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Are chia seeds good for you? Yes, chia seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses that are so easy to include in your everyday diet. 

Just 100 grams (or eight tablespoons) of chia seeds contain 16.5 grams of protein and 34.4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA FoodData Central database. They are known for being a good source of omega-three fatty acids and for containing minerals vital to bone health, such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Are chia seeds good for you? Yes, chia seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses that are so easy to include in your everyday diet. 

Just 100 grams (or eight tablespoons) of chia seeds contain 16.5 grams of protein and 34.4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA FoodData Central database. They are known for being a good source of omega-three fatty acids and for containing minerals vital to bone health, such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Chia seeds come from a plant belonging to the mint family called Salvia hispanica. It originates in Central America where it’s said that chia seeds were a staple of the Aztec diet. In the southwestern United States, a relative of the plant called golden chia (Salvia columbariae) was used by Native Americans of the region.

Another pro of chia seeds is the fact that they’re flavorless and easy to include in most recipes. Here are 25 versatile ways to eat chia seeds.

1. Chia Water

Perhaps the simplest way of consuming chia seeds is adding them to water. Soak a ¼ cup of chia seeds in four cups of water for about 20 minutes. The chia seeds will expand in the water to create a slightly thickened but nutritious water you can add a little citrus to for flavor.

2. Chia Juice

If you prefer citrus-based drinks, you can also soak chia seeds in various fruit juices. Add ¼ cup of chia seeds to four cups of your preferred fruit juice for about 20 minutes. Depending on the juice you select, your beverage may include added sugars.

3. Chia Seed Smoothie

You can include chia seeds in any smoothie, whether you prefer a green goddess smoothie or a strawberry banana smoothie. Presoak the chia seeds in a little water or milk to make a gel before adding them to the smoothie.

4. Fresh Chia Seed Toppings

Chia seeds also make a great topping to casseroles, salads or oatmeal. You can garnish dishes with the whole fresh seeds or grind them up. 

5. Chia Pudding

One popular and well-known dessert is chia pudding. You can eat it for breakfast or as a dessert.

Start making chia pudding with the same recipe you’d use for chia seed water, but add more seeds until you reach the preferred thickness. Let the mixture soak for 40 minutes or more. 

Many people prefer using milk and adding cocoa, vanilla and other flavors. You can also blend the mixture for a smoother consistency. 

6. Chia Cereal

Swap your typical cereal for chia cereal, made by soaking chia seeds overnight in milk or a milk substitute. You can use mashed bananas or applesauce instead. Mix this with your usual cereal or eat the chia mixture as you would with cereal, including nuts, fruit or spices.

7. Chia Truffles

Make chia truffles as a quick snack by combining them with oats, cocoa and dates. You can also include other grains, nuts and fruits in the mixture. 

8. Added to Stir-Fry

Add a tablespoon of chia seeds to your favorite stir fry dish, such as this sauteed cabbage with chia seeds.

9. Sprinkled on a Salad

Sprinkle chia seeds on nearly any salad to make it even healthier and add more texture. Mix them in while tossing the salad or before serving.

10. Dressed up Salad Dressing

Dress up your salad dressing with chia seeds. Since many commercial salad dressings contain added sugar, consider making your own salad dressing and adding the chia seeds.

11. Baked in Bread

Include chia seeds in your bread recipes, from banana to buckwheat.

12. Chia Seed Breading

Use ground chia seeds mixed with your favorite breadcrumb coating to bread fish, meat, or vegetables. You can also use only ground chia seeds as breading.

13. Chia Seed Cakes

Improve the nutritional value of your cake recipe by adding chia seeds to the cake mix.

14. Chia Seed Grains

Soaked chia seeds can be a little too gooey, but you can change up the texture by mixing them with other grains. Include them in breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert recipes that make use of grains. Add a teaspoon of chia seeds to one cup of your preferred grain.

15. Chia Seed Breakfast Bars

Some commercial breakfast bars can have as much sugar as a candy bar. By making your own, you can cut down the sugar and improve the nutritional profile by adding chia seeds.

16. Chia Seed Protein Bars

Similarly, commercial protein bars can be high in sugar content. Consider making your own protein bars with chia seeds at home to boost the nutritional content and avoid a sugar crash. 

17. Chia Seed Pancakes

Add a delicious and nutritious texture to your pancakes with flecks of chia seeds in the batter.

18. Chia Seed Jam

Pectin is a little bitter, so jam makers usually add sugar to make up for this. To reduce sugar in your jam, substitute chia seeds for pectin, since they can absorb ten times their dry weight in water. 

19. Chia Seed Cookies

Chia seeds add a nutritional boost to chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal alike.

20. Thickening Gravy or Soup

Tired of using flour to thicken soup or gravy? Honestly, if you don’t get the temperature and amount just right, you risk having random clumps of flour ruin a perfectly good dish. 

21. Egg Substitute for Binding and Baking

Do your dietary needs prevent you from cooking with eggs? You can use chia seeds as an egg substitute to replace eggs in baking, and you can use them as a binder. To make one “chia egg,” soak a tablespoon of chia seeds in three tablespoons of water.

22. Chia Seed Dip

As a versatile ingredient, you can also mix chia seeds into dip. Make your own dip, or add a homemade and nutritional spin to a store-bought dip by adding chia seeds.

23. Chia Seed Muffins

You can eat muffins as a delicious treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add chia seeds to both sweet and savory muffins.

24. Chia Seed Yogurt

Chia seeds add texture as yogurt topping when added whole, or to avoid a “crunch,” use ground chia seeds.

