of the 9 essential amino acids, as well as being a good source of Calcium, Manganese, and Phosphorus. These little guys are also a great source of Omega oils! …Which, you may have guessed based on the title of this post :) That 1 ounce serving contains almost 5 GRAMS of omega-3 fatty acids, and 1.6 grams of Omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega’s are being touted for so many benefits – for the heart, the mind, the hair, the skin, the joints. They help with bone health, inflammation, disease prevention…

Chia seeds are not always financially viable, though. I don’t mind paying for them now and then, because they add some fun variety. I like to sprinkle them on salads, in cereal, or soak them and add them to smoothies. They really don’t have much flavor – more just for texture!

Another good Omega source that works for this apple snack is flax seeds, the emblem of Northern Ireland! While not a complete protein, it’s darn close! Flax is a good source of Manganese and Phosphorus, but also give you a good dose of Copper, Magnesium, and Thiamin as well as a bit of Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Selenium. Flax offers 6.4 grams of Omega-3 and 1.7 grams of Omega-6 per ounce!

And flax is pretty cheap! At my Kroger, I can get it at $1.99 per pound. And they’re light little buggers! You can get them golden yellow or a richer brown – I don’t notice a taste difference. Both have a slightly earthy, nutty flavor.

So enjoy either chia or flax seeds. Or, as I do, enjoy both!

Whichever seed, you’re getting a serving of goodness and a much healthier snack than something like potato chips or Nutter Butters!



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