From Chia Pets to Seeds: An Unlikely Journey into the Kitchen

Chia seeds have been making the health food store rounds for a number of years now, but they only recently broke through into the mainstream. I'd written them off as some sort of diet fad until I tried a chia seed smoothie and thought Hmmm, these aren't half bad. But somehow, I missed the fact that their resemblance to the fad Chia Pet was more than a coincidence.

Did everyone know that Chia Pets are made with the same chia seeds so many are swearing by in their food these days? Honestly I didn't think so. But, as the New York Times points out, they are one in the same. The same properties that make chia seeds gelatinous when exposed to liquid (and result in a sort of bubble tea drink, if one can compare such things), make the seeds adhere to terra cotta animal shapes. Who knew these little seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, dietary fiber, and antioxidants?

So you've likely heard of chia seeds, but do you regularly eat this superfood?

Read more: 30 Years After Chia Pets, Seeds Hit Food Aisles at The New York Times

Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Chia Seeds

(Image: Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times)