By Brian Hetrich, Greenhouse Manager

Every year on May 5 Cinco de Mayo is celebrated. This day in history represents an unexpected victory at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 and represents the struggle against imperialism. The Mexican army won the battle despite being smaller and ill-equipped.

Chia seeds actually got their name from the Mayan word for “strength.” In ancient athletic competitions, indigenous people in Central America would sustain themselves on 1 to 3 tablespoons of chia seeds and a little water for over 24 hours. The seeds are storehouses of nutrients and contain one of the highest known sources of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) higher than flax seeds and even salmon.

Chia sprouts are loaded with antioxidants which have strong immune-boosting properties which may help fight the common cold and flu. According to research from the University of the Valley of Guatemala, chia seeds have a remarkable antioxidant rating of over 1900. This is a higher antioxidant rating than blackberries, mango, noni fruit, grapes, and pineapple without all the fructose.

All of the energy stored inside the seeds is ignited by the sprouting process. The vitamin, mineral, enzyme, and phytonutrient content in the seed explodes when sprouted. The baby sprouts have 4 to 6 times the nutrient value of the leaves from the mature plant.

Here is how to sprout chia:

  1. Soak an 8” unglazed terra cotta saucer in water for 2 hours. Drain.
  2. Lightly sprinkle ½ teaspoon of chia seeds in the saucer. Evenly distribute the seeds leaving some space between each seed.
  3. Mist with water.
  4. Cover with a dinner plate.
  5. Mist twice a day for seven days. The cover plate is not needed after day three.
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