Raw cereal is a good way to start the day: not heavy like toast or greasy like croissants; not too sweet like doughnuts or muffins. Chia seeds can be a delicious and nutritious component of raw cereal.

When I was growing up, chia seeds were known only for growing fuzzy green “hair” on clay heads as decoration. Today we know that this tiny seed in the mint family is great for stabilizing blood sugar, consuming omega-3, and lowering cholesterol. Two tablespoons of chia seed have 7 grams of fibre, 4 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, and 5 grams of omega-3. Plus, 3.5 tablespoons of chia seed provide as much omega-3 as 32 ounces of salmon!

Karma has the best price on organic chia seeds in the city. We sell them in the bulk section for about $26 per kilogram. As a cereal, chia is similar to flax.

When you add liquid, the seed expands and becomes thick and soft. You can add virtually anything to chia to make a hearty, healthy morning cereal. This recipe is only a guideline. You can omit or add different seeds, nuts, or fruits.

1 1/3 cup (250 g) organic chia seeds
2/3 cup (80 g) nuts (your choice)
1/2 cup (70 g) dried fruit (like figs and apple)
1/3 cup (40 g) raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (30 g) raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 – 1/2 cup (25 – 50 g) flax seeds
1 – 2 tbsp. (10 – 20 g) raw sesame seeds
2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 – 2 tbsp. (20 – 30 g) maple flakes or maple sugar (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl and pour the mix into an airtight container. I like to use the Sopa or Sunflower Kitchen soup jars I’ve previously bought at Karma. Keeps for months. To make the cereal, it all depends on how much you like to eat. A little goes a long way. Try 3 tablespoons of chia cereal with 1/3 cup almond, rice, or soy milk.

Submitted by Siue Moffat

First published in The Chronicle (Fall 2013)