Tuesday, March 13, 2007
New Kid On The Block
Not Jordon, Donnie, or little Joey. It's...
Salba! (I know, I've dated myself with the New Kids reference "Step by Step, ooh baby")
You're going to start hearing, reading, and seeing this new plant-based raw food nutrition powerhouse called Salba.
What is it? Salba is a seed related to the mint plant, a variety of chia (yes, that would be "ch-ch-ch-CHIA!" - you can now thank me for planting two annoying 80's jingles in your heads today!)
Don't let the chia reference turn you off. Salba seed is reported to have the richest and most stable source of omega 3's, containing more than flax seed.
Salba is also rich in other nutrients, here's the breakdown:
High in protein, containing ALL essential amino acids.
Rich in vitamin A, C, and folate.
Rich in calcium and iron.
High in antioxidants.
Excellent source of fibre.
Check out this Salba link for "gram to gram" food comparisons. Neat.
I have recently started using Salba, ground and packaged (similar to packaged flax meal). I picked it up at our local health food store, and have been adding a tablespoon or so to smoothies and sometimes in soy yogurt or cereal with rice milk. How does it taste???
Well, it has quite a neutral flavor actually (just mildly nutty). The texture is more noticeable than the taste. The ground seed is much like flax meal in that is absorbs liquid, 'plumps', and has that gelatinous quality. Unlike flax meal, it doesn't have that bitterness though. When I first tried it, I didn't stir/blend it in my smoothie enough, and so it was too lumpy. But, with a good whiz of my immersion blender, now it just thickens up the smoothie with just a little noticeable texture.
I won't be using Salba in my new recipes - just yet. Why?
First, I don't know how available it is for most people. As it becomes more common, like flax seed/meal, I'll start using it in some baked goods and other recipes. I think it would work wonders in vegan (and gluten-free) baking, helping to stabilize certain mixes and also giving that flax 'eggy' substitute, but without that flax bitterness. The second reason I'm not including it in my new cookbook is because it's quite pricey right now. The bag of ground Salba I bought was about $12-$13 Cdn. The bag of whole seed was about $24 Cdn. Yikes! I coughed up the dough to buy the ground Salba to try it out for you guys. Ok, for me too. It's hard to resist trying new vegan foods!
Oh, and there are some Salba snack products on the market, but checking the ingredients on at least one product I found egg whites. Ugh. Why would they do that?
If you are willing to spend a little to try out a vegan superfood, pick up some Salba... your body will thank you!
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