Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New-to-Me Foods

I tend to eat a lot of the same foods and rarely buy new ingredients, but recently I have been experimenting with several new-to-me food items, and I am really enjoying them. All of these items have been around for a long time and have been popular for a while, so I’m sure many of you have tried them already.

Chia Seeds


I can’t believe I haven’t tried chia seeds until now as they have been everywhere. I add them to smoothies after soaking them in a bit of water, and they make the smoothie nice and thick (I like to eat smoothies with a spoon). I also make chia pudding. By adding liquid to the seeds, they thicken and become similar to tapioca pudding.  You can flavor the pudding with anything you like (lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.). Somebody mentioned that the consistency reminded them of glue, which is sort of true, but I enjoy it a lot. Two tablespoons contain 70 calories, 6 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. They also contain omega-3s.

Hemp Seeds

 

Hemp seeds contain quite a bit of protein (5 grams per 1.5 tbsp)  and have a slightly nutty taste. I add them to smoothies and salads for some protein and to make the salads more interesting.

Tahini 


Tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds. I add it to salad dressing and dips. I don’t like too much of it, but I enjoy the added flavor of just a little.

Ume Plum Vinegar


Ume Plum Vinegar has a tangy flavor, and I like it in dressings, marinades, and dipping sauces. I use very little at a time as it contains a lot of sodium.

Questions: What are some new food items you have been trying or wanting to try lately? Have you tried any of the items above? If so, how do you like them? How do you use them?
 
Be well,
Andrea

24 comments:

  1. I love love love chia seeds in my kale/blueberry smoothies =)

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    1. That's one of my favorite combos, too! :)

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  2. Chia pudding... Can't wait to try some more.

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  3. Greta,
    I don`t know what is Chia-Seed,now I know more.
    I looked up by Wikipedia.Today i want to read more about Chia-Seed.

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    1. Apparently, they are not used very much in Europe, but they are very popular in South America and recently in the U.S.

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  4. I tried chia seeds for the first time only last year, after hearing about them forever! I tried a few demos with them at work, and they weren't well accepted by many people (the tapioca-like texture was a turn off for some). BUT, today at work I'm making a lemon chia cake with a local chef, and I can't WAIT to see how it turns out!! Hopefully I'll post the recipe soon :)

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    1. I can totally see how the texture can be a turn off for some! The lemon chia cake sounds great! Have fun!

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  5. Ha! This is too funny. I just received a shipment from Swanson Vitamins of hemp seeds and chia seeds. I also bought a jar of tahini to make hummus. I'm so glad I read your post. Now I know where to start.

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  6. Great healthy products! Loving the chia and hemp lately!

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  7. I haven't tried any of these before... I'll keep an eye out for them the next time I shop.

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    1. Chia and hemp seeds are often in the vitamin/supplement section in the store, and the vinegar is usually in the Asian food aisle.

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  8. I use flax a lot but haven't quite made the effort to try chia yet - it makes me think of those chia pets! Seems like they have a lot of health benefits though!

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    1. Yes, they remind me of the chia pets, too! :) They do have health benefits, and I think it's really fun to eat them.

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  9. I've heard with CHIA SEED, you either love them or hate them - ha ha! My mother, not a fan and I have yet to try them. However, my mother loves hemp seeds and to me, they're not too bad!

    I actually want to really try Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum in recipes to see how it thickens. I know they're not really foods with any health properties but I still want to try them and see what happens! :) Any experience?

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    1. I have never tried Xanthan Gum or Guar Guam, but I know several people who love them in their smoothies.

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  10. I have tried all these except the hemp seeds. I don't use chia much except when I cook oatmeal. Tahini is great for stir fries together with soy sauce. plum vinegar is good for macrobiotic recipes.

    Lately I've been tried PB2 to be added to a cookie dough for breakfast and love it! :)

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    1. I have never tried PB2 but heard so much about it. Sounds like a yummy breakfast!

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  11. I love tahini, just wish it wasn't so expensive - even the small jars by me are in the $7 range, although a little does go a long way.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Yes, it is expensive, but you really don't need that much...

      Have a great weekend, too!

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  12. I'm loving these more frequent posts! :) I use chia seeds every day in my smoothies, just like you, but I've yet to try chia pudding. That will be next on the agenda. We have a little jar of tahini for making hummus, but I have to admit we haven't tried anything else with it! That Ume Plum Vinegar looks mighty tasty! I haven't really tried anything new lately, which is so unusual. I think I need to break out of my food rut!

    Have a great weekend, Andrea!!

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    1. Thanks, Jessie! Have a great weekend, too!

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