Reasons to be Chia-ful

Reasons to be Chia-ful

by Nick Saltmarsh August 17, 2018

Pioneering farmers Peter and Andrew Fairs, of Great Tey in Essex, have successfully grown the first ever crop of British chia. These tiny oil-rich seeds represent another step in Hodmedod's mission to increase the diversity of both British farming and British diets.

We are delighted to be able to offer the first ever British chia seeds, grown by Peter and Andrew Fairs in Essex. Long-time agricultural innovators, the Fairs already grow a range of innovative crops for Hodmedod including quinoa, camelina and naked barley.

Chia seeds are harvested from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family originating in central America, where the seeds were a staple food in Aztec cultures, alongside beans and corn. Chia has become popular in the UK in recent years as a versatile, tasty and nutritious seed.

Salvia hispanica was previously thought not to grow to maturity in the UK climate but Peter and Andrew Fairs have selected a strain that has ripened and yielded well on their Essex farm. The crop received no pesticides and both yield and quality far exceeded expectations - and the bumble bees loved it too!

Chia seeds can also be sprinkled on salads, incorporated into bread doughs, or used to thicken smoothies, soups or stews. A tablespoon of chia seeds soaked for 15 minutes in 3 tablespoons of water works well as a vegan egg substitute in baking.

Rich in protein across all the essential amino acids, fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds have a very low glycaemic index and provide a slow release of energy. They're a good source of micronutrients including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.




Nick Saltmarsh
Nick Saltmarsh

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