Tiny Round Things

I want to talk to you about some of my favorite tiny round things.

They include, but are not limited to: glass marbles, hydrogen atoms, deer ticks, and your mom’s knockers. GOTCHA.

No, but seriously. Chia seed and quinoa. Two of my favorite products that both come in tiny, round form, being seed-like organisms.

You may have heard of one or both of these so-called “superfoods” during your travails around the vast sphere of culture and perversion that we like to call The Internet. I’m here to give you the lowdown on each. Why do people like to ingest these particular tiny round things? What are their benefits? What are their drawbacks?

chia

Chia seed is exactly what it sounds like: the seeds from which a ch-ch-ch-chia plant grows, preferably out of the head of a terra cotta Looney Tunes character that you ordered off the television for a mere $19.99 plus shipping and handling while you were home sick one day. The chia plant, also known as salvia hispanica (no, not THAT kind of salvia, so get your head in the game), is actually part of the mint family. I have no idea if the leaves of the plant taste minty or not, but I promise that the seeds do not taste like mint. In fact, they have hardly any distinguishable flavor at all, and therein lies their appeal.

The health benefits of chia seed are still under investigation (haha, I made chia seed sound like someone who’s been advised not to leave town for a few days), but it is no secret that it is chock full of fiber. Fiber’s the stuff that makes you poop, and who doesn’t love pooping? No one, that’s whom. Plus, its high phosphorus content makes it a sort of catalyst for the production of ATP – essentially, it gives you energy, which means it’s great to incorporate into a post-workout snack.

Chia seeds absorb liquid like nobody’s business. When they do, their outer membranes soften and become vaguely gelatinous. I like to simply pour some chia seeds, a little lemon juice and some stevia into water and chug it down, but the slimy exterior of the seeds can make this application somewhat difficult to stomach if you’re a complete pussy.

I kid, I kid, it really it an acquired taste. If  “chia lemonade” isn’t your cup of chia lemonade, chia can also be made into pudding, sprinkled over salads, or snuck into almost anything that can withstand the incorporation of tiny crunchy bits. I bet if you rolled a bagel in the seeds it would be awesome.

quinoa

Quinoa is another tiny round thing that I like to try to work into my diet. People have been flapping their gums about quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) for years now, but I just recently decided to try it. It comes in several designer colors, including red, black and beige. It sounds like a weird health food, but you can find it at almost any grocery store these days. It’s simple as hell to cook; you just throw it in a pot with some water, bring it to a boil, and then simmer for a few minutes until it absorbs the water and becomes nice and fluffy.

The big thing people always tout about quinoa is how high in protein it is. Let me be clear: it is not the protein powerhouse that people like to pretend it is. it still has twice the amount of carbohydrates as protein. You cannot use it as your sole source of protein, as I suspect there are hipsters out there doing right at this very moment. It is merely a more high-protein choice than, say, rice or pasta, and it can be used in a lot of the same ways, so it is helpful in that respect. You can serve it with cooked veggies. You can melt some cheese into it and bake it in a casserole. You can shape it into patties and make burgers. The only thing you can’t do is serve it all by itself with no seasonin’s or nothin’, because shit is as bland and tasteless as Mitt Romney’s porn collection. Be prepared to bust out your entire spice rack trying to get some flavor going. But it’ll be worth it when you’re enjoying a nice runny fried egg over some spicy quinoa and sauteed spinach. It does a body good.

What preparations of chia or quinoa am I leaving out? What kind of weird tiny balls do you like to put in your mouth? And please don’t make some sort of rude comment about my mom. That would be really immature.

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