If you are anything like me you like to look after yourself. I exercise a lot within my job and like to eat well too. Eating well to me is enjoying a little bit of what I fancy (my regular readers will know I am partial to a slice of cake with my cuppa) but balancing that with good, healthy seasonal food. Seasonality is the key for me. I love shopping locally and with a wealth of glorious local producers and farmers in Devon, I feel rather spoilt. My local farmers market is a Mecca for fresh, local and organic veggies with not one but two farms selling their wares there. Both Shillingford Organics and Linscombe Farm visit weekly and between the two well-stocked stalls I have an abundance of choice.
Still wanting fresh salads at lunchtime or as a side dish with my evening meal I have recently started a love affair with kale. This versatile vegetable can be eaten steamed, stir-fried and put in stews of course but did you know it’s delicious raw? I have created this deliciously simple salad in conjunction with The Chia Co. Since I created this salad one lunchtime for myself I must have eaten it 2 or 3 times a week since. It is truly delicious and a great accompaniment to chicken, fish or as part of a delicious salad platter. To be honest, I could eat this by the bowlful! The simple dressing packs a punch with garlic and anchovies with the chia seeds adding a delightful crunch. It has to be one of the simplest recipes to make too, taking less than 10 minutes from start to finish. You really have to give this recipe a try.
Want to know more about chia?
Chia seeds are the highest combined plant source of omega 3, fibre and protein, and are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Chia offers essential nutrition often missing in modern diets.
Adding a tablespoon (15g) of chia to your diet each day provides 3g of omega 3, 6g of dietary fibre and 3g of complete protein.
Chia is rich in omega 3, an essential fatty acid derived from plant sources. Heart Foundations around the world recommend an intake of at least 2g of omega 3 every day.
Chia contains the perfect ratio of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre forms a gel in water, while insoluble fibre remains close to its original form throughout the digestive path. Both types of fibre are vital for healthy digestion.
Chia contains eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Complete proteins from plant sources are very rare, making chia a fantastic source of nutrition for vegan and vegetarian diets.
Chia is one of the highest known sources of antioxidants, which are vital in the maintenance of healthy cells. Antioxidants combat the oxidation process caused by sun exposure or pollution, carrying free radicals out of the body.
The nutrients in chia can help to sustain energy, improve digestive and heart health, and encourage healthy skin, hair and nails. Chia is also fantastic exercise fuel, helping you stay hydrated, increasing stamina and aiding in muscle repair.
Chia’s high levels of fibre aids digestion. Soluble fibre can help to moderate blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol. Insoluble fibre provides roughage, clearing out toxins as it passes through your digestive tract and lowering the risk of colon cancer.
Omega 3 is essential for heart health, working to lower cholesterol while maintaining proper artery function. Omega 3 can reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain a normal heart rhythm, and can improve circulation.
The complete protein in chia is essential for a healthy body. Our bodies use protein to build and repair tissues, to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Protein is also integral to the structure of our bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
Chia’s rich balance of nutrients – fibre, protein, omega 3, antioxidants, vitamin B, copper, iron, calcium and magnesium – can contribute to slowing the aging process, boosting skin hydration, encouraging healthy hair and nail growth, and increasing cell regeneration.