25. Chia Seed Ice Cream

Similarly, you can ground or whole chia seeds to any flavor of ice cream before serving it.

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Rosemary Penwarden converted an old Honda into an electric vehicle. Rosemary Penwarden

A New Zealand grandma has found a way to be the change she wants to see in the world.

Sixty-three year old Rosemary Penwarden converted an old Honda into an electric vehicle that she charges with home solar panels.

A New Zealand grandma has found a way to be the change she wants to see in the world.

Sixty-three year old Rosemary Penwarden converted an old Honda into an electric vehicle that she charges with home solar panels.

“I suppose I should thank the oil companies, like Anadarko, NZ oil and gas, Shell, OMV, Beach Energy… these are all companies that me and my group Oil Free Otago have been opposing for many years,” Penwarden told Stuff.co.nz. “It motivated me to become independent of oil, and show them they’re not needed here.”

Penwarden purchased the 1993 car from a wrecker’s inventory, removed the combustion engine and installed a new gearbox and electric engine in its place, The Guardian reported. She also added 24 batteries to the front of the car and 56 to the trunk. The car can travel 120 kilometers (approximately 75 miles) before it has to be charged, according to Stuff.co.nz. While Penwarden did the work herself, she also had help from other members of the Valley Workshop cooperative that she helped found.

“It [the car] sat in the workspace for close to two years, but once we got going on it, it took probably 8 to 10 months of pretty solid work,” she told Stuff.co.nz. 

The entire project cost her $24,000. For comparison, the average price for a new electric vehicle as of February 2022 was $64,685, according to Kelley Blue Book. In New Zealand, however, electric vehicle prices tend to be even higher. The average price for an electric vehicle in the country in mid 2021 was around $70,000, The Spinoff reported, not counting pricier sports cars. The Hyundai Kona electric went for about $79,990 in New Zealand and $45,000 in Canada, for example.

Penwarden said she expected her self-made car to pay for itself eventually, since she used to spend as much as $100 a week on gas, according to The Guardian. However, she said that she did not convert the car in order to save money and understood that not everyone has the funds and time to follow her example. 

“Just to be able to show that it can be done is a priceless thing,” she said, as The Guardian reported. “The biggest thing is to help stop the biggest polluters as soon as possible – and nothing that we can do as individuals I think matters quite as much as that.”

Penwarden isn’t the only one in her community converting conventional cars into electric vehicles. Fellow Valley Workshop member James Hardisty owns a car conversion business called EV-lution, according to Stuff.co.nz. He said that he had converted around 15 cars, and the Toyota RAV4 he turned into an electric vehicle around 2010 still drives on the same battery. 

“It’s great for the environment… you don’t have to worry about what’s happening in the world, if there is a war… if all the oil was to dry up tomorrow, we’d keep going,” he told Stuff.co.nz. 

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Labels on bags of snack foods indicate they are non-GMO food products, in California. ROBYN BECK / AFP via Getty Images

This week, the UK government introduced a Genetic Technology Bill to Parliament proposing the relaxation of regulations on genetically-edited products, like tomatoes enriched with vitamin D and wheat with reduced levels of the amino acid asparagine, which turns into carcinogenic acrylamide during the process of baking or toasting bread, according to The Guardian and UK Research and Innovation.

The new legislation would at first apply only to plants, BBC News reported. The gene-editing technology isn’t in use currently because, before Brexit, the UK was subject to European Union rules.

This week, the UK government introduced a Genetic Technology Bill to Parliament proposing the relaxation of regulations on genetically-edited products, like tomatoes enriched with vitamin D and wheat with reduced levels of the amino acid asparagine, which turns into carcinogenic acrylamide during the process of baking or toasting bread, according to The Guardian and UK Research and Innovation.

The new legislation would at first apply only to plants, BBC News reported. The gene-editing technology isn’t in use currently because, before Brexit, the UK was subject to European Union rules.

Some experts question the government’s assurance that gene-edited food will lead to greater food security and environmental gains, reported The Guardian. While gene-edited products will be allowed, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will continue to be heavily regulated. In the GMO process, a gene is removed from one plant and placed in another.

The gene editing process involves the switching on and off of genes by removing a small portion of DNA, BBC News reported.

The techniques allow changes that could be achieved with cross-breeding to happen over a much shorter period of time.

Liz O’Neill, the director of umbrella organization GM Freeze, whose members include Friends of the Earth, Garden Organic and the Soil Association, as well as scientists and farmers, said that the modified regulations on gene-edited products removes an important part of the regulatory process.

“What has been removed is the need for an independent risk assessment and the need for transparency,” said O’Neill, as reported by BBC News.

Kierra Box with Friends of the Earth said the environmental organization opposes all genetic modification (GM).

“Gene editing is just a subset of GM,” Box said, as The Guardian reported. “If we’re interfering with the genetic codes in nature, we don’t know how those things respond.”

While the Welsh and Scottish governments will continue to prohibit gene-edited products from being developed, the gene-edited products made in England would be allowed to be sold all over the UK, which could lead to conflicts.

Another issue with the “precision breeding” bill is that products made using the process wouldn’t be labeled in stores, reported New Scientist.

While the gene editing legislation currently only applies to plants, there are plans to extend it to animals, which Dr. Pete Mills, an assistant director at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, said brings up ethical concerns for people, The Guardian reported.

“What they care about is animal welfare, what the purpose is, who the benefits accrue to,” said Mills, as reported by The Guardian. “The legislation doesn’t really have any thought about the purposes for which these technologies are going to be used. I think that’s problematic.”

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