|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.
